Volunteers go green again

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Portslade Green Gym hit the Madeira Drive Green Wall again today. Great work cutting back and looking after the health of the green wall, and their own health too! Next work day in the New Year. Thanks Green Gymers!

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Madeira Drive – updated history page now live

Building Green’s page on the history of Madeira Drive has been updated. There’s more to do – this is undoubtedly a passion project! – but it’s a fascinating story so why not take a look.

The ‘sturdy dozen’ – 12 trees transplanted along the Madeira Drive green wall

Work is complete to transplant 12 Japanese Spindle trees to their new home on Madeira Drive Green Wall.

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Thanks to volunteers, the Council, and their contractors, these trees should grow up like their 150 year old neighbours, and help restore another section of the UK’s oldest, longest green wall.

They were saved from building work above Concorde 2, and are each approximately 40 years old.

Coming up:

  • Green Gym volunteer day on 8 November
  • From 5 November, Council contractors manage the spindle and ivy along Duke’s Mound.
  • Council contractors install guide wires along the section in these photos, to help the plants establish up the wall.
  • Spring volunteer days to plant of more spindle along remaining gaps in the green wall.

Volunteers and donations or sponsorship from local businesses are welcome.

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Brighton carnival in front of Madeira Drive green wall. Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

 

Old man’s beard

Great to see some ‘old man’s beard’ aka ‘travellers joy’ along the Madeira Drive Green Wall this week.

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You will also know it as Clematis – this is ‘Clematis vitalba‘, which is native to the South of England. The ‘joy’ comes from the feathery seed heads which add interest to an otherwise usually barren hedgerow in the run up to Christmas. In this case, it is surrounded by flowering ivy and fruiting Japanese Spindle, a great mix of plants for wildlife as evidenced by the birds, bees and other insects making the most of the seeds and nectar late in the season.

Just one of the 100 species of plants now found on the UK’s oldest, longest green wall.

Fatboy slim at Madeira Drive…

Well, sort of. Fatboy Slim – Brighton’s own Norman Cook – was previously in the band Housemartins, most well known for their cover of Caravan of Love.

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Fitting then, that the most recent birds seen at Madeira Drive were house martins…flying and feeding along the Madeira Drive Green Wall in preparation for their long migration to Africa. Fatboys and girls they need to be to get the energy for the 1000 mile trip…

Just some of the wildlife recorded on the oldest, longest green wall in the UK.

You’ll need to wait to March to have a chance of seeing another in Brighton & Hove. In the meantime…come and join the caravan!

 

Restoration continues at oldest, longest green wall in the UK

Volunteers from the local community have been helping dig holes ready for more tree planting this week on Madeira Drive – the location of the oldest, longest green wall in the UK.

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The project is saving some 40 year old ‘Japanese spindle’ plants, and giving them a new home, as part of a wider vision to restore the green wall to its former glory. The plants have been coppiced – cut back hard – but should grow and one day could be as tall as their 140+ year old neighbours!

Volunteers included the first vegan design certified interior designers Materialise Interiors.

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Building Green volunteers successfully save trees for oldest, longest green wall

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Brighton & Hove Building Green volunteers ready for work…the Martlet’s ‘be more snail’ by the Green Wall just happens to have a garden and green wall theme!

In a successful partnership, volunteers from Brighton & Hove Building Green have worked with the council and contractors New Lawn and PH Beck to successfully save some Japanese Spindle plants.

The plants are about 40 years old, and were removed from their current location above the Concorde 2, coppiced, and re-planted along Madeira Drive Green Wall. There they will sit alongside their 140 year old neighbouring spindle plants, which were established by the Victorians around 1880. We hope they will grow well there, filling in gaps in the original planting scheme and helping towards the restoration of this unique vertical garden.

The work on the Concorde 2 was necessary to repair leaks in the roof. No-one realised how much concrete and rebar was used to create these planting beds – there are several of them along the length of the green wall to create habitat on the upper level.

The vision is to fill in the gaps in the green wall, which once stretched the whole length of Madeira Drive and is the oldest and longest in the UK.

Madeira Drives, old and new

Approximately 100 years separates these photos, showing Madeira Drive, the Volks railway, Kemp Town and the Madeira Drive green wall