The ‘Lockwood project’ – securing the future of the Madeira Terraces and green wall?

The Council have announced this week the ‘Lockwood project’ – the repair and restoration of Madeira Terraces alongside the continued regeneration of East Brighton seafront.

This is very welcome, especially for Building Green the statement from Leader Warren Morgan that …

"Importantly, we are looking for ways to preserve the unique and
historic Green Wall which predates the Terraces themselves, building
around it just as the Terraces were, allowing the Green Wall to breathe
and grow."

This is a win for Building Green, who have been working for years to ensure that the value and importance of this unique feature of our seafront is protected for future generations.

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We have written to Warren, offering our continued support for making this dream a reality.

The project is named for tte Brighton Borough Surveyor who created the Terraces and our famous Birdcage Bandstand, Phillip Cawston Lockwood. The architects are Wilkinson Eyre and the engineers Mott MacDonald.

Update: Warren has replied with his thanks for our offer of help, and will be putting Building Green in touch with the Project Team. Watch this space!

Bookings now open: Parks and Open Spaces Summer Conference 14 June – Celebrating the power of volunteering!

Open Session: Parks and Open Spaces

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Community Works Members’ Summer Conference:

Celebrating the power of volunteering!

Tuesday 14 June, arrivals and networking from 1.15pm

The Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD

Bookings are now open for our Summer Conference, due to take place on Tuesday 14 June.

Book your place by Monday 6 June at the latest (early booking is recommended to secure your place):http://bhcommunityworks.org.uk/members/services/events-networking/

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Coming soon…a cultural and environmental history of Brighton’s seafront road, Madeira Drive

Building Green is very interested in Madeira Drive – ‘Maddy’ – the seafront along East Brighton.

Home to unique Victorian engineering, major public events and a great beach, it’s also the greenest part of the seafront in Brighton & Hove, and is home to rare ‘vegetated shingle’ habitat and the longest, oldest green wall in the country.

For that reason we think it’s worth special attention, and we will soon post a special page dedicated to this miracle mile (and a bit).

In the meantime, here are some more old photos along Madeira Drive…showing the historic development of the seafront, the planting, the tearooms and lift, and the elevated ‘Madeira Terrace’.

Looking east – the Chain Pier, bathing machines and Victorian traffic. You can clearly see planting established on the cliff face. Dated 1890 but Shelter Hall, built 1890, not visible so this is probably earlier

Looking west towards the Chain Pier, with the railway laid out. Japanese spindle trees look around 12 feet tall here. 1883? Lawns were laid out in 1884 and are not visible here. Railway established 1883

The Aquarium, Brighton 1889 – 1896, again with the Chain Pier in the distance and plants well established on the East Cliff. Part of the Gravelroots UK Vintage Trail

 

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Madeira Lift showing the lawns in front and the planting climbing behind the terraces.

 

Planting along the East cliff – showing the Concorde tearooms but the rest of the elevated walkway not yet built. Less shingle, and loads more sand and reef at low tide. 1890

St Mary's Hall and Kemptown 1926 showing the planting on Madeira Drive and Duke's Mound. Britain from above. Copyright Historic England

St Mary’s Hall and Kemptown 1926 showing the planting on Madeira Drive and Duke’s Mound. Pre-Carlton Hill and Whitehawk

Duke's mound terrace, Brighton

Early planting on the front of Sussex Square, Duke’s Mound – the walls recently cleared and replanted by the Council. After the enclosed Esplanade was opened to the public in 1952

Madeira terraces, Kemp town with cyclist

Madeira terraces, Kemp town with cyclist. ‘The famous sheltered walk’

Great work(out!) by the Green Gym at Madeira Drive green wall today

Great work(out!) by the Green Gym at Madeira Drive green wall today

The Portslade Green Gym were in action again today, flexing their muscles to improve the health and appearance of the vegetation growing at Madeira Drive green wall.

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Councillor Gill Mitchell greets the Portslade Green Gym volunteers at Madeira Drive green wall. With Brighton & Hove Building Green.

They worked to help protect the biodiversity of the wall, make sure plants weren’t in the way of pedestrians, and have fun and get fit doing it!

Ivy, dock and thistles were targets, and the results are plain to see. A big ‘thank you’ from Building Green for everyone involved.

Councillor Gill Mitchell came by to see what we were doing as well, and was pleased to see the community improving an important local green space.

Madeira Drive green wall was established by the Victorians in the early 1800s, and is the longest and oldest in the country. 100 species of plant have been recorded growing here, and it is a candidate Site of Importance for Nature Conservation in the city plan.

Our thanks to the Council, Portslade Green Gym and the Ecology Consultancy. I’m sure Green Gym will be back again in future!

Now booking – DIY green roofs training weekend, 29-30 October

We are now taking bookings for our DIY Green Roof weekend this October.

Based at Organic Roofs HQ on the south coast near Brighton, and involving site visits to some superb green roofs and living walls, the course is run by experts from Brighton & Hove Building Green and Organic Roofs, and administered by Brighton Permaculture Trust.

More information here.

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Building Green DIY Green Roof workshoppers taking a tour of the Velo Cafe, Brighton

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Happy green roofers with their green roofed bird boxes

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Building Green DIY Green Roof workshop crew hearing about the special green wall at Madeira Drive, Brighton