New shoots at Madeira Drive

The first new shoot has appeared growing on the newly transplanted Japanese Spindle. Fingers crossed they all spring to life this Spring!

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And thanks to the Council, new guidewires have been installed to help these and other recently coppiced Spindle plants re-establish and grow up the cliff.

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Seen here – the old Victorian guide wire tensioners…and the modern stainless steel version (hopefully even longer lasting).

 

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

 

Boom! Funding secure for Madeira Terraces campaign

So it’s done – thanks to local campaigners, members of the public, local businesses and some particularly big donors, the Save Madeira Drive campaign reached its target today.

Total reached = £466,149

More soon – great news for now.

Great Green Wall – Madeira Drive

This article appeared in The Living Coast newsletter this month.


 

Did you know that a particular jewel in our ‘green building’ crown is on Madeira Drive?

A hotbed of Victorian invention, Madeira Drive’s history has seen piers, an aquarium, an electric railway and ‘Daddy Longlegs seagoing car’, the first speedway and the ‘famous sheltered walk’ – Madeira Terrace. Well, in amongst all that, 150 years ago, the Victorians planted a ‘green wall’. The engineers had the foresight to build the Madeira Terrace in a way which enabled the planting to continue growing up the East Cliff – a rare early example in this country of integrating built and natural environments!

The green wall has grown in majesty since its humble beginnings as a backdrop of evergreen Japanese Spindle, which was planted to soften and improve the appearance of the developing seafront.

A recent survey by Building Green found over 100 species of plants growing on the wall, which – although much reduced from its original extent – is almost certainly the oldest, longest, green wall in Europe! The Madeira Drive Green Wall is now a candidate ‘Local Wildlife Site’ – the only one of its kind in the UK!

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The Duke’s Mound end is managed by Green Gym volunteers in partnership with Building Green, Brighton & Hove City Council and the Ecology Consultancy.

Madeira Terraces are, of course, in need of restoration as part of a newly regenerated East Brighton seafront. Building Green is working with Brighton & Hove City Council and its “Save the Terraces” Campaign to ensure that this regeneration celebrates and enhances both the built and natural environments along the seafront.

What a great opportunity to connect more people with nature – the mission of The Living Coast – whilst honouring our Victorian legacy and creating a place that people really want to spend time in for the next 150 years!

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