New signs at the Volks wildlife site, Madeira Drive

Good to see the great new interpretation boards at the Volks railway opposite Duke’s Mound, celebrating the wildlife of the seafront. Everyone was stopping to have a read on their way past.


The interpretation is by the talented Lucid Design.

Part of the Volks track bed is a local wildlife site, and sports vegetated shingle plants that local developments such as the new Marina development are looking to incorporate into their green roofs and landscaping.

Madeira Terraces and the ‘famous sheltered walk’ – a step back in time

This superb shot by Paul Norman has recently come to our attention. It’s 1985 – shows the green wall East of the shelter hall is fully intact…sadly a few of these veteran (planted c1880) Japanese spindle trunks are missing now, but it’s still one of the best bits of green wall on the whole stretch. Also visible are the hedges that used to exist along on the southern edge of the terrace. Does anyone know what year they were taken out?


Building Green is meeting with the Council on Friday to talk through the proposals for redevelopment of Madeira Drive. We are keen to offer our expertise and support.

Paul’s group Hanover Action, are doing some fantastic work to improve the quality of life for Hanover residents. Check them out here.

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

Open Session: Parks and Open Spaces


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):

Building Green banner A3

Building Green banner

Green architecture day is coming up – 19 March


We have an amazing event coming up next month in Brighton – an inspiring day of cutting-edge talks on green building design – Green Architecture Day 2016!

Saturday 19 March 2016, 10:30am to 5pm
Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton, Grand Parade Building
Brighton BN2 0JY

Our theme this year is Approaches to design and we have excellent speakers including Michael Mehaffy on pattern language, Nic Pople on architecture inspired by nature and sacred buildings, Ben Law on building with our woodland resource, Turner Prize winners, Assemble, on their collaborative building approach, and more!


Design by Nicolas Pople Architects

See the Brighton Permaculture Trust website for more details and to book:

Tidying up the green wall at Madeira Drive

This Thursday morning, Portslade Green Gym are going to flex their muscles ‘lopping and chopping’ the weeds in the bed at the foot of Madeira Drive green wall. Organised by Building Green and supervised by The Ecology Consultancy, this important voluntary work will keep the pavement at the Duke’s Mound end clear of plants, remove the more stubborn weeds and maximise biodiversity along the foot of this unique Victorian green wall.


The plan is to plant gaps in this section of the Madeira Drive green wall with new spindle plants, which will be trained up newly installed wires for support. The Council recently finished concreting a section of the wall that was in poor condition – it’s a pretty ugly finish that will be far more attractive when we have re-established plants in front.

Building Green is awaiting the Council’s planned consultation on the future of the Terraces and green wall, which were promised in the new year.

Madeira Drive, old and new

Original postcard, early 1900s, against the backdrop in 2015.

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

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

The green wall in those days was continuous, without the gaps it now has. However, it would have been far less diverse – probably only Japanese spindle and ivy. Now there are 100 plant species.

Building Green has been managing this stretch of wall with the Council.