New short piece on Brighton’s green wall by Thames Media.
Love the credits!
New short piece on Brighton’s green wall by Thames Media.
Love the credits!
A note from our Treasurer…
“On Saturday 23rd November I took 60 cuttings from the Japanese Spindle on Madeira Drive – the green wall. I took the cuttings from along the green wall, from the end of the arches and up Duke’s Mound. I took from the new growth, the lighter greener leaves. With the help and expertise of family (Mom) 60 cuttings are now planted and will hopefully grow inside over winter. Like the other cuttings James has nurtured and that are now planted in, these will I hope eventually add to the green wall, filling it out and helping it to grow the whole way along.
The cuttings are varied in length, and taken from different parts of the green wall, to see if some take better than others. Each of the stems has been cut at an angle, soaked in water overnight and dipped in organic rooting gel, and planted into deep compost pots. The top of the soil has been covered in course grit to keep moisture in and help keep the soil compacted. They are all inside a light conservatory that’s insulated and that is heated. I’ll let you know how they get on and hopefully we can plant them in next year sometime.”
Today I counted up to 10 bumblebees* per m2 on the Madeira Drive Green Wall. They just love to bee beside the seaside, collecting pollen from the Japanese spindle.
*probably Bombus lucorum white tailed bumblebee
A great adornment for any front window or bedroom wall!
Please print and display proudly.
Today volunteers with Building Green planted 45 Japanese Spindle plants to fill the gaps in the green wall at Madeira Drive, Brighton & Hove.
Originally established in 1872 this green wall is the oldest and longest of its kind in the UK. The plants were grown on from cuttings taken from the site and should one day reach as high as their 20m tall, 150 year old neighbours!
A big thank you to everyone involved.
Hope to see you at Madeira Drive – Duke’s Mound end – at 11 am today, to plant Japanese spindle cuttings and fill the gaps in the green wall!
The time has come to plant some new Japanese spindle at Madeira Drive green wall!
We need people to come and help on Sunday 12 May at 11am, Duke’s Mound (click for a map).
We will be planting these cuttings to fill in gaps in the green wall that runs up the hill from the eastern end of Madeira Terrace opposite Banjo groyne.
No special skills required,. Bring spades, forks and gloves if you can – if not just bring a smile! Feel free to contact us to let us know if you are coming.
This is part of achieving Building Green’s vision for a fully restored green wall, thriving in wildlife, and a major contribution to the beauty of the seafront. The oldest, longest green wall in the UK.
Building Green has a simple 3 point plan for the green wall at Madeira Drive Brighton, the focus of major redevelopment and heritage restoration proposals.
Madeira Drive Green Wall is the longest, oldest green wall in the UK and will be the first to be designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. The wall is integral to Madeira Terraces, a unique ironwork structure that is under threat from lack of maintenance and investment. Building Green work with the Save Madeira Terraces Campaign, the council and other partners in a collaborative endeavour to shape the best possible future for our seafront.
This plan is supported by extensive surveys by Building Green volunteers, which are free to download at the end of this article.
1. Protect and maintain the best sections of green wall
The priority is to protect the sections of green wall below and above the terraces where there are mature Japanese Spindle plants. There are over 100 of these, and each ‘tree’, approximately 150 years old, has magnificent curving trunks that wind their way up the cliff from ground level. These plants support a wide variety of other flowering plants, as well as home to birds and other wildlife. The repetitive planting scheme mirrors the serried ranks of Victorian arches that are such as special feature of Madeira Terraces. The views under the terraces of these arches and Spindle trunks are key to the impact and beauty of the original Victorian vision, and are irreplaceable.
Building Green would prefer no development under the arches in these sections, particularly between Concorde 2 and Paston Place.
Ongoing maintenance of these sections – and the green wall throughout – is crucial.
2. Enhance sections of wall to encourage greater coverage
There are many parts of the wall where the Japanese Spindle was damaged or removed in the past. However Japanese Spindle is not the only plant of value – there are now over 100 species of plants found at Madeira Drive green wall.
Building Green would work with developers to find imaginative solutions to conserving, where possible, other plants of conservation value; removing plants where they can become invasive; and enhancing sections of wall to encourage greater ‘green’ coverage.
In these areas there are likely to be imaginative solutions to incorporating green wall features as well as ‘pods’ or other development under the arches.
Building Green will continue working with volunteers at Duke’s Mound to restore the green wall to its original extent, improve its biodiversity, and make it look fantastic for visitors and local residents.
3. Create new green wall and green the Terrace walkway.
The green wall was originally over a mile long. Building Green wants to see planting restored to the full length, as there are many bare patches and sections.
In these sections, development could take place without harm to existing nature. We suggest these are the first priority for ‘pods’ and other businesses under the arches. However, all development will be expected to make a ‘net gain‘ for biodiversity, and there are many opportunities to enhance development proposals with environmental benefits.
One exciting vision from Building Green is to plant the terrace walkway like the New York ‘high line‘ – creating a new linear seafront park, a major tourist attraction in its own right, and a draw for visitors to the new businesses that will find a home on Madeira Drive. New green wall features should be installed on the upper East cliff (retaining wall).
Surveys and other supporting information
Arch by arch biodiversity survey, indicating areas of value to nature and natural heritage. Madeira Drive Arches Survey 2017
Madeira Drive species list – the flowering plants and other wildlife found along the green wall. Madeira Drive Green Wall Plant Species List 12.09.2017
Plans mapping the extent of green wall coverage along the length of Madeira Drive retaining wall. Surveyed by Building Green c2014.
Great news! All the old Japanese spindle that Building Green and the council moved from Concorde 2 to their new home on Madeira Drive green wall are showing signs of growth!
Later this spring volunteers from Building Green will be planting even more as part of the long term project to restore the longest, oldest green wall in the country.
Great to see the green wall featuring alongside the precious Madeira Terrace in the artwork on the new community container.
The container contains an office and other facilities for local community groups to use. Building Green will be!
Artwork features Japanese Spindle – the main feature of the Madeira Drive Green Wall, these plants are now almost 150 years old. It also features hoary stock – one of the rarest native plants that has been found along the green wall. Hoary stock has another name…’Hopes’. Seems apt!
Unfortunately we couldn’t raise the funds to green the container itself…a green roof, or some living walls would have been even better. To see what’s possible with a shipping container, go here and here.