Green gym did a great job down at Madeira Drive green wall

15 volunteers from Portslade Green Gym have given the foliage at the Madeira Drive green wall a makeover. They cleared huge piles of weeds and ivy that were smothering the bed, getting onto the pavement, and crowding out the more attractive wild plants. Over 100 species of plant have been found at the Madeira Drive green wall. The Green Gym were supervised by Building Green member The Ecology Consultancy.

The Council cleared away the green waste the same day, and this end of the green wall is looking much smarter.

Building Green will be seeding the bed to encourage more wild flowers. We will also be working with the Council to establish new Japanese spindle planting in front of the freshly concreted stretch.

The rest of the Victorian green wall is currently out of bounds due to the instability of the antique ironwork of Madeira Terrace.


Green fingers Sunday is on! 10am, Sunday 29 March

We’re meeting on Marine Parade, at the top of the ramp up from Madeira Drive.

Just here.

We’ll be weeding the beds, sowing some seeds and probably planting some cuttings of Japanese spindle.

Come along to help, or just to say hi!

Here is the seed list – it will add colour and interest and help keep some of the less interesting weeds down.

% Latin name Common name
2.5 Achillea millefolium Yarrow
15 Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed
2.5 Daucus carota Wild Carrot
7.5 Galium verum Lady’s Bedstraw
10 Knautia arvensis Field Scabious
7.5 Leucanthemum vulgare Oxeye Daisy
7 Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot Trefoil
15 Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain
2 Plantago media Hoary Plantain
2.5 Primula veris Cowslip
15 Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup
7.5 Rhinanthus minor Yellow Rattle
5 Rumex acetosa Common Sorrel
1 Trifolium pratense Wild Red Clover

Keep our seafront green

Many Brightonians and visitors will have noticed the greenery on the seafront east of the pier. This is mainly Japanese spindle – an ornamental plant established in Edwardian era as part of the (now removed) formal gardens along Marine Drive, but there’s ivy and other plants too.

Green wall at Marine Drive Brighton

Green wall at Marine Drive Brighton

It’s possibly the largest and oldest growth of this plant in the UK – and without it the seafront would be a very dull and barren place – and wildlife like wrens and migrating butterflies would certainly suffer. I’m sure the green walls have a big benefit for managing run off too – and the ivy will protect the cliff render where it’s in good condition. I don’t think Max Miller would have approved – the aerial walk bears his name.

Picture of Japanese Spindle

Japanese Spindle – Euonymus Japonicus

The cliff face in some areas is in poor condition, and something will probably have to be done to cut the planting back to allow stabilisation works. Here at Building Green we’re working with the Council to see how this can be done whilst saving this vital greenery.

Green wall at Marine Drive, Brighton

Green wall at Marine Drive, Brighton

If anyone knows the best way to cut back or coppice this plant, would like to volunteer to do a botanical survey of the cliff, or can get involved in managing the Marine Drive planting, get in touch.

What we really don’t want is a repeat of what happened further East, where a long section of green wall was unceremoniously stripped away in the name of litter and pest control.

Building Green poster

Who cut out the green – Building Green campaign for better treatment of the seafront environment