Extra care needed to ensure green wall growth, expert says

Posted On 22 Apr 2021 at 12:00 pm

The section of Madeira Drive’s green wall which has been dramatically pruned back


Extra care needs to be taken to ensure that a section of Madeira Drive’s green wall which has been drastically pruned back regrows properly.

A section of the wall running along Duke’s Mound was cut back to its roots by contractors as part of works to improve visibility on the highway.

James Farrell, who founded Brighton and Hove Building Green which has worked closely with the council to restore the green wall, said he understood the need to carry out the work, which was identified as needed for safety reasons during planning for a possible cycle path.

But he’s called on the council to help ensure care for the pruned Japanese spindle plants and if they don’t regrow, to support replanting.

Meanwhile, a group of campaigners have announced they will hold a memorial to the section of the wall on Sunday afternoon, when they will lay wreaths in protest at the pruning.

The Japanese spindle has previously grown at a rate of about 60cm a year. The council says it will be training them against the wall to maintain visibility.

Mr Farrell said: “I understand the work needed to go ahead from a traffic and public safety point of view, and I fully understand that. Work like this is generally best done in winter, outside the breeding season.

“Now it’s been done, it’s important that the plants are cared for and fed to maximise the chance of regrowth. If for some reason it doesn’t really grow, I’d be looking for support from the council to re-plant.”

He added that Building Green was disappointed its experts had not been consulted on the work.

The proposed cycle lane in question runs along the lower half of Duke’s Mound. It forms part of the regeneration of Black Rock which was approved by councillors at the planning committee on 10 June last year.

According to the minutes of the meeting, this and other cycle lanes were not discussed, other than Conservative councillor Carol Theobald saying improvements to pedestrian and cycle ways were welcomed.

Traffic lights at both the bottom and top of Duke’s Mound were also approved as part of the scheme.

The plans for the Duke’s Mound cycle lane, marked in pale green

A council spokesman said: “We would like to reassure our residents that the green wall at the Dukes Mound junction has been cut back with its roots left intact. The greenery should regenerate and grow back again.

“We will be training the new growth up the wall, to make sure visibility on the highway is maintained.

“During planning work for a possible cycle path on Dukes Mound we identified the need to cut back the overhanging vegetation for important safety reasons, to ensure a clear line of vision for cyclists.

“This work was agreed as part of our wider plans for redeveloping the Black Rock site. The Project Team has a two-year maintenance programme for landscaping and an Ecological Management Plan in place.”

The memorial has been scheduled for 12.45pm on Sunday at the junction of Duke’s Mound and Madeira Terrace. Protestors are being asked to wear something green.

  1. ChrisC Reply

    A memorial with wreaths?

    Get a grip this is some plants that will soon grow back

    If you want to help then volunteer to help maintain the plants and gardens.

  2. Bear Road resident Reply

    This article does not mention that Amy Heley, the city’s transport chief, now claims that neither she, nor any other elected representative in her party, were made aware of officers’ plans to partially cut down this wildlife reserve; Europe’s longest and oldest green wall.
    When asked to respond to the incident, Councillor Heley, the Green chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Neither myself nor any councillors were made aware of the plans to make any changes to the green wall this week.
    I have also noticed that the green council’s contactors are busy pulling ivy off the walls and tress in Woodvale cemetery during the height of the bird nesting season and have filled in a small pond that that contained allegedly protected newts.
    Being green in Brighton apparently means having absolutely no idea about protecting the environment!

  3. Jon Reply

    Yes the Green Party is FAR from green in reality and do not protect wildlife, history, or the environment. Amy Hele and the entire Council have heard that this was about to happen as a concerned Resident submitted his question on this at the Full Council meeting at end of January 2021. It was discussed and would be in their Minutes. The environment and air quality is NOT being improved, or even maintained at current levels, as these poor decisions are being made ….for the benefit of a very small sector of the public – cyclists! I asked for air quality facts in early Feb 2021 & never received them. There are few monitoring points around that I can find information about. The air quality is worse along the sections of the Old Shoreham Rd where cycling lanes take half the road causing traffic jams and tailbacks that did NOT exist before. Especially bad at the Sackville Rd lights, entrance to Homebase & The Recycling Centre, HOLMES Ave junction and Hangleton Rd junction. All for the benefit of cyclists who DO NOT USE this section. If you see even 2 cyclists on the whole stretch from Sackville Rd to Hangleton Rd it’s unusual.

  4. bradly23 Reply

    no mention of the fig tree!!

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