Monthly Archives: October 2014

Moulsecoomb Forest Gardens and Wildlife Project Celebrates 20th Birthday

From The Argus

The new eco-classroom

A community garden celebrated its 20th birthday with a party and the unveiling of a new eco-classroom on its allotment site.

Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project opened its gates to the public with the offer of food, drinks, bush-craft, party hats and a treasure hunt.

Project manager Warren Carter, 48, said 20 years ago he and his friends just wanted to get an allotment, never dreaming it would become the all-inclusive community project it is today.

He said: “Over the years it just keeps evolving. The more you do things and the longer you run, people come to you. A lot of it is being open to ideas.”

Now the garden off Crespin Way, Moulsecoomb, spans nine allotment sites and an area of woodland that was added to the South Downs National Park due to the campaigning of Warren and his team.

The main aim of the project is to bring people together and support those who may otherwise be facing challenges in society.

Primarily, children experiencing educational or behavioural difficulties at school are encouraged to help out and learn about gardening, cooking, and forestry among other things.

Amyas Gilbert, 28, an outdoor youth worker, said the garden should be as therapeutic as it is educational.

He said: “I think the biggest impact on the kids is confidence building. Up here they feel like trusted, valued members of society.”

The new two-storey eco-classroom has a frame made of sweet chestnut, floorboards of Douglas Fir and walls made of straw bales with lime rendering.

Carpenter, Russel Kingston, 26, said: “Building it was tiring but rewarding, definitely. I think it will attract a lot of people to the garden because of its eco credentials.”

Guests of all ages enjoyed the birthday party, exploring the gardens, drinking tea and eating pasta with home grown pesto or burgers cooked in a clay oven.

Visitor Graham Lee, a 63-year-old psychotherapist from Brighton, said: “I think it’s fantastic. It’s like an outside classroom – plus it puts kids in touch with nature and sustainability.”

Sussex councils are losing recycling race

From The Argus – full story here.

Four Sussex councils are among the worst performers in the UK for recycling, new figures reveal.

The statistics, put together by national recycling and waste management company SITA UK, are displayed on an online interactive map, which ranks 326 councils in Britain.

Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) came in 302nd out of 326, recycling only 26.8% of its waste.

And Lewes District Council not only fares the worst in Sussex but is also among the worst in the country, coming 320th out of 326 (22.3%).

Crawley Borough Council came 305th, recycling 26.1% of its waste, while Hastings Borough Council came 314th, recycling 23.7%.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Horsham District Council is the best- performing in Sussex, coming 42nd out of 326, with 52.5% of waste recycled.

BHCC’s Green administration made a promise in its election manifesto in 2011 that 70% of all domestic waste would be recycled in the city by the end of its current term in office – May 2015.

And there is the prospect of BHCC’s rating becoming worse. In an annual performance update for 2013/14, the council’s recycling figure was 25.6%.

This new national data is based on 2012/13 figures. BHCC’s score in this case is 26.8%, so it may slide down the national rankings when the 2013/14 figures are released at the end of this year.

Gardening Advice Needed.

The Streets in Bloom group are in need of some advice from gardeners about one of our projects. There are no funds to pay for this but we would be very grateful for any help you can give, whether you are in our catchment area or not.

If you can help please post your contact details as a comment on this page and we will get back to you.

Thanks in advance.

Brighton Open Air Theatre to go ahead.

From The Argus –










An open-air theatre will be built in a popular park after plans were voted through by council.

The proposal for the Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) in Dyke Road Park was up before Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (October 8).

Members voted through the blueprints and also relaxed suggested restrictions.

As a result the venue will be able to operate up to 10pm Monday to Saturday and to 6pm on Sunday.

It will also be able to operate up to six days a week.

Planning officers had previously suggested the venue should close at 9.30pm and limited to just three performance a week.

Writer and producer Adrian Bunting, who died of cancer aged 47 in May last year, was the driving force behind the theatre.

Steve Turner, of BOAT, had argued before the meeting that restricting finishing times to 9.30pm would prevent them from putting on certain performances.

The theatre will be funded by £20,000 left in Mr Bunting’s will and another £30,000 the charity has raised.

They will dig up a disused bowling green to create an auditorium capable of hosting 425 spectators.

Building could begin early next year in time for the Brighton Festival in May.

Members of BOAT were unavailable to comment as they were celebrating in the pub.

A post on their Facebook page said: “Success!!!! All but one relatively minor conditions waived. Thank you Brighton and Hove planning committee. We’re off for a pint. Come and join us!”