Sea-ing is Bee-lieving at Brooklands Park

Released: Wednesday, 17 March 2021

A disused council yard is to be literally transformed into a hive of activity as a mini eco-space is created to teach the community about biodiversity and encourage pollinators such as bees to visit.

Hives will be one feature of the new space at the north end of Brooklands Park as will the creation of a small orchard, a herb garden, wildlife habitats, a bug hotel and planting schemes.

At the centre of the project, called 'Bees&Seas' will be new shipping containers, donated by Lancing-based Sussex Transport, and used as classrooms and workshops spaces to help people understand the importance of encouraging biodiversity to help green spaces thrive and help in the fight against climate change.

The containers will each have a 'green roof' to encourage wildlife, and filter water and air. The move is part of a wider aim of improving the local environment which includes the £2m upgrade of Brooklands Park itself into a science adventure park which has already seen the revival of the lake. Relandscaping of the park, to include adventure playgrounds, a cafe and natural glades and walkways continues later this year.

The Friends of Brooklands Park, along with local arts organisation Creative Waves and Worthing-based social enterprise We Are FoodPioneers, which delivers food-based projects, are working together with Worthing Borough Council to create the learning space, situated alongside the car park, using donated and recycled materials.

Pollinators, like bees, butterflies and moths, many species of which are in decline, are vital to the planet's ecosystem fertilising flowers and plants which helps to produce 80 per cent of the world's crops for food as well as creating habitats which help combat climate change.

Debs Butler, from We Are FoodPioneers, said:

“We know there is demand for a shared community hub which delivers positive outcomes for people and nature, engages diverse communities, restores local spaces, teaches skills and offers memorable wildlife experiences and we're delighted to be doing this in partnership with Worthing Borough Council, Friends of Brooklands Park, Creative Waves and Breathing Spaces.”

The project is being part-funded by the National Park's Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF), with an award from the Postcode Local Trust, which supports smaller charities.

Managing Director at Sussex Transport, Damian Pulford, said:

“We will be able to support this much needed local project with the space needed to create a classroom and workshop space for pollinator and wider nature education. We need the next generation to help us find creative solutions for a thriving natural environment, and the shipping containers we supply will enable that to happen.”

The eco compound will also be a place where local organisations can deliver classes and events. Creative Waves will be painting and decorating these environments.

Meanwhile, work to further develop the Brooklands Park Masterplan will commence in the autumn including the construction of the new visitor hub, cafe, and adventure play area once tenders are released to the market for contractors.

The plan for the redevelopment is to create a science nature park with the emphasis on fun learning, supporting the STEM school curriculum, while also encouraging wellbeing through outdoor activity.

Recently, there has been a swell of activity at Brooklands Park as windmill oxygenators for the lake were installed, one of the outfalls from the lake was reconstructed to reduce the risk of flooding, as well as the planting of almost 50 new trees and the fitting of almost 60 new bird boxes.

Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services, Cllr Edward Crouch, said:

“Brooklands is going to be brought back to a real destination location, and these new developments are the latest milestone in reaching that overall goal. This community compound will be a place where people, young and old can have fun, learn about nature and find quiet spaces to relax and enjoy the environment.

“We are delighted to receive local support and involvement at this stage of the project from local businesses wanting to improve the park for our local residents and give back to the community.

“Over the last year so many of us have come to rely on our green spaces and parks, for our mental and physical health, so we are so pleased to see investment in Brooklands and the improvements moving forward for this overall project.”

See also: Brooklands Park Masterplan

Photo: From left to right - Debs Butler from Food Pioneers, Damian Pulford from Sussex Transport and Nadia Chalk from Creative Waves at the Bees&Seas site at Brooklands Park in Worthing

PR21-038 - From left to right - Debs Butler, Damian Pulford and Nadia Chalk at the Bees&Seas site at Brooklands Park

Photo: The lake has already revived as part of a £2m upgrade of Brooklands Park into a science adventure park

PR21-038 - The lake has already revived as part of a £2m upgrade of Brooklands Park into a science adventure park

(PR21-038)

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Page last updated: 09 April 2021