Eastbourne attraction criticised for fake lawns

An attraction running in Eastbourne has been criticised on social media due to the use of artificial lawns.

The Victoria Place Pop-up Park is running from July 23 – August 30 this year at the seafront end of Terminus Road.

During this time Victoria Place is pedestrianised and filled with live music, fitness sessions, and food outlets.

Victoria Pop-up Park criticised (photo from Eastbourne BID)

The Victoria Place Pop-up Park is jointly funded by Your Eastbourne BID and the Victoria Place traders.

A spokesperson for Your Eastbourne BID said: “Due to the overwhelming demand of visitors and traders, The Pop-up Park has returned for a second year. It is a fun place for people to gather, enjoy Victoria Place, wonderful food and drink, music and dancing with no traffic on the closed stretch of Terminus Road.

“Just a few days in, and the overwhelming response from the public, visitors and traders has been positive with customers clearly enjoying the alfresco dining. It is a long ambition of the town for Victoria Place to be pedestrianised, and this trial period of an unprecedented six week road closure allows us to experiment before the major Levelling Up Fund works programmed as part of the £19m regeneration project secured.”

One element of this transformation is the introduction of artificial lawns to make the street look more like a park, including picnic tables, floral displays and giant deckchairs.

Stephen Holt (Your Eastbourne BID) with traders

The decision to have fake lawns has been criticised on social media for its impact on the environment. One account said ‘microplastics getting into rivers, the sea, plankton, fish, then the stomachs of our children’

To these concerns, the spokesperson said: “No areas of grass, flowers, trees or lawn were removed to place down the artificial grass on the road which has the same layout as last year. The grass will be removed and stored away for future use when the event comes to an end in late August.

“Based on last year, we expect this to be a popular event over the coming weeks, bringing great business to the traders of Victoria Place as well as a new alfresco dining experience for our visitors and residents. We hope you all continue to support and enjoy the pop-up event, and we look forward to hearing constructive feedback in the future.”