Part of Brooklands Park to be transformed into ‘mini eco space’

The north end of Brooklands Park is to be transformed into a mini eco space where people can learn about biodiversity and encourage pollinators such as bees to visit.

Adur & Worthing Councils said hives will be one feature of the new space, along with a small orchard, herb garden, wildlife habitats, bug hotel and planting schemes.

And at the centre of the project, called Bees&Seas, will be new shipping containers, donated by Lancing-based Sussex Transport.

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These will be 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 councils said.

Debs Butler, from Food Pioneers, Damien Pulford, from Sussex Transport, and Nadia Chalk from Creative Wave at the Bees&Seas site in Brooklands Park. Picture: Adur & Worthing Councils

The containers will each have a ‘green roof’ to encourage wildlife, and filter water and air.

Councillor Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for digital and environmental services, 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.

The lake has already been revived as part of a £2m upgrade of Brooklands. Picture: Adur & Worthing Councils

“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.”

The new eco space 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 will continue later this year, the councils said.

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 the 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.

Damian Pulford, managing director at Sussex Transport, 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 Master Plan 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.