Clearing, cleaning and painting

Pillars without graffitiNotice anything different?

Wa-hey – no tagging! The solid old Victorian railway pillars, which were getting badly tagged, have now been painted over in Network Rail brown.

It was a really great workday up on Brighton Greenway today with around fourteen volunteers beavering away to paint out tagging, collect litter, cut back the buddleia, weed the wildflower bed we sowed in March and prepare and sow a new wildflower bed some 60 metres long along the east side of Brighton Greenway leading up to Stroudley Road.

Fossil benches IMG_5089Simon was around to paint the fossil benches and some lovely Madeleine painting Gwaychildren even volunteered to dig out the fossils until I explained that they were an artist’s representation rather than the real thing.

The ‘strip’ leading up to Stroudley Road required thorough hoeing, raking and weeding but the soil was good for seeding: quite crumbly but not dry. With five of us Rick's planworking on 10+ metre strips, helped by two local lads who raked and swept energetically, we got the beds prepared. One of the residents in One Brighton has come up with the design and the seeds for this project: cornflowers and poppies in six blocks blending together in places, in other places creating strong patches of red and blue. Broadcasting seed is a lovely thing – it feels timeless and creative. We also sowed some really special wildflowers, very specific to this area and soil, including the wonderfully named Weasels’ Snout (Misopates orontium), a kind of small pink snap-dragon-like flower that is now relatively uncommon but grows in the south of England on waste land.

Marek paintingWe look forward to the blue and red strip evolving as we move towards the summer. Meanwhile, further up Brighton Greenway, the seeds we sowed in March are coming through and cowslips are coming into flower. We hunted cowslips and sycamore seedlings with a trio of passing children. This was our first sunshiny day for a long while. It’s spring … Brighton Greenway is coming into its own.

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