garden designer and artist
carol whitehead contemporary garden designer and artist
garden designer and artist

Big Lottery fund Wilderness Project at Seaford Allotments

Big Lottery fund Wilderness Project at Seaford Allotments

big-lottery-wilderness-project-overgrowth big-lottery-wilderness-project-hedgeplantingSince September 2014 Carol has been Project Managing a small team of volunteers on the Wilderness Project at Seaford Allotments, East Sussex. We are turning around a neglected corner of the site into an exciting Bio Diverse Corridor, funded by the Big Lottery and Seaford Town Council.

After surveying the site Carol prepared a feasibility study to create a wildlife area in this difficult to cultivate site over a thirty degree gradient.

The proposal called the Wilderness Project was voted in unanimously by the plot holders. In August 2015 we were granted a Big Lottery fund to start the major clearing work. We were also granted funds from Seaford Town Council to update our site port-a-loo to a new disabled ‘dry’ compost toilet.

Carol organised the major clearing and levelling of this challenging site with a professional landscape teams during winter 2015. The old sycamore trunks were uprooted by diggers and turned into a Stumpery planted with foxgloves, ferns and spring bulbs.

Volunteers planted a native hedge along the boundary fence which in future years will be stock proof laid by the South of England Hedge Laying Society as a practice skill training site.
A hazel coppice was planted to grow and harvest hazel stakes to use when laying the hedge in the traditional Sussex style.

A Micro orchard has been planted and a wild flower meadow sown in Spring 2016 over 1000 metres of open ground, which will attract insects back into this neglected area that was previously full of contaminated soil and debris.

There is also a living willow enclosure planted with cobnut, filbert and nectar rich dye plants around a pond that we can use for talks and gatherings.

The core team of helpers known as ‘The Wild Bunch’, continue to transform this once monoculture of bramble and bindweed into a thriving more ecological diverse area.

Planning permission from Lewes District Council was granted to install a very stylish and practical disabled compost toilet. This fabulous loo works by dry separation which keeps the toilet odourless. The dry waste can be composted on site for use as mulch in the future!

Water station collection points have been installed on other areas of disused ground at the allotment site to collect rain water for use in the winter when the mains water is turned off.

The Big Lottery and Seaford Council are impressed with progress and fully support our efforts improving the wild life potential in this corner of Seaford and giving the allotments a dynamic new lease of life.

disabled compost toilet seaford allotments carol whitehead garden designbig-lottery-wilderness-project-digger

“Not many allotment societies are this organised and enthusiastic. It’s an excellent project as it has a wide range of positive outcomes: the neighbours will be happier, the new site can be used for different purposes to benefit the plotholders, it will be used for training in traditional hedge laying and it is going to be beneficial for wildlife. Quite impressive for a 100 meter strip of currently unused land.” Funding Officer, Big Lottery

Carol Whitehead © 2020. A registered member of the SGD (Society of Garden Designers).

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