How local green groups are coping with lockdown

We have a wealth of environmental and wildlife groups in and around Hastings, mainly comprised of volunteers. At this time of the year they’d normally be embarking on a busy activity programme. Instead many have been rendered inactive by lockdown and social distancing.

Some large open spaces: the Country Park, Filsham Reed Beds and the Marlin Valley, for example, can temporarily ‘look after themselves’ and may be walked and enjoyed by those fortunate to live on their doorstep. However, there are inevitably concerns about sites requiring constant maintenance and upkeep, such as the Bohemia Walled Garden and Alexandra Park Greenhouse Restoration Project.

Most local groups rely primarily on donations and small grants, and with fundraising activities on hiatus, their financial future is uncertain. Even when people return to work, the ability of those laid off for months to find extra cash to contribute may be low. Some larger projects, such as Energise Sussex South Coast, have managed to put workers onto government-supported furlough programmes. Others face the additional loss of European funding as Brexit finally approaches.

HIP has contacted a number of nearby organisations to discover how they’re faring – see on the Friends of Hastings Country Park, and Strandliners – and compiled a list of conservation and campaigning organisations that we hope HIP readers will wish to support or join once social interaction is permitted. If your group isn’t included then please get in touch and we’ll include it in a future edition of HIP. 

Local Environmental Groups

Hastings Conservation Volunteers
Practical nature conservation + Facebook

RX Wildlife
Sightings from Hastings to Dungeness + Facebook 

Friends of Alexandra Park Hastings

Alexandra Park Greenhouse Conservation Group + Facebook

Bohemia Walled Garden
Community Garden in Summerfields Wood + Facebook

Clean Seas Please
Community campaign to improve sea bathing water quality in Hastings

Friary Gardeners (Parchment Trust)
Offer horticultural training and greater independence to adults with a wide spectrum of leaning difficulties

Friends of the Speckled Wood Management Trust
Protecting a public open space in Ore + Facebook 

Ore in Bloom
Actively creating gardens and encouraging people to plant

RSPCA Mallydams Wood
Wildlife rehabilitation centre, education centre and woodland nature reserve + Facebook 

Friends of Hastings Country Park + Facebook

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Hastings and Rother Swift and Swallow Conservation
[email protected] + Facebook

Friends of Combe Valley
Supporting the work of the Country Park

Energise East Sussex
Energy advice community benefit co-operative + Facebook

Divest East Sussex
Make pensions fossil free + Facebook

Sussex Wildlife Trust
Manage Filsham Reedbeds and Marline Valley + Facebook

XR Hastings and St Leonards
Extinction Rebellion

Strandliners: Cleaner rivers, cleaner seas

Combe Haven Defenders
Campaigning against new roads and climate change

Save Ecclesbourne Glen
(in Hastings Country Park)

Hastings Greenway Group
Promoting local traffic-free routes + Facebook

Transition Towns
Global network promoting sustainable living + Facebook

Hastings Green Party

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