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Old Town wall flowers

Old Town wall flowers

De-flowering in the Old Town

HBC sub contractors Kier have scored an own goal by wiping out wildflowers in a designated wildlife site in Hastings Old Town. Chris Hurrell writes.

On Wednesday morning, members of the public spotted a large number of Kier operatives in High Street removing wildflowers from the walls of the high pavement.

These walls and similar walls in All Saints Street are in the designated wildlife site H13. The HBC website states that there is a site management plan in place for this site.

Clearly the operatives were unaware of any such plan. One assumes that the Contract and Service Level Agreements also specify what works should be carried out.

HBC was contacted and the works have now stopped. Unfortunately too late for the High Street whose walls have been stripped bare. Intervention by the public did save All Saints Street from the same treatment.

HBC say that “Our waste officer had given instruction to clear weeds in both these areas, but this should only be for the pavement and highway, not on the wall(s).”

Concerns remain about the quality of communications between HBC staff and sub-contractors. Why were Kier operatives so badly misinformed and carried out such destructive works to a local wildlife site?

Posted 13:55 Thursday, Aug 3, 2017 In: Home Ground

6 Comments


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  1. Chris Hurrell

    It is recorded that there is a site management plan for this site. It comes as no surprise to find that there is no management plan in place. It has not been explained how this failure to protect the site came about. As usual I suspect it is HBC’s inablility to manage the simplest of things in a professional manner. I asked through Freedom of information for a copy of the site management plan for this wildlife site. The response was:

    “Information not held

    The walls at All Saints Street and High Street are owned and maintained by East Sussex County Council http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

    The review of local wildlife sites report referred to prescriptions contained within the site description Hastings Urban Nature Conservation Strategy 1996. There is no specific Management Plan.”

    Comment by Chris Hurrell — Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 @ 10:22

  2. Amanda Nicol

    I live on the High Street and was very upset to see the removal of the beautiful wall daisies – I spoke to the people assigned to this task and with one voice they said they were not happy about doing it either and tried to remove some of the clumps gently so I could take them. They are sitting in water in my garden, struggling but alive – I’d be really grateful for any advice on how to save them… get them to root?

    Comment by Amanda Nicol — Thursday, Aug 10, 2017 @ 20:30

  3. Penny

    Perhaps HBC could direct their contractors to clean up the ubiquitous litter, dog mess and remaining public toilets instead of killing plants.
    I heard a lady saying that the loos at The Stade are “not for the faint-hearted” when emerging from them recently. I concur with her comments, and it’s not only those at The Stade that could do with a scrub up.

    Comment by Penny — Thursday, Aug 10, 2017 @ 09:15

  4. Pam Thomas

    Well done to Chris and any others who managed to stop this. Hopefully they will be grown from seed to make amends…..

    Comment by Pam Thomas — Monday, Aug 7, 2017 @ 09:43

  5. Ms.Doubtfire

    The council should ensure that operatives know what they are supposed to be doing – a trip up the High Street yesterday showed the extensive amount of damage done but most bizarrely there is a huge clump of grass remaining in place in this ancient wall. Praise the Good Lord for this small mercy.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Friday, Aug 4, 2017 @ 10:28

  6. Michael Madden

    The flowers in High STreet and All Saints STreet are/were called “wall daisies” – not weeds but wildflowers as Chris has said – Latin name “Erigeron Karvinskianus”. The ones on the High STreet were as established as they can get and will take many years to grow back to that level of maturity IF the roots haven’t been entirely removed.

    It would be nice, if HBC wanted to make amends for the mistake,if they offered to reseed – they can be grown from seed.

    It is a loss because they added so much to the beauty of the area.

    Well done to Chris for phoning the council and getting it stopped and to others who helped stop it in All Saints.

    Comment by Michael Madden — Thursday, Aug 3, 2017 @ 17:23

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