Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Alexandra Park

A walk in the park with Travis Elborough

Green spaces like Alexandra Park play an important role in keeping children healthy, says Sussex-born author Travis Elborough, who will visit Hastings on Wednesday 21 February to give a talk called A Walk in The Park under the auspices of the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group. Press officer Lynda Foy previews the occasion.

“A recently published study by the Centre for Environmental Sciences at Hasselt University in Belgium found that children with greater access to green spaces had ‘stronger bones’ leading to ‘potentially lifelong health benefits’,” said Travis Elborough.

“Parks are also a boon for our mental and physical well-being. On a practical level, they lower the ambient temperature of towns and cities, aid water retention and so reduce the risk of flooding and provide habitats for wildlife.”

Travis Elborough

Travis’ book, also called A Walk in The Park, charts the history of parks from when they were created as medieval, royal hunting grounds to the present day.

He said: “Alexandra Park remains one of the finest and largest examples of a seaside resort park.

“It’s a place intended from its outset as both a health-giving amenity for local residents but also as an attraction that would appeal to visitors.

“Like most of the British coastline, parks are free and open to all. They embody an ideal of civic life and public good that is increasingly imperilled by commercial forces and government cuts.“

Travis, who was born in Worthing, has written numerous books, including Wish You Were Here, the story of the British seaside resort. His talk is one of several events planned by Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group.

The park’s designer was the Scot, Robert Marnock, one of the most successful landscape gardeners of the 19th century. Marnock was allocated £20,000 by Hastings Council for the new park in 1876.

The park was opened on June 26, 1882, by Princess Alexandra, the Princess of Wales, and her husband the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.

The Prince planted an oak in the park and his wife a beech, the national tree of her native Denmark.

The park’s fine tree collection can by toured using a Tree Walks brochure published by the borough council and sponsored by the trade union, Unison. Copies can be downloaded here.


A Walk in the Park: In Conversation with Travis Elborough Wednesday 21 February, 1.30pm, Durbar Hall, Hastings Museum, John’s Place, Bohemia Rd, Hastings TN34 1ET. Tickets at £10 are available through the group’s website.

For more details contact Lynda Foy, Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group press officer, 07804 501362.


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Posted 18:53 Thursday, Feb 1, 2024 In: Nature

Also in: Nature

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