DCSIMG

Plea to keep area blooming brightly made

Greg Burt, chairman of the Bognor Regis in Bloom Working Committee launches the Bognor in Bloom event.

Picture by Louise Adams C130478-1 Bog Apr11 Launch

Greg Burt, chairman of the Bognor Regis in Bloom Working Committee launches the Bognor in Bloom event. Picture by Louise Adams C130478-1 Bog Apr11 Launch

DON’T turn Bognor Regis into the cacti capital of the coast, a councillor has urged.

Cllr Jim Brooks said the town needed a display of bedding plants to provide colour and interest.

His comments came as Arun District Council members agreed to continue the work of its parks and greenspace section to make open areas more sustainable.

One of the ways this has been achieved was by cutting the number of bedding plants put in and maintained each summer.

But Cllr Brooks (I, Marine) told the council’s environmental services and community development working group the change could go too far.

“I hope we don’t end up with cacti around the place.

“What happens at Bognor is that most of the residents and visitors like to be pleased by plants, though I know the In Bloom competition gives extra points for diversity.

“There are areas where grasses and green things will not be appreciated by everybody,” he said.

Bognor Regis Town Council had been spending a lot of money on bedding plants as part of its work to achieve top In Bloom status. But that expenditure was having to be scrutinised in the wake of spending cuts, said Cllr Brooks.

Oliver Handson, Arun’s greenspace contract and development manager, said the main areas of bedding plants in Bognor were the raised flowerbeds along the seafront.

Most of the bedding plants were in Marine Park Gardens just inside Aldwick.

“We have a representative on the Bognor In Bloom group,” he said. “We work very closely with the town council to deliver the objectives of the In Bloom competition.”

Mr Handson detailed how the work in maintaining open spaces around the town was being carried out in a more sustainable manner.

Marine Park Gardens plays a central role in having the only green roof in the spaces run by Arun.

“Green roofs are excellent in that they help to reduce water run off by up to 60 per cent and provide a great habitat for wildlife as well,” he said.

The gardens also had about 60 per cent fewer bedding plants than five years ago.

This had been achieved with planting schemes such as herbaceous borders and wildflower areas.

They saved money, he said, by needing to be watered less and on time weeding and planting and removing them, he added.

 

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