Grounds maintenance specialist and Royal Warrant holder Burleys is celebrating the first formal year of a network it helped set up to protect and enhance green spaces along the South coast.
And the partnership has been so successful Burleys is looking to replicate similar community initiatives in other areas of the UK in which it operates.
The Greenhavens Network, which consists of 92 community green space groups passionate about looking after their local environment between Telscombe and Seaford, held its first AGM this month, with Burleys MD Tony Cammiss among those attending.
Burleys community liaison officer Karen Rigby-Faux played a vital role in ensuring that the embryonic group of interested parties with virtually no funding got off the ground.
Karen adopted the network as part of her CLO role and mapped all the members across the Greenhavens in Telscombe, Saltdean, Peacehaven, Newhaven and Seaford. She created a database, a closed facebook group and an information leaflet, set up a website in tandem with a developer, organised a committee, wrote the constitution and sourced funding.
While Karen moulded the group in its infancy she aims to help it become more self-sufficient in the future, by finding enough income to fund a dedicated member of staff to keep it going.
“To be supporting 92 community groups who are all interested in working along this stretch of the coast in such a short space of time is incredible,” she said.
Tony Cammiss added: “We are so proud of what we believe is a pioneering model which demonstrates that it is perfectly possible for the private sector to work with the public and voluntary sectors in partnership to improve our green spaces.
“We are passionate about donating our time, vision and energy to the communities in which we work in order to improve the environment and wildlife habitats and make the areas pleasant places in which to live – places which are good for the soul as well. This is what we have achieved here on the south coast thanks in large part to the passion and drive of our whirlwind community liaison officer Karen Rigby Faux.”
Burleys, which manages the grounds maintenance contract for Lewes District Council, is committed to bringing life to green spaces and was more than happy to donate Karen’s time and expertise to develop what was just an idea for a partnership between groups passionate about protecting the coast’s green spaces, into an ambitious, innovative vibrant umbrella community group.
The network is exploring the concept of creating bee roads and green corridors which will link green spaces to support wildlife and provide attractive areas for residents to enjoy.
Network members, who describe themselves as green ambassadors, are encouraging residents to get involved by taking part in activities such as dog walking, food growing, cycling, conservation task days and gardening.
A short piece of drone footage shows part of the area covered by the Greenhavens Network – complete with some of the Burleys team and volunteers celebrating their first year in existence.
• Burleys MD Tony Cammiss is among the attendees of the first AGM to be held by the Greenhavens Network on the south coast.