Exploring my city’s green spaces—adding them and the journey it takes to reach them to the map I am carrying in my mind. These sometimes-mysterious locations provoke curiosity and love. All of these places are important for people and nature to thrive. I am keeping a record of the places I visit.






The change in Brighton & Hove City Council’s mowing regime has brought some good results. There’s a report about it on the Council’s website. The project, funded by Natural England, is a pilot scheme conducted at 25 sites around the city—leaving verges unmown between April/May and August/September during the main botanical flowering season.

The verges included in the project were identified as prime locations for increasing biodiversity and connectivity—becoming the corridors for nature that link up open spaces, parks and gardens across the city.

To me, the verges managed for wildlife—where the grass is long and the wild flowers grow—look lovely, uplifting even. I know it hasn’t been universally popular. Maybe the verges can look uncared-for or messy. Maybe they need to look more ‘managed’. It’s been quite surprising seeing so many dandelions—their fierce yellow seems to be everywhere.

I’m going to visit more of the verges included in the Wilder Verges Project as the growing season goes on. Spread out across the city, they seem varied in their appearance. Perhaps the decision to let plants grow will become easier for more of the city’s residents and businesses.



Set up in 2007, Fork and Dig it pass on their knowledge freely. In 2011 they started Brighton’s first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), producing a weekly share of the crop for subscribers. This has evolved into Brighton CSA – Fork and Dig it CIC.

A ‘Community Food Growing Project committed to Organic Principles’, Fork and Dig it offer a traineeship entitled ‘Principles and Practices of Organic Food Production’; provide education days, team building events and much more.

The space feels alive—not just with the mixture of crops and pollinators, but with conversation and the sharing of knowledge.

Fridays are open to volunteers, but an email requesting to come along is needed. The work can be hard. One of the trainees said that he liked to watch the horses in the adjoining meadow—sometimes they seemed to gallop for the pleasure of being fast. Another said it was good to be around like-minded people. It had rained in the morning, and inside the polytunnels it was warm. Soup, made in the on-site kitchen shed, was shared out during the lunch break.



During the isolation of 2020’s pandemic lockdown, Helena cultivated a beautiful green space on the steps down to her front door. She told me it meant everything to her during that time—a place that she could sit and feel that she might be ‘anywhere’. This green space brought a sense of freedom.

The memorial garden is one of the green spaces in the care of St Nicholas Church. Amanda, the church’s green spaces coordinator, supports the volunteer gardeners via The Friends of St Nicholas Church—so that they are properly constituted. The gardeners are not usually church goers but generally live nearby. A grant has recently been awarded by the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

The space’s status as a memorial garden used to mean no dogs were allowed inside—in recent years the council changed the signage so that dogs were permitted. Amanda feels this means the garden is busier, and so safer overall.

During the winter St Nicholas’ doors were kept open as much as possible. It’s warmer inside and it was hoped that this might help alleviate some of the misery around the cost-of-living crisis. People did come in.

Amanda wants feet inside the Church and feet in the grounds—to keep the spaces alive and to keep them going.


I went to a climate cafe at ONCA—an arts charity using creative responses to discuss social and environmental justice issues. Climate Cafes are spaces intended to support attendees in working through feelings about the climate crisis. The group made a mandala and drank tea.

The mandala included beautiful things and painful things. Discussion roved between profound sadness and ferocious hope