An ambitious three year regeneration of Westgate’s green spaces is due to take place.
Westgate on Sea Town Council is planning the work which will co-ordinated by Town Clerk Gill Gray and Cllr Robert Micallef and will see all green spaces in the town updated or improved.
Plans cover the replanting of Westgate on Sea Train station with wildflowers and the addition of new planters, both war memorials will have redeveloped gardens and contemplation spaces, Lymington Road Recreational Ground will have the addition of new trees and planting, Sea Road will be given a fresh lease of life creating more attractive sheltered spaces with trees and plants, Canterbury Road central reservations will be planted to create mini meadows and a sensory garden will be built at the community centre.
The biggest project will be the restoration of Adrian Square and Ethelbert Square with the guidance of Dr Dawn Crouch and Westgate-on- Sea Heritage Centre. The aim is to bring the sites back to how they were when first constructed in the 1800s.
This year Westgate on Sea will attempt to gain eight ‘In Your Neighbourhood’ awards, sponsored by South & South East In Bloom, and in 2020 will enter the South & South East In Bloom competition.
In December Cllr Robert Micallef and resident Denise Packer started the project by planting more than 1,250 Spring flowering bulbs in Lymington Rec and the planters within the town centre.
The first official planting will take place in the week beginning April 1, with the intention being to plant 400 trees and bushes.
The bulk of the project will be completed using donations of plants, financial grants/donations and volunteers.
Donations so far:
TCV & OVO Energy have donated 315 trees and 100 hedgerow bushes to be delivered at the end of March.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has donated 7kg in Poppy and wildflower seeds.
Woodland Trust has donated another 300 trees to be delivered in November.
B&Q, Homebase and Thompson Morgan donated between them 1,250 spring flowering bulbs.
To get involved pick up a project pack from the Town Council offices or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the Westgate in Bloom presentation.
Westgate railway station
With 175,000 people per year using Westgate on Sea Station this is the first view of the town.
With support of Southeastern and Network Rail, who are investing in redevelopment of the station, improvements will include new planters, cctv, enhanced lighting, shelters, updated information screens and community notice boards.
Existing beds will be cleared ready for planting. These will be turned into wildflower beds to bring back wildlife and areas encouraging education about the environment and nature.
Two memorials in the town need focus.
The first being the new memorial at Lymington Road that currently has no planting, shelter or seating areas.
The second is at Sea Road and has fallen into disrepair and is too small an area for modern times.
The aim is to add additional seating, trees providing shelter and planting sympathetic to the areas.
Sea Road is the biggest space to transform with challenges being that it is open to the sea front.
The plan here is to make this a place to enjoy as an alternative to being on the sandy beach.
By improving the grassed areas to include mores benches, trees, bushes and planting the area will become an ideal spot for picnics and spending time much like they did in the 1800s.
This open space is something for everyone to enjoy but bears very little characteristics, currently used as a short cut to the houses beyond and recreation ground for the local school it does have a welcoming ‘stay and enjoy me’ feel.
Initial plans are to add seating, more trees to create natural shade for picnics and sound proofing for the houses surrounding and defined planting areas to draw more of the local wildlife into the area.
With a town population that includes 31% of it’s residents being over 65 and 17% that have disabilities, including problems with sight, hearing and mobility there needs to be open spaces to cater for those needs.
The plan is to create around about the community centre a sensory garden. This area will include raised beds, easy to use paths with handrails, places to sit in the shade and flowers/plants focused on colour and smell.
There are two original squares in the town, Adrian Square and Ethelbert Square. The squares would have been the original gardens for the residents of the surrounding houses to relax in.
In recent years these have become public gardens and bear no resemblance to their original look and feel.
With the help of Dr Dawn Crouch and the Westgate-on-Sea Heritage Centre, the aim is to restore these back to their original look and feel. Allowing them to be enjoyed by a new generation while at the same time being an attraction for tourists.
This high traffic road is one of the main roads into Westgate on Sea. Currently the central reservations are pure grass with some free hanging planters.
Canterbury Road is due to be resurfaced in April/May 2019.
Taking advantage of this, the plan is to turn the central reservations from grass to plants, creating a mini wildlife meadow in the whole of this area.
The town council wants to encourage all residents of Westgate on Sea to take part in the Westgate in Bloom initiative by planting where they live in any manner they can.
This can include hanging baskets, window planters, front gardens, patios, decks and garden planters.
They can also adopt a metre within any of the planned projects, to maintain and upkeep.