Bexhill seafront award branded ‘ridiculous’

Anthony Hamilton believes the plants on West Parade are unsuitable for the seafront environment
Anthony Hamilton believes the plants on West Parade are unsuitable for the seafront environment

A retired horticulturist has questioned the ‘top award’ given to the group behind the West Parade which he described as ‘ridiculous’.

Anthony Hamilton claims many of the newly-designed seafront garden plants are unsuitable.

He also believes the BALI award given to The Landscaping Group for the West Parade is dubious as they sponsored the prize and the criteria seems like routine gardening chores.

“‘Work included grass cutting, weeding, path maintenance, turf maintenance, play equipment inspection, pruning, mulching and hedge cutting’,” Mr Hamilton said.

“That’s routine stuff, why on Earth you’d have a national award for that is beyond me.

“Picking up a ‘top national award’ for hedge cutting and mowing the lawn? I don’t want to be cynical but it’s ridiculous.”

Rother District Council said the sponsorship played no part in the independent judges’ decision.

“The awards which the West Parade landscaping scheme has received are testament to the fact that it has helped as part of the Next Wave project to improve this part of the seafront, making it a more attractive place for residents and visitors to Bexhill to enjoy,” a council spokesman said.

“Although The Landscape Group sponsored the recent BALI National Landscape Awards, they played no part in the judging criteria and the decision was made by independent judges who had visited the seafront.”

Mr Hamilton has been campaigning for five years to get the right sort of plants on the seafront as he believes some of the current ones will die because of the salty environment.

He said the plants along Metropole Gardens, near the De La Warr Pavilion, are wrong.

Although some more appropriate ones have been planted, he believes they are still too far apart to survive.

He also pointed to some Euphorbia plants in the West Parade gardens which are poisonous if the sap gets in your eye.

The council spokesman said the poisonous plants would be removed as soon as possible.

“We are aware that some Euphorbia plants, which we have previously removed from the gardens, have grown back and we will be removing them as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.

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