South Downs National Park gives ‘eye catching’ mural to Brighton venue

An ‘eye catching’ artwork has been installed at a community centre in Brighton to help inspire the public to get involved with helping the environment.

Thursday, 20th February 2020, 3:53 pm
From left, Laura Warren, Graham Allen, Sarah Griffiths, Tanya Saunders, Keith Turner, and guide dog Evie with the mural

South Downs National Park Authority has given a mural of chalk grasslands created by the community to The Manor Gym.

It is in pride of place in the foyer of the Manor Road facility and was created by hundreds of people from Whitehawk and surrounding areas during last summer’s Wild Chalk event at East Brighton Park, which was organised by the South Downs National Park Authority and Brighton and Hove City Council.

Events and engagement officer for the South Downs National Park Laura Warren said: “We’re really pleased to hand over this eye-catching artwork to the community of Whitehawk.

“Chalk grasslands really are a national gem, sometimes likened to being ‘Europe’s rainforest’ as you can find up to 40 different species in a square metre.

“We hope this artwork inspires people of all ages to find out more about chalk grassland and what we can all do to help protect it for future generations.”

Since the World War Two, the UK is said to have lost around 80 per cent of grasslands and, in the South Downs, they cover just four per cent of the National Park’s area.

The South Downs National Park Authority says it is working with a range of partners to protect what remains and reverse the decline.

Centre manager and director of the charity that runs The Manor Gym Tanya Saunders said: “We all really enjoyed the Wild Chalk event last year and the colouring wall was certainly a highlight for a lot of people.

“We like how the whole community of Whitehawk came together to create this beautiful artwork.

“It’s great that it’s now part of our welcome area. We hope to use the wall to promote environment-related activities in and around Whitehawk.

“It’s just amazing having the South Downs National Park on our doorstep. We have the South Downs to the left and the sea to the right, so we all feel very lucky to have this nature around us.”

The Manor Gym is run by a group of residents who have been providing sports and other leisure activities to the community since 2005.

Wild Chalk will take place this year on July 19 at East Brighton Park with a line-up of activities.