All residents are invited to take part and the meet-up will take place at the Happy Valley Recreation Ground on Falmer Road at 10.00 am. The event finishes at 3.00 pm when Happy Valley will also be the location for free food and refreshments served. The work will entail:
- Picking up litter
- Cleaning up dog mess
- Taking rubbish to the tip
- Checking to see if the elderly or more vulnerable may need assistance with clearing up waste
Wooding-Clean has been organised by local resident David Wilson of Willow Close. He sees the event as having two key benefits. Firstly, it will improve the appearance of the village, but also, it will bring local people together, boosting communication between neighbours and forging friendships. With local businesses sponsoring the event, posters going up in most shop windows and on notice boards in other businesses, organisations, and schools throughout the village, a significant social media presence, and thousands of hand-delivered leaflets, the event is already the buzz of the village!
David had noted that many areas of the village were looking rundown and shabby, with litter, broken glass and dog mess spoiling residential streets and green spaces. Some homes also had rubbish piled outside but residents told him they were unable to afford the cost of having this collected by waste disposal businesses. “Unless you have a car, you can’t get to the tip in Wilson Avenue. Typically, a private company will charge around £80 to move what could fit into a large car boot – this is often unaffordable.”
David said many people are willing to help but simply needed to be asked. “We are asking residents to do as little or as much as they can. Whether it is picking up a discarded sweet wrapper or helping someone clear out some rubbish that they can’t manage on their own, it all helps.”
Woodingdean is a sizeable community which continues to expand. “There are around 10,000 people here and it’s a wonderful place to live,” says David.
A dozen residents have already attended a special training session with Brighton & Hove City Council’s Tidy Up Team, led by Park Ranger, Garry Meyer. They’ll now be able to lead groups of volunteers in different areas around the village on the day.
David says he hopes Wooding-Clean will help bring residents together and also to bring more of a sense of community. “Once you move to Woodingdean, everyone loves it – but too often, with the pressures such as work or bringing up families for example, there is not enough time to focus on improving where we live. So, people tend to get on with the day to day stuff and this is in part, why Woodingdean is looking a bit neglected.”
He points to the fact that nearby Rottingdean, for example, has a thriving pub scene and its ‘in bloom’ floral displays, while Saltdean, which is up the road, has its newly restored Lido. “We may not have as many obvious attractions, but we’re surrounded by the beautiful downs, glorious sea views and it’s also a place where people try and look out for each other.”
He says getting people out in the fresh air and talking to each other should have many positive effects. “The one thing we’ll all have in common is that we care about Woodingdean. We want to make it better, and we will.”