Public art inspired by shipbuilding will create a local wildlife haven in Portslade.
This month local designers Millimetre will begin installing the structure on Wharf Road embankment, a triangular shaped piece of land next to the road at the entrance to Shoreham Port and Hove Lagoon.
Inspiration for the project came from a technique known as ‘spline’ which comes from the shipbuilding industry. It is where long thin strips of wood or metal are bent and held in place under stress creating smooth, curving shapes. In shipbuilding it minimises the vessel’s drag in the water.
Designer and Project Manager Adam Harris said: “The brief to environmentally and artistically enhance the space gave us the opportunity to combine a sculptural structure with an ecological underpinning. The piece will evolve as the plants establish and gradually envelope the structure creating a green wall that will help absorb carbon emitted by the stream of passing traffic.”
A wildlife haven
The structure will be in place this month. Year 6 pupils from St Peter’s Community Primary School will join other members of the local community to plant flowers and grasses in the spring.
They will be planting climbers to cover the structure and surrounding it with wildflowers and herbs, native plants and grasses. It will add to the chalk butterfly bank (established in 2014), increase wildlife habitat in the area and help to increase green corridors in the Shoreham Harbour area.
A panel of local representatives, including from Shoreham Port and Friends of Hove Lagoon, chose the design for the £38,000 project which is funded by local planning contributions.
Deputy leader Councillor Gill Mitchell and chair of the city’s environment committee, said: “Our planning, parks and culture teams have helped bring this project to fruition. It will provide a nectar bank for butterflies and support a range of insects and native plants as well as creating an attractive feature in the environment.”
We will begin work soon on developing a public arts strategy for the city.