Punnets of red and green plums.

Film and Food Evening

Saturday, 14 September, 2024, 6pm-9pm

Pevensey and Westham Forest Garden

With this evening event, we aim to provide you with an outdoor experience close to the bodies of water in and around our forest garden. Solar lighting, a silent movie and some wholesome yummies to enjoy whilst chatting about the importance of water and the preparations that can be made when surplus water is an issue.

The event and refreshments are free, thanks to a generous grant from the Blue Heart Project.

This event is weather dependent, so please check this page for updates.

Numbers for this event are limited, so please book your place by emailing pawforestgarden@gmail.com

Foraging and Storage Workshop

Saturday 27 July, 2pm-5pm

Pevensey and Westham Forest Garden

Our forest garden is an ideal place to do some foraging for healthy fruit, nuts, herbs, and perennial veggies. So come along to this interactive workshop in our forest garden, where we’ll be exploring edible flowers and fauna, both edible and medicinal. We’ll be looking, for example, at what can be found near waterways, such as that which runs alongside our forest garden. We’ll also look at various storage methods for things we forage, such as dehydrating, jamming, pickling and canning.

The workshop, refreshments, and materials are free, thanks to a generous grant from the Blue Heart Project.

The workshop is dependent upon the weather, so please check this page for updates.

Numbers for this workshop are limited, so please book your place by emailing pawforestgarden@gmail.com

Beavers and Rewilding

Since the early 1990s – in the face of opposition from government, landowners, and even some conservation professionals – Derek Gow has imported,  quarantined and assisted the reestablishment of beavers in waterways across the UK. Derek is a maverick communicating the urgent need to bring these charismatic creatures back to Britain.

After being hunted to the point of extinction for almost 400 years, beavers are now widely recognised as nature’s architects, and Derek passionately believes they are a key to ecological recovery. Their dams help us to filter water, stop run-off and reduce flooding! They also help build much needed habitat for a range of wetland wildlife.

Join us and hear an inspirational and often riotously funny first-hand account of the movement to rewild the British landscape with beavers – and how it became the most subversive nature conservation act of the modern era.

Tickets £5.


Derek Gow

Derek Gow was at the centre of the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver, the water vole and the white stork in England. He is currently working on a reintroduction project for the wildcat and a book on our lost wolves.

Derek Gow is a farmer, nature conservationist and the author of Bringing Back the Beaver (2020) and Birds, Beasts & Bedlam (2022). Born in Dundee in 1965, he left school when he was 17 and worked in agriculture for five years. Inspired by the writing of Gerald Durrell, he jumped at the chance to manage a European wildlife park in central Scotland in the late 1990s before moving on to develop two nature centres in England. He now lives with his children, Maysie and Kyle, on a 300-acre farm on the Devon/Cornwall border, which he is in the process of re-wilding. 

Suburban Forest Gardening Workshop

Saturday 6 April, 2024, 2pm-5pm

Pevensey & Westham Community Forest Garden

Do you want to know how to create a forest garden in your own garden? Then join us for a creative and interactive workshop in our own forest garden in the heart of beautiful and historic Pevensey village.

Learn how to apply forest gardening principles to techniques like mini-growing (window or patio), and self-maintaining & water-preserving techniques (such as paper mulch, aquaponics, or converting bottles to drip-feed water).

Workshop, refreshments, and all materials are free, aided by a generous grant from the Blue Heart Project.

This event is weather dependent as the workshop will take place mainly in the open air, so please check this page for updates before coming along.

Workshop attendee numbers are limited, so please book your place by emailing pawforestgarden@gmail.com

A Slice of History

Monday, 1 April, 10am-4pm

Motcombe Gardens, Eastbourne

The oldest tree in Motcombe Gardens is a gnarled old beech tree that’s been standing here since 1850! This coincides with the development of Eastbourne town by the Earl of Burlington. The tree and the town have been growing together.

Over two days we’re going exploring the history of Motcombe Gardens in relation to the growth of the tree and we’ll ‘cut’ a virtual slice through its trunk to explore the changing climate over time and consider how a tree records its history.

These activities are part of the Blue Heart Bourne River Project. Keep up to date with the latest project news on the Bourne River Project Blog.

Photo © Chris Reynolds (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Creative writing workshop for adults – FREE, book to reserve your place
10am – 12 noon

Explore a virtual slice through the beech tree and consider how the climate has changed over the last 170 years; find out what Indonesian volcanoes and Canadian forest fires have to do with the growth of the oldest tree in the gardens. What has the tree endured to stand here this long?
This free workshop is limited to 12 places.

Art workshop – all ages, FREE, drop-in
10am – 4pm

Come and join us for a playful exploration of the tree as old as Eastbourne. You can blow ink into vein patterns, turn watercolours into tree rings and add your own square to our world tree. This creative session is suitable for all ages, tell your friends! You’ll also be able to chat to an archaeologist and see inside the dovecote.

Creative writing workshop – FREE, drop-in
12 noon – 4pm

Exploring tree rings and creative word play, you can come and write your own ring poems (they don’t need to rhyme!) and add your thoughts to our tree ring map.

A Tree as Old as Eastbourne

Monday, 4 March, 10am - 4pm

Motcombe Gardens, Eastbourne

The oldest tree in Motcombe Gardens is a gnarled old beech tree that’s been standing here since 1850! This coincides with the development of Eastbourne town by the Earl of Burlington. The tree and the town have been growing together.

Over two days we’re exploring the history of Motcombe Gardens in relation to the growth of the tree and we’ll ‘cut’ a virtual slice through its trunk to explore the changing climate over time and consider how a tree records its history.

These activities are part of the Blue Heart Bourne River Project. Keep up to date with the latest project news on the Bourne River Project Blog.

Photo © Oast House Archive (cc-by-sa/2.0

Creative writing workshop for adults – FREE, book to reserve your place
10am – 12 noon

We’ll explore the changing town over the life of the tree, putting the beech tree at the centre of our Old Town experience. Come and be inspired by all things local history, natural history and archaeology.
This free workshop is limited to 12 places.

The archaeology of Motcombe Gardens – FREE, drop-in
10am – 4pm

Come and chat to one of the archaeologists who’s been excavating in Motcombe Gardens over the last decade. You’ll also be able to see inside the dovecote and chat about what was found there and what it was used for.

Creative writing workshop – FREE, drop-in
12 noon – 4pm

Taking inspiration from the archaeology and history of Motcombe Gardens and the Bourne Stream, and creating a wall of memories. Come and add your memories of Old Town, and your impression of its history, to the wall.

Sussex Biological Recorders’ Seminar

Saturday 10 February 2024, 10am-3pm

Oathall Community College, Appledore Gardens, Lindfield, West Sussex, RH16 2AQ

Come and have a chat with us at the Blue Heart stand where we’ll be introducing ourselves to the recording community, and gathering intel on our project area.

Each year, more than 250 recorders from Sussex and surrounding areas come together to enjoy a day of talks about biological recording from a local and national perspective. Attendees are from a broad range, from budding enthusiasts to seasoned recorders. It’s a great opportunity for people to learn about each other’s work, discuss arising issues within the biological recording community and get inspired by the amazing efforts of others.

Due to the popularity of this event you will need to book in advance and they cannot admit people on the door.

Image (c) A_Peach

Polegate Prepared

Saturday 23 September, 11.00am - 2.00pm

St George’s Church Hall, 110 Eastbourne Rd, Polegate BN26 5DF

Have you experienced flooding, or are you worried about it?

Join us to reflect on the flooding in Polegate earlier this year and explore how everyone can be better prepared in the future.

We’ll have activities for children, and free light refreshments.
Please come along and join the conversation!

Getting there

Bus stops (St George’s Church) are located on Eastbourne Road near the church and are served by routes 11X, 28 Regency, 48, 51X, 54, 54A, 98 and 125.

Free parking is also available behind the church.

Image © Copyright James Emmans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Eastbourne DigiFest

Friday 22nd September 2023

The Welcome Building, Eastbourne, BN21 4BP

The Blue Heart team have a stand at Eastbourne DigiFest on Friday 22nd September. Come along and find out how digital technologies are supporting our telemetry (sensors), modelling, mapping and engagement activities.

Imagine a River

Sunday 17 September, 10.00am - 11.30am

Meet outside Next, 81 Terminus Road, Eastbourne.

This is a short walk full of stories. We will starting off at the corner of The Beacon Centre in Eastbourne just outside next and will be walking just under 2km, following the course of the Bourne Stream to its’ supposed source at Motcombe Gardens. The walk will last about 1.5 hours and will take in stories of ancient sacrifice, sheep-washes, watermills, manor houses, pollution, flooding, aristocratic skulduggery and medieval marketing at its’ best!   The route is mostly flat and will be along pavements apart from a few brief diversions into Gildredge Park , St Mary’s Churchyard and Motcombe Gardens. There are steps at St Mary’s but we can avoid them if anyone has any mobility issues.   This walk is very much about talking whilst taking some gentle exercise.

Blue Heart has commissioned Jo Seaman to write and lead this walk which highlights the role of the Bourne in the history of the town which shares it’s name. Part of the Eastbourne Walking Festival 2023.

Tickets are free.