The Ore Valley project was set up by, and for, the local community. The current aim is to enable the community to use this open space for different events throughout this year, and involve as many people as possible in order to use the land in a way that benefits the community. Long term, this may involve affordable, sustainable housing and employment opportunities for local people. Events planned, or already carried out, include wildlife walks, green gym tasks, paintballing, rubbish clearing and recycling, BBQs and music, art installations, outdoor films and projections, woodwork and woodland craft lessons.
To register your interest or support and to keep up to date with events, please like and follow our Facebook page here; Ore Valley DIY Regen
Site activities in the Ore Valley (April 2017)
HOT OFF THE PRESS.
This is our first press release about our big event on April 8th:
For details of this event and to register your interest follow this link:
We are also facilitating and supporting the FUN with Tressell day on April 1st;
General opening hours for April:
Monday – 10 to 4pm
Wednesday – 2 to 4pm
Friday – 12 to 4pm
Saturday – 10 to 4pm
We are dependent on our hard-working volunteers, and need at least two people at the site to open it, so these times can vary, and are weather dependent, and will change if there are specific events planned on the same date.
Site activities in the Ore Valley (March 2017)
The entrance to the Ore Valley power station site is via Firtree Rd, Hastings, TN34 3TR. All are welcome, but be aware that there are hazards, and children and pets will need to be under your supervision. The kettle is always on.
Saturday 18th March sees our big push for recycling, re-using and clearing rubbish out of the old power station site in the valley with our Big Tidy Up supported by Hastings Borough Council. For more details visit this link: Big Tidy Up Someone will be on the site from 10 until 2 at least.
Wednesday 22nd March – General clearing or maintenance duties. Woodworking and or other practical trade opportunities. We will also be clearing for the Hastings Greenway and creating stakes from the wood we cut down to use for other events. Someone will be on the site from 2 until 4 at least – weather dependent though.
Saturday 25th March – General clearing or maintenance duties. Woodworking and or other practical trade opportunities. We will also be clearing for the Hastings Greenway and creating stakes from the wood we cut down to use for other events. Someone will be on the site from 10 until 2 at least – weather dependent though..
Monday 27th March – we are pleased to announce that we have a Waterweek event visiting us. Waterweek article from Hastings Online Times. ‘Pete the Pond’ will share his expertise on a visit to the two ponds on the old power station site. Times are fluid, as the group will be coming here after seeing the ponds in Alexandra Park, but we expect the Waterweek people to be with us between 2 and 3pm.
Wednesday 29th March – General clearing or maintenance duties. Woodworking and or other practical trade opportunities. We will also be clearing for the Hastings Greenway and creating stakes from the wood we cut down to use for other events. Someone will be on the site from 2 until 4 at least – weather dependent though.
Site activities in the Ore Valley (February 2017)
As usual, we are open on Saturday 25th February from 10 until 2. A few members of the BUD (Bottom Up Development) team will be around to help with questions or to keep you occupied with general tasks on the site if you wish to help out. We have LOTS of plans over the next few months, and we welcome anyone who wants to join in with general clearing or maintenance duties, or anyone who has new ideas for events at the site. All are welcome, but be aware that there are hazards, and children and pets will need to be under your supervision. We have some very exciting events planned for April, and several volunteer opportunities as a result. The entrance to the Ore Valley power station site is via Firtree Rd, Hastings, TN34 3TR
Changing the story
Ore has a history of being a neglected neighbourhood. It had a brief boom time from 1815–1830 mainly from building labour creating a new visitor destination. Once the road to St. Leonards opened up, Ore Valley was quickly forgotten. It became the site for a large workhouse and all kinds of industrial factories including a coal-fired power station. Then, just as the valley sides were filled with council housing, the employment disappeared and the community became conveniently easy for Hastings to ignore.
This post-industrial isolation partly explains the current deprivation figures. Ore Valley is not only the poorest part of Hastings, but in the poorest 1% of areas in England with local statistics for health, employment, skills and poverty affecting children particularly unacceptable.
There are two massive ex-industrial sites of completely unused space sitting derelict at the heart of the valley, both without public access or particularly diverse wildlife. There have been lots of promises from various agencies over the years but little has changed. The old power station could be the site that makes all the difference, right at the heart of a community that needs the chance, and can most benefit from the outcome.
What can happen —
Something big, for change… built from below by local residents themselves.
There are new ideas from local people in other places about how neighbourhoods can ‘self renovate’ from the bottom up. This approach, known as the Organisation Workshop (OW) could work well here.
The Organisation Workshop is a radical approach first developed in Brazil. It has been used all over the world to help the most ‘excluded’ people to change their environment and their lives. A great example, the only time it has ever been tried in the UK, is Marsh Farm Outreach in Luton. In the Ore Valley we would like to promote an OW scheme which would build a practice house and lay a key section of the ‘Greenway’ route. The 12-week OW would lead directly into a much larger project using all the skills and organisation to build a whole new settlement of up to 60 community ‘self build’ houses and other facilities.
The theory is simple!
A large group of people (40 or 100 or even more) are given the land and the ‘means of production’ (equipment, material, access to expertise). The only thing missing is organisation which they must create themselves. As they do so, they not only transform the land, creating assets for their own community, but the individuals themselves are positively changed as they grow friendships, networks and enterprises.
The Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust is supporting this community opportunity that could be the new ‘Power House’ of the Ore Valley.