Bringing Nature Home – Bexhill

10 May 2022


Bexhill is one of the most interesting seaside towns occupying part of the coast between Hastings and Eastbourne. Rother District Council’s initiative to improve the connection between the town centre and the historic seafront promenade sought to capture the momentum generated by the restoration of the Modernist De La Warr Pavilion.

Our landscape team led the masterplan for the site informed by research into how people move between promenade and town. This included steering a multi-disciplinary team. Stanton Williams redesigned the local rowing club, Alan Baxter Associates who collaborated with our in-house conservation specialist to introduce a new cafe and retail uses to a historic colonnade and Duggan Morris designed bespoke shelters to be located in strategic positions along the 700m linear site.

To meet the brief and address issues raised in the consultation, connections to and through the extensive lawns around the De La Warr Pavilion were introduced, and to increase dwell time, spacious terraces were established by constructing low walls with seating and new planting. The planting strategy was designed with horticulturalist Noel Kingsbury, incorporating plants that could withstand the harsh coastal climate, selected for their ability to self-seed, reducing the need for maintenance year on year.

Next Wave Bexhill had a royal opening by the Duke and Duchess of Wessex in July 2012, with the number of visitors increasing dramatically since then. This landscape-led regeneration has been described as a landscape design that has turned an underused space into an active and attractive place that is a destination on the seafront.