Wild Flower project in Stanmer Park
The Story of Wild Flowers Stanmer Park
Green Man of Sussex
John Gapper aka Green Man of Sussex has been growing wild flowers for about 50 years. For some time he supported volunteers to do this in one of the green houses in Stanmer Nursery.
Input from Plumpton College
In 2018 the nursery closed, Plumpton College moved in to refurbish it to turn it into a garden centre and to support / teach horticultural students. Sadly, although Plumpton were very supportive of our project they didn’t have room to accommodate it.
Funding from the Sustainable Communities Fund
During 2019 the volunteers who had been working with John, formed a group and with the help of Sally Macleod ( ranger for BHCC ) formed a charity, created a web site and obtained £1,500 funding from SDNP Sustainable Communities fund with match funding from BHCC. This was enough to buy a poly tunnel, have it erected and to put a sign outside. BHCC also gave permission for a site within Stanmer Park with space either side to harden off plants and the Wild Flower Conservation Society, Brighton and Beyond was formed.
Growing for Brighton’s Butterfly Banks
The poly tunnel gives us shelter to nurture small plug plants grown from locally sourced seed. When ready, these are planted out in various sites around Brighton, including the many butterfly banks. Many of the plants grown are suitable for downland environments, however we do have an increasing number of plants for other habitats.
Supporting Wildlife through Wildflower Repopulation in Sussex
Our intention is to enhance the wild flower population which has become so depleted (by 89%) since WW2 and to provide food source for caterpillars and butterflies within Sussex which in turn will support wild life such as birds, bats and mammals.
The Industrious John Gapper in The Pandemic
The project was just about ready to start when the first lock down happened in March ‘20 and we couldn’t work in our new poly tunnel. Some of us potted on plants at home. John Gapper produced an amazing amount of plants in his back garden. As the lock down eased we moved forward a little, began to advertise and held a plant sale.
Plants For Sale and Looking for Volunteers
Now as the third lockdown eases in May ‘21 we’re beginning to work with a limited number of volunteers in the poly tunnel to propogate plants. We have plants for sale and orders are coming in from various groups.
Where Can I Find Out More?
In the mean time please visit our website and /or our Face Book page.
Lindy Brook Tweed (on behalf of WFCSbb)
Links added by Romi Shadler Reingold