Highdown Gardens Completion

Works are now complete on Highdown Gardens! This was a Heritage Lottery funded project for Worthing Borough Council, where we provided Project Management services from our team in Brighton.

Highdown Gardens sits on the South Downs, 150ft above sea level, between the West Sussex settlements of Angmering and Goring below.  Overlooking the sea, the Gardens contain a collection of rare plants and trees, collectively deemed a National Collection.

Created from a chalk quarry where there was little soil and very unfavourable conditions for plant growth, the Chalk Garden at Highdown is the achievement of Sir Frederick Stern (1884 – 1967) and his wife, who purchased the 8.52 acres (3.45 ha) in 1909 and worked for 50 years to prove that plants would grow on chalk.

The Gardens were created during a period when many expeditions were sponsored to China and the Himalayas to collect rare and beautiful plants. Many of the original plants from the early collections can still be seen in the Gardens today, particularly plants collected by Reginald Farrer and Ernest Henry Wilson.

Highdown Gardens is a unique sizeable garden on solid chalk and remains one of, if not the, foremost Chalk Gardens in the world.

Building works include improved access, new paths, sensory garden, propagation greenhouses and conversion of the gardener’s bungalow into a visitor centre.

The site will be re-opening in Spring 2021 after all new planting has completed.

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