Local residents at Ormonde Way, Shoreham have planted up 5 areas of wildflowers along the grass verge bordering Brighton Road and Ormonde Way. Now in their 2nd year, the beds are establishing well and have a good mixture of poppies, cornflowers and oxeye daisies among other wildflowers!
What initially was an attempt by local residents to discourage parking on the verges, has now flourished into a little patch of heaven for pollinators and now provides visual interest for residents.
A good time to visit is during the summer when the flowers are in full flow, accessibility is good as it is located in a residential area with paved walkways.
Residents Richard and Merry from Downlands Avenue, Worthing, have dedicated two sites to supporting nature in their local community.
“Rosedene” is a 30m2 front garden at 39 Downlands Avenue, consciously planted with Vipers Bugloss, with other wildflowers emerging from the natural seed bank present in the ground. Ground is concrete overlaid with 100mm shingle, this provides a very dry, well draining, low in nutrient substrate perfect for established wildflowers favouring drier conditions . Plants are cut down only when seeds have dropped and replenished the seed bank in the ground. Accessibility wise, the garden is open to the pavement with no steps, so viewing this site is possible anytime during daylight hours. There is a seat available for visitors who need to sit down. The Vipers Bugloss flowers from May to August. Richard and Merry have installed a pond to catch rainwater from gutters via a water butt to support the water catchment of the garden. A public noticeboard is present which is used as a vehicle for posting information about nature.
“Forest of Rosedene” is a substantial plot of around 100m2 comprising of a mini forest area richly planted with various seedlings and seeds, including Elm Trees, Apple Trees and Cow Parsley. There is a good mixture of plants flowering at different times of the year and visitors are able to see various species of bees, moths and butterflies. Richard and Mary act as stewards of this precious piece of land for the benefit of wildlife. Future plans for the site include finalising a management plan and turning the forest into a trust.
This is a closed site and so visits are strictly by arrangement only. Please contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The community wildflower patch at West Worthing Station is a relatively new area of planting totalling around 1M2 . It has been adopted by the Friends of West Worthing Station , with support from South East Communities Rail Partnership. The friends group have recently sown a seed mixture from the Friends of The Earth, plus an assortment of cornflowers and poppies. The group are hoping for a good display of wildflowers soon and are looking forward to develop the patch in the future. The volunteer group is an approved station partner, supported by the Southeast Communities Rail Partnership. Watch this space for more updates in the future!
The community flower patch can be viewed from a public access ramp to the south east side of the main entrance.
Worthing Climate Action Network (WCAN) in collaboration with XR Worthing began a ‘Wilding Worthing’ petition to mark No Mow May in Spring last year, asking Adur & Worthing Councils and West Sussex County Council to stop mowing road verges so often and instead allow the wildflowers and grasses to grow. When the petition reached 1000 signatures last June it was presented to Worthing Council where it was accepted. Negotiations began with West Sussex Highways with the first trial Community Road Verge in Worthing being established on Goring Road.
The site is comprised of several grassy verges along Goring Road between the Goring Shops and Shaftesbury Avenue, pedestrian accessibility is good due to the adjacent pavement. No seed has been sown at this site as it is hoped that the natural seedbank present in the soil will have the chance to establish with the reduced cutting regime. Already species such as Common Mallow, Birds Foot Trefoil, Ribwort Plantain and Daisies can be seen flourishing.
There will be only one cut a year to be undertaken in September. Volunteers will take away the grass cuttings in order to help keep the ground infertile, providing the best conditions for the wildflowers to thrive. Other verges are now being planned across the area.
Lancing Railway Station on Sompting Road and South Street, is home to two areas of planting maintained by the community group Keep Lancing Lovely. Established in 2014, Keep Lancing Lovely have 100+ volunteers from the local community engaging in many different projects to improve the appearance and environment of their local areas. In 2017 they were able to plant up two areas (totalling approximately 10M2) at the north side of the station with a selection of wildflowers, herbs and green manure plants like Phacelia. This has provided both habitat and forage plants for many different species of butterflies, bees and other insects. The rather rare Long Tailed Blue butterfly has been spotted in recent years. Area One is a brick built deep bed and Area Two is a fenced in area near the level crossing at the station.
The areas are easily accessed by the public as the beds are situated on the outside boundary of the station grounds. There is a colourful display all year so there should be something to see most seasons.
Breathing Spaces operate a range of community activities and guided wildflower walks at Dankton Barnyard, Dankton Lane in Sompting. Here they have access to a small pre-established wildflower meadow rich in Knapweed, Wild Carrot, Golden rod, Yarrow, Scabious, St John’s Wort, Teasel, Corn Marigold, Toadflax, Hedge Parsley, Hogweed, Eupatorium and many more! The flowers are left to reseed and are not cut back so they are left for the benefit of wildlife.
At Dankton Lane, Breathing Spaces have permission to pick the wildflowers to add to their community supported bouquet scheme. As part of the management of the site they have been clearing invasive weeds such as brambles, thistles, nettles and hogweed, to make way for easier access and to allow reseeding with collected seed from the site.
Visits to the barnyard is by appointment only as the gate is locked, but there are plans to arrange wildflower walks there in the summer. It is also possible to view the site over the gate, which is on a footpath accessible from Herbert road Sompting . Please contact Breathing Spaces for more details Home (breathingspaces.co)
Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden (CAWG) is located on Cortis Avenue, off of Carnegie Road in Broadwater. It comprises an area approximately the size of a football pitch and is divided into a number of wildlife habitats, including a wildflower meadow (annual and perennial meadow), a herb garden, flowering hedgerows, heritage apple trees, a shady wildflower border, 2 ponds, soft fruit and edible hedgerows for birds, and a compost area. The site was adopted in 2011 for use as a wildlife garden and is currently held on license from Worthing Homes.
Prior to its transformation into a refuge for wildlife, the site was a disused playing field prone to fly tipping. Since 2011, volunteers have undertaken extensive work initially to remove 20 skips of rubbish and to plant up trees and hedgerows. In 2016 an area of rough grass was cleared to create a flower meadow, which has to be weeded annually to remove couch grass, bindweed and plantain. In 2019 a beehive was added to the site, managed by volunteers. A composting toilet was installed in 2019/20, completed just before lockdown. Additional hedgerow with butterfly food plants has also been put in recently by volunteers.
The site is locked to protect from fly-tipping and vandalism. Under normal circumstances the site is open every Wednesday morning 10am – 12.30pm. Visitors are always welcome. The garden is open for occasional visits by appointment at other times. An annual Open Day (taking place on a Saturday) is held in the summer.
Currently due to Covid restrictions the garden is not open to the public at present, and volunteers are attending within government rules to undertake limited maintenance.
The site is flat with grass paths although some paths are uneven. There are no hard surface paths beyond the entrance drive. There is disability access to a composting toilet. Visually impaired visitors would need to be accompanied. Some paths are suitable for all-terrain wheelchairs.
There is something flowering all year round. The main meadow flowers from May to October and the mix of species varies year by year as volunteers rely on a mixture of self-seeding and annual sowing to keep the meadow vibrant for wildlife.
The site is particularly rich in butterflies and cinnabar moths. Taking advantage of the rich wildlife in the garden, volunteers run supervised bug hunts and pond dipping at the Open Day. Visits by parents and children on Wednesday mornings are encouraged, especially in the holidays. The garden is often used by parents home schooling their children, and by local playgroups and childminders.
The site is dependent on water capture to keep the pond filled and to water vulnerable plants. Despite doubling water storage, for the last 3 years the garden has run out of water by July, and some of the plants and flowers suffer due to water stress.
When the garden reopens to the public, the regular volunteer session is Wednesday morning. There are currently 8 regular volunteers – who are happy to welcome one or two others. Due to the nature of the site there are a limited range of tasks to be completed each week.
Heene Cemetery is located on Manor Road, Worthing. Within the now closed cemetery (burials no longer occur there) there is an extensive wildflower meadow that is managed by the Friends of Heene Cemetery group. A team of volunteers carry out maintenance of the land by removing invasive species and replacing them with suitable native species, such as Common Bird’s-foot- trefoil, Meadow Crane’s-bill, Primrose, Wild Teasel and Yarrow. A comprehensive list, supplied by the Friends of Heene Cemetery can be found here: Heene Cemetery Flowering Plants List
Access to the site is normally restricted to the public, however voluntary work is carried out on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons between 2pm-4pm during which members of the public are allowed to enter. New volunteers are welcome to visit on these working days and learn what the group does and where help is needed. Throughout the year volunteers run 4 open days and several tours. Visits by arrangement can be organised with the Friends of Heene Cemetery.
Mats are available to place on the paths suitable for wheelchair and impaired access.
The last year has been challenging, but Friends of Heene Cemetery have managed to keep the basic maintenance of the grounds under control with dedicated volunteers attending in pairs throughout lockdown by working in isolation and adhering to social distancing rules.
Even with the restrictions that have continually been changing this year, as a team they have managed to maintain, record, research and begin many different projects:
A new website was launched in July 2020 where the group celebrated 5 years of working together with a picnic.
Green Flag Award judging by Keith Percival
Two publications in the local paper, Worthing Herald.
A visit by Kate Greening WBC Cemetery’s manager and Harriet from Caring for God’s Acre
Rescued slow worms and lizards were introduced
Survey of mosses etc by Sue Rubenstein from Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre
Survey of Fungi by Nick Aplin from Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre
Introduction to identifying headstone materials by West Sussex Geological Society
The best time to see the wildflowers is from February to October.
The St. Aubyns Garden is formed of a 30m2 wildflower verge at the corner of St. Aubyns Crescent and St. Aubyns Road, Fishersgate. It is maintained by the Eastbrook Community Gardeners, a small team of residents improving the appearance of their local spaces.
The garden was sown with wildflower seed in May 2020, however after a challenging year they plan to trial wildflower turf in Spring 2021 and hope to involve local children in maintaining and interacting with the garden when possible.
This site is easily accessible as it is in a residential area.
Breathing Spaces Community Flower Farm is located at the Maybridge Keystone Centre in Worthing. It is run by Breathing Spaces CIC, a garden therapy and design company that provides the community with the opportunity to connect with nature and explore the healing benefits of gardening and flowers. In their small urban flower farm they have made space for growing wildflowers for the benefit of people and pollinators.
Breathing Spaces have started up a dedicated patch of around 4m2 and have already established wildflowers in other growing areas around fruit trees and in long grass areas. Using donated wildflower plants and collected seed, they hope to create a vibrant wildflower habitat. The long grass is cut down at the end of the season and cleared away in the traditional hay cut method. Examples of species include Campion ‘ragged robin’, Red Valerian, Dock, Sorrel, Cowslips, Yarrow, Tansy, Knapweed, Cornflower and Wild carrot.
The site is open during Maybridge Keystone Centre opening hours, the hours can vary so it’s best to check first before visiting. It is not wheelchair accessible at present. The site is accessed by walking across part of the playing field. The best time to see the wildflowers is around Early Summer.
There are plans to expand the wildflower strip along the back of the playing field.
Work experience for students with extra support needs and young unaccompanied asylum seekers can be arranged with Breathing Spaces and volunteers are welcome on Thursdays and Fridays, though please contact for up to date details due to current Covid restrictions.