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.
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.