Provisional dates for 2022

We have tentatively pencilled in the following events for 2022 subject to coronavirus restrictions. More details and additional dates will follow in due course.

The Great British Spring Clean – rock painting for children: Saturday 26th March

Easter Egg Hunt for children: Sunday 17th April

Painting in the Park: Sunday 22nd May

Halloween Lantern Walk: Saturday 29th October

Wreath Making: Saturday 10th December

Watch this space or sign up to be a Friend and be notified as new events are organised.

Planting fruit trees in the rain

Last Tuesday, the Tuesday volunteer gardeners, which included several of the committee and councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones, joined up with the Permaculture Trust to plant a number of new fruit trees, funded by our three local councillors and Friends of Preston Park. Despite the awful weather, it was great fun and we learned a lot about planting trees!

Saving the second Preston Twin

Peter Small, Arboricultural Manager for CityParks, reports:

We have conducted the planned works on the Preston Park Twin yesterday with regards to last summer’s elm disease infection. Our in-house team has removed part of the crown where the infection was identified and also some reduction work to lessen the weight stress upon the hollow stem. It has changed the appearance of the tree but is essential and will be followed up with some heavy watering in the summer and another pruning operation next winter as we look to manage the Twin for both elm disease and as a fragile ancient tree. In the short term, we must try to enable the Twin to recover from last summer’s infection which is the greatest current threat to the tree’s continued survival, which has resulted in some significant loss of parts of the canopy.

We will be monitoring the Twin throughout the summer for any further signs of infection but as explained at the time we will need to do this for subsequent years before knowing if the remedial work was successful in stopping the disease from spreading throughout the entire tree. We are committed to doing all we can as losing this tree would be devastating for all BHCC Arboriculture staff. However, we are hopeful the early intervention and the remedial works will give it a good chance of surviving.

Meet Tom, one of our volunteer gardeners

Hello, I am Tom. I’ve been a volunteer since February 2021, so almost a year, which is not that long as I know people who have been here for ten years. I volunteered because Preston Park is a lovely place and I am proud of it as a resident of Brighton. If you’re going to be proud of something you should do something, so I volunteered.

Andy (the Head Gardener) and the volunteers are lovely people, a joy to work with, and being outside and in such lovely gardens is so nice. The plans for 2022 are exciting, such as planting new cherry blossom trees and an orchard.

Find out more about volunteering

Materials for wreath making

We have decided not to go ahead with the Christmas wreath-making event at St Peter’s Church this year, due to Covid concerns. However, like last year, Andy Jeavons, supported by our gardening volunteers, will be collecting suitable foliage and berries on Wednesday 15 December. He will take them to the Coronation Garden Shelter so you can collect whatever you want to make your own wreaths.

A dozen new fruit trees

We have much to look forward to in 2022, starting with the planting of a dozen fruit trees near the communal allotments behind the Rotunda Cafe on 4th January. These trees were funded by our three local councillors from their annual ward allowances, along with a donation from Friends of Preston Park.

Brighton & Hove Permaculture Trust is working with the councillors and with volunteers to plant the trees and will come back at regular intervals to ensure they thrive. When they start to bear fruit, it is envisaged that fruit will be donated to local food banks and food charities.

If you would like to come along and help with the planting please do so on the day by joining with the Tuesday volunteer gardening group.

Volunteers celebrate a year of progress

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Friends of Preston Park hosted end-of-year celebrations for the three volunteer gardening teams. Some 70 volunteers and guests attended over the three days.

The Chalet Cafe kindly provided coffee and cakes. Councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones joined us on Wednesday and Alan Griffiths, Operations Manager for CityParks on Thursday and, in each case, expressed their gratitude for the splendid contribution made by the volunteers.

Alan Griffiths answers questions from the Thursday group
Some of Tuesday’s volunteers
Garden Manager, Andy Jeavons has provided fantastic guidance and support to the volunteers throughout the year – Andy, you’re a hero!

Lawrence receives his prize

Lawrence Suss with his prize

Congratulations to Lawrence Suss, who came second in this year’s Photo Competition with the picture shown below. Apparently, the picture was published in The Guardian as well as in our 2022 Calendar!

The wildflower meadow in Preston Park