The Easter Egg Hunt returns

Easter Egg Hunt: Sunday 17th April, 10.30 – 14.00, near the Chalet Cafe

After two years’ absence due to COVID restrictions, we are bringing back our popular annual Easter event. Accompanied children aged 12 and under are invited to track down the answers to questions about the fauna, flora and history of Preston Park in order to earn themselves a cream egg. They can also participate in a drawing competition with the chance to win a giant egg. Face painters will also be available. The cost per child is just £1. We’re looking forward to a lovely, happy event – just what we need at the moment!

Meet Sharon, on of our volunteer gardeners

I’m Sharon. I’ve been a volunteer at Preston Park for a couple of years, so not as long as some people, but what inspired me about volunteering at the Park was probably at the beginning of Covid when I noticed how quickly the Rose Garden in particular was overgrown, as volunteers were not allowed to work it because of lockdown.

I had a conversation with Andy, Preston Park garden manager, and he welcomed me to join the volunteer group once the easing of restrictions allowed. The weeds were over our heads in the Rose Garden and we started on the mammoth task of tackling the weeds.

At the time there was only a handful of us who were allowed to work, with only one person on each rose bed because of the rule of six, so it was hard but we persevered and I gained a huge sense of satisfaction thinking that we were making a difference to our well-loved Park.

I use the Park every day and I wanted it to look nice and the roses to be in good shape for everybody to enjoy.

I think some of the things I’ve enjoyed the most are the conversations and the laughs I’ve had with other volunteers. It’s a joyful, uplifting experience. I tend to suffer with mental health, depression and anxiety, particularly in the winter months and it has lifted me enormously in lots of ways and I love the camaraderie and the good sense that we are doing something together.

I would recommend volunteering at Preston Park to anybody, any age, to love and join our merry throng. Now we have a big group of people who come out regularly even in the winter. Even if it is overcast and miserable, we get out here if we can and it is a joy.

The first cherry trees have been planted!

Volunteer gardeners pleased with their work

The first 11 trees for our new Cherry Blossom Walk have been planted today by our volunteer gardeners. There are another 50 to go but our project is finally under way. Well done to all the team!

Meet Mark, one of our volunteer gardeners

Hello, I’m Mark. I’ve been volunteering at Preston Park since the Spring of 2021. I initially came to do it as a friend and neighbour asked me if I was interested and to begin
with I wasn’t sure whether I would want to do it or not but I was really glad I did it, and
from day one I enjoyed it a lot.

I think what I’ve gained is a sense of productivity, of actually achieving something in
this difficult time (Covid) and also working with all the other volunteers. A lot of the
great moments have been seeing the development of the Rose Garden and also many
people who walk through the park have come over to say thank you and how much
they love the roses and appreciate what we are doing.

I would definitely recommend volunteering at Preston Park to anybody who is thinking
about doing it, any time you can spare is valuable.

Wildlife Forum events coming up

As an organisation, we have recently joined Brighton and Hove Wildlife Forum. Here are details of the events they have organised in the coming weeks:

FrogLife’s Toad Summit, Saturday 5th February, 1:30-5 pm (online): Learn more about common toads and how you might be able to help protect them. Book a free place

Living Coast Talk, 10th February 18:00-19:30, Phoenix Artspace: As part of the Undercurrents exhibition which celebrates our city’s beloved and imperilled starlings, The Living Coast Biosphere programme manager Sarah Dobson and BHCC Biodiversity Officer Kim Dawson will be giving a talk on Brighton and Hove’s incredible biodiversity. Book a free place

Update on the Cherry Blossom Walk

We are very pleased to announce that our 60 Prunus X Umineko trees, better known as our Japanese Flowering Cherry Blossoms, have arrived! The trees were delivered in individual large pots for protection, and have been safely stored where they can be looked after before being planted out on the site of the Cherry Blossom Walk.

The site needs to be fully prepared before we can start planting, including moving a couple of trees and giving a hard prune to the two very overgrown Yew trees which are outside the Whoopsadaisy Play Pavilion. These two trees have not been pruned for many years and so you may be alarmed to see the extent of pruning, but rest assured this will be done by professional arborists. The Yew trees will greatly benefit from this pruning which will make them more healthy and extend their life. They will continue to be looked after more carefully than previously once the blossom trees are planted.

Once we have a fixed planting date, we will let you know as we will need lots of help to plant all 60 trees! Our regular volunteer gardeners are ready to help, and the local University of the Third Age group has also offered help, which is most welcome. We have now collected just over £9000 in donations so should also have the funds for ancillary costs of planting such as supports, irrigation and protection as well as the commemoration plaque.