Once again, the Friends of Preston Park (FoPP) held their annual AGM at St Peter’s Cricket Clubhouse. Following on from usual business, the Chair, Kerry Pickett gave a run down on events held within the park over the past year and provided an impression of what might be expected for 2024. Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and to offer advice regarding possible future events. Treasurer, Janet Laing also presented an update on FoPP’s current financial position.
We took the opportunity to announce this year’s winners of the photographic competition which was based around the subject of trees. We had some amazing submissions, and it took quite an effort to choose. However, the general public voted on what they appreciated and so first place went to Neil Jakeman, second to Jimmy Guest and third place to, Victoria Jenkins. Copies of the winners’ photos are below and will be displayed outside the Chalet Café in Preston Park.
Finally, we had Dr Danahar, a local biodiversity educationalist, to give us a presentation on butterfly conservation. Dan has led a number of local initiatives within the city of Brighton & Hove, including persuading the public to count butterflies, which in turn inspired the national charity Butterfly Conservation to develop the Big Butterfly Count.
He has also introduced Butterfly Havens as a habitat restoration approach for chalk grassland butterflies, giving the public access to nature on their doorsteps. Local examples include the bank between Varndean College and Dorothy Stringer, as well the land to the north of Varndean college. However, Dan’s work is also international in nature. He is Executive Trustee of the charitable company Big Nature – www.bignature.co.uk, which aims to revitalise the relationship between people and their local wildlife by creating natural habitats within the UNESCO designated Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere region (The Living Coast).
Dan was able to outline the beginnings of his work and how he envisages it expanding should the current political climate and will, allow it. For more information on Dan’s work please visit: http://the scientific23.com/interview or look him up on YouTube. We thank Dan for taking time to visit us and explain the hugely important work that he is doing.
The committee will meet early in 2024 to discuss possible events for the year. A new poster will be created and displayed on the website and on the boards in Preston Park. Anyone interested in volunteer gardening or donating to our community cause can do so on the FoPP website: friendsofprestonpark.org