The Rose Garden Community Book Exchange, Sunday 22 October 12-2pm

The Friends of Preston Park will officially open their community book swap box on 22 October, 12.00-14.00, in the Rose Garden. Anyone who is interested, is invited to come along for a slice of cake and to see what books we have available for swapping.

We would like to thank Pride for donating towards this project, that enabled us to purchase some excellent LGBTQIA+ books for lending. It is hoped that we will also have a children’s book swap up and running shortly, as well.

FoPP AGM with special guest, Dr Dan Danahar

The Friends of Preston Park (FoPP) will be holding their next AGM on Saturday, 11 November, 14.00 – 16.00. Residents and members are invited to join us at St. Peter’s cricket club, near the velodrome in Preston Park. Following on from business we have invited local biodiversity educationalist, Dr Dan Danahar 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. Dan is Executive Trustee of the charitable company Big Nature –, 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). So if you would like to learn more, please come along and meet Dan.

Ranger Marie Ingledew

This week, Ranger Marie Ingledew came to meet with volunteer gardeners in the Rose Garden. Marie is a fairly new ranger to our area and is based in Preston Park as well as other green areas around Brighton & Hove. She will be assisting Ranger Neil Doyle and his team of volunteers to clear and mend the Rose Garden pond in October (weather permitting). We welcome this work as the pond has been in need of some tender care. It should be up and running soon and will be all bedded in again in time for spring.

Painting in the park event

This week, the FoPP held its final Painting-in-the Park event for the year. Luckily, the sun shone brightly and attendees were able to concentrate on their subjects and not bother about rain. We had some excellent art works of the park and anyone interested will be able to view the work on the Chalet Cafe wall. We thank everyone who came and encourage anyone who would like to do this to join us once again next year. Just keep any eye on events on our website in spring. 

Our next event will be the bat walk with Nick Lane (a change from Emma Keane who can no longer make that date) on Thursday, 28 September. Please go to Eventbrite to book tickets. Please note that whilst the event is wheelchair accessible there may be areas that have tree roots, etc.. We will ask for donations at the end.

Painting in the Park

A reminder that Painting in the Park will be taking place on Sunday 3rd September at 10am at the Chalet Cafe. Book your place on Eventbrite here.

You are invited to come along with your medium of choice and to set up and make a piece of art in three hours.

Participants meet back at the FoPP gazebo at 13.00 to display their work and discuss the final outcomes over a piece of cake. Everyone aged 16 and over is welcome. Donations will be requested at the end of the event.

Preston Park walk with Alan Griffiths

Alan Griffiths, Operations Manager for CityParks North, led a group of enthusiasts through Preston Park this week, sharing his 46 years of experience working for Brighton and Hove City Council and explaining the horticultural development of the park over the last fifty years.

Sustainability and maintenance are paramount nowadays and we can see many examples of how the park has adapted to new challenges. In the Rose Garden the David Austin English style roses are chosen for their longer flowering season and their beautiful scent. Whilst, the herbaceous borders are planted with native species which attract insects and butterflies and bulbs have replaced summer flower beds along the London Road.

We marvelled at species which, due to a milder climate, are growing in the park such as agapanthus, and admired the centenarian elm trees. We also learnt many new evocative tree names such as the paperbark maple tree, the weeping elm, the fruiting quince, and the wedding cake viburnum.

The beauty of the park for Alan is that it offers something different to look for and see everyday of the year, and it is a much loved and used space by  both the local community and visiting tourists.

Alan praised the work of the volunteers who assist CityParks gardeners in maintaining the flower beds and the Rose Garden, and without whom there would be far fewer flowers in the park. Anyone wishing to join our volunteer groups can do so on our website. 

Our next event is Painting-in-the-Park on Sunday, 3 September. Please sign up to this event via Eventbrite. The event will be based around the park and should be wheelchair accessible, but the ground is uneven. Please bring your own materials. Donations will be requested at the end.

St Peter’s- new events

 ‘An Illustrated History of Preston Park’ on Saturday 26 August at 2.30pm in St Peters, Preston Park

‘Wildflower Conservation’ with George Harris and Lindy Brooke Tweed on Saturday 9 September at 2.30pm also in St Peter’s.

Entrance free, donations to St Peter’s LightUp campaign.