Many people have also been concerned with the state of the walled garden and the grounds of Preston Manor generally. As we reported previously, Preston Manor and grounds are now the responsibility of the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust, not City Parks, but as the grounds open adjoin Preston Park, we still have many shared interests and we have established good links and contacts with the new team at Preston Manor.
Chris Drake, the Development and Operations Manager, has kindly informed us that a new Head Gardener and part-time gardener have been appointed to cover Preston Manor and the Pavilion grounds. Five of the volunteers are undergoing leadership training which means the groups will be able to meet regularly and follow a structured process. Already the garden and grounds are looking smarter and tidier and will improve further as volunteering re-commences.
The pond in the walled garden, which had been vandalised last year, has now been fully repaired.
Preston Manor’s opening days have been reduced to Saturdays, Sunday afternoon and Mondays due to staff shortages as other museums in Brighton have re-opened. The knock-on effect of this is that the gates between Preston Park and the Walled Garden can now only be unlocked on these days. Preston Manor would much prefer to give open access to the public to the Walled Garden but this is the only way to protect Preston Manor from high levels of anti-social behaviour and vandalism. This is a great pity but we understand and share the concerns of the Preston Manor staff.