Donations requested to support the Parish Garden Project
Prior to construction of the new London Road in the early part of the 19th Century, there was no major entrance into St Nicholas Church from the south of the building. Beyond the graveyard boundary wall there were fields with much of the space marked on maps as orchards. At some point prior to 1880, the Duke paid for the triple arched church gateway, a paved drive into the churchyard and new boundary walls alongside the London Road. Two raised parcels of land were created – one close to the Priory and the other to the south of St Nicholas Churchyard. This land is now owned by the Angmering Park Estate and they have generously agreed that a Parish Garden of 30 metres long by 19 metres wide could be created between the London Road and the graveyard wall. The Estate have also brought about removal of the dead and dying trees and taken away copious amounts of ivy and nettles. Currently they are providing active assistance in levelling and clearing about two thirds of the area (375 square metres) ready for grass seeding (October) and introduction of a hedge (December).
We now need to buy the grass seed, hedging “whips” and material for a barrier within the hedge. Parish costs up to the end of January 2020 will be in the order of £1000 and so the cost for the portion we are currently working on is a little less than £3.00 per square metre. If we carry out the work as planned, the garden will be usable by the Parish from June 2020 onwards.
To be honest and blunt we do not have a budget for the Parish Garden work but the envisaged benefits for use of the space do mean we have no choice but to push on. We are struggling to gain sufficient funds for the annual church maintenance costs along with our share of the soon to start replacement north aisle lead roof and so cannot use any existing funds for this new project. Donations for the Parish Garden will be gratefully received via the Parish Office.
Answers to four frequently asked questions
Will all the trees go? No. Over the next two winters there will be some reshaping of the remaining trees so that views of the church are restored from the south but there will be an ongoing belt of existing and newly planted trees.
Why is a hedge being planted? We look forward to the space being used for events that will be attended by people of all ages and degrees of mobility. We do need a fairly low but impenetrable toddler proof barrier set back from boundaries where there is a significant drop.
How will people get onto the site? There needs to be a ramped entrance. Three possible ways in are being examined and planning permission from the South Downs National Park authority will be required. We have applied for a Coop community grant of £5000 to help with the costs associated with a ramp but it is more than likely that there will be a further Parish Garden fund raising appeal early in 2020. If we are fortunate enough to gain more donations than the £1000 we are currently requesting, any surplus will go to ramp associated costs.
Are you thinking about restoring a small part of the orchard? Yes we are with perhaps four cooking apple trees to provide raw ingredients for the Social and Catering Committee. We hope to use local varieties and further details will emerge about how a portion of your prized tree may become part of our stock.
Please contact the Parish Office if you would like to contribute to this project.