Wild flowers delight for Eastbrook ward

David Donaldson, Jenny Usherwood, Adur CLC chairman Janet Mockridge and Jim Funnell by the island opposite the entrance to Southwick railway station
David Donaldson, Jenny Usherwood, Adur CLC chairman Janet Mockridge and Jim Funnell by the island opposite the entrance to Southwick railway station

A FORLORN little island in Southwick and boring patch of grass in Fishersgate have been turned into carpets of stunning flowers.

Adur District Council is delighted with the success of the special wild flower turf and residents are urged to avoid picking the flowers so they can seed for future years.

The bank of wild flowers in Fishersgate Recreation Ground

The bank of wild flowers in Fishersgate Recreation Ground

Eastbrook ward councillor David Donaldson, who helped to organise the scheme, said: “Few of the residents of Southwick and Fishersgate will have forgotten the forlorn island that languished for so many years, fronting Southwick railway station, or the bland expanse of grass that identified Fishersgate Recreation Ground.”

In February last year, he and fellow Eastbrook councillor Jim Funnell secured a £5,000 grant from the Adur County Local Committee to plant wildflower turf on the chosen spots in Southwick and Fishersgate.

Their efforts were supported by The Whiterock Community, the local residents’ association.

Mr Donaldson said: “Unfortunately, once the cheque was received from West Sussex County Council, the summer was too dry to lay the turf, which requires large quantities of water prior to being laid. Conversely, once established, it can withstand a high degree of drought conditions.

“The turf was placed in position in the autumn, once the weather had broken.”

The council’s parks department had the task of laying the turf, under the watchful eye of Andy Edwards, head of environment.

Mr Donaldson said: “To date, both areas of planting and the wonderful displays have attracted many admirers and photographers.

“In order for this display to be maintained year upon year, it is essential that the flowers are not picked but allowed to set seed, which are then deposited by nature to flower the next year.

“It would also be helpful if children and animals were persuaded not to walk through these lovely flower beds.”

The long-term aim is for the two areas of land to be left to nature, reducing the need for maintenance while providing a patch of beauty.

Jenny Usherwood, who is responsible for the lovely garden surrounding the Spring Garden flats nearby, has volunteered to take on the task of caring for the Southwick island.

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