Plumpton College helps deliver £5million Stanmer Park walled garden project

Staff and apprentices from Plumpton College will help with a £5.1 million restoration project at Stanmer Park.

Left to right Hannah Maplesden (apprentice), Alex Waterfield (grounds and gardens manager), Kate Nannery (apprentice), Lydia Smith (learning outreach officer), Will Furze (stanmer estate ranger) and Peter Wood (senior gardener), photo by Hannah Brackenbury/ Brighton and Hove City Council
Left to right Hannah Maplesden (apprentice), Alex Waterfield (grounds and gardens manager), Kate Nannery (apprentice), Lydia Smith (learning outreach officer), Will Furze (stanmer estate ranger) and Peter Wood (senior gardener), photo by Hannah Brackenbury/ Brighton and Hove City Council

The One Garden project aims to restore a 200-year-old walled garden within park grounds which has laid abandoned.

Work began in June 2019 and is due to be completed by Buxton Building Contractors Ltd. in August 2020.

The Walled Garden, which is being leased to Plumpton College, was Stanmer House’s kitchen garden and has been used more recently as the city council’s plant nursery.

Works will see the area transformed into an attractive garden with a new café, retail space and opportunities for horticultural teaching, learning and volunteering.

Senior gardener Peter Wood and learning outreach officer Lydia Samuel have been appointed by Plumpton College to assist with the project.

Peter will oversee preparations at the garden so it can be reopened to the public this summer.

“Having studied horticulture at the Plumpton College Stanmer Campus this feels like a home-coming for me,” Peter said.

“I have followed the walled garden restoration project closely since it was first proposed and have known from the outset that I wanted to be a part of it.”

Previously working at Borde Hill Garden in West Sussex, Peter has experience of working in a historic garden setting.

“I am passionate about breathing life back into a forgotten part of Brighton’s history,” he said.

“The garden promises to bring something for everyone; a place for plant lovers, a place to inspire, a space for families, one garden for all.”

Plumpton apprentices Hannah Maplesden and Kate Nannery will also join the garden team.

Kate said: “After a five year career in marketing and writing, I was in search of a career change to encompass my love for green spaces and the outdoors.

“I’m looking forward to working in a public garden where I can continue to develop my career, working to a very high standard.”

Hannah also underwent a career change before joining the project, “I made a bit of a career jump into horticulture,” she said.

“Up until now, I had been working in molecular biology in Southampton...

“I am originally from Brighton and I have spent many a summer afternoon wandering around the park or cycling in the Great Wood above.

“I am incredibly happy to see that the walled garden is having an extreme makeover.

“I cannot wait to finish the planting for the new garden, I am especially looking forward to seeing the plot to plate area finished and inspiring more people to grow their own.”

Estate manager Rob Dumbrill and estate ranger Will Furze have been appointed by the city council to deliver the Stanmer activity plan.

Rob said: “I’m looking forward to seeing Stanmer estate evolve over the coming months to look even more beautiful and cared for.

“We’re excited about encouraging more people to visit the park and discover what an interesting and important place Stanmer is, both locally

and nationally.”

Funding is being provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Community Fund, Brighton and Hove City Council, Plumpton College, and South Downs National Park Authority.

More information about the project and how to get involved can be found at this website.