Highdown Gardens is a beautiful 8.5-acre historic garden on the South Downs. Perhaps the most important and rare chalk garden in the country, it supports a unique multi-genera plant collection of renowned horticultural significance. It was created by Sir Frederick Stern between 1909 and 1967, and has since been maintained as a free-entry public garden by Worthing Borough Council (WBC) for over 50 years.
In summer 2019 WBC were successful in securing a National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) grant to save this horticultural heritage and engage existing and new visitors in different and exciting ways:
o We will undertake a propagation programme to save the endangered National Plant Collection (threatened by climate change, disease, visitor behavior); existing glasshouses and cold frames will be upgraded to support this programme;
o We will convert the old gardener's bungalow into a visitor engagement centre;
o We will improve access by redesigning the entrance, providing an accessible pathway, extending opening hours and a delivering a wheelchair-accessible Sensory Garden;
o We will develop new activities and resources to encourage a love and respect for this fragile environment;
o We will partner with schools, colleges, community groups and mental health charities to support volunteering, social and well-being activities in the gardens.