Breathing Spaces – Making Plans

As we ease out of staying at home and into our much-needed restorative green spaces, we wanted to share our plans for the rest of the year – all being well.


The spring farm-flowers are on the way and have been tended by a small number of volunteers during March whilst another small group have planted about 200 native hedging plants at the barnyard in Sompting. After April 12th we hope to have slightly larger volunteer groups at both Maybridge Keystone Centre and the Barnyard. We will put up some tree hives for native Black Honeybees at the barnyard, an exciting collaboration with Bees And Seas, a We Are FoodPioneers project connecting the downs to the coast.

Wildflower WalksMay 22, June 21, Aug 21, September 18. Four walks to the Sompting Barnyard to learn what’s flowering in the countryside, do plant and moth surveying, and see how we are trying to increase biodiversity. All on Saturday afternoons except the Solstice walk which will be early evening.

Open day and farm tour in WorthingJuly 20 – Have a look around our tiny community-supported flower farm and wildflowers. Pick up some tips on how to sow, grow and use a cutting patch through the year. Join us at any time from 4pm to 6.30pm.

Returning – connecting to flowers, the seasons and self. May 11 & 18 at Maybridge, May 25 & June 1 wildflower walk to Sompting. “The garden and learning about nature has opened up a healing place in me.” A small, informal group for women recovering from trauma (including domestic violence) and other mental health challenges to explore and reconnect with nature. Using our farm and wild flowers, it will be about grounding, exploring our senses and expressing ourselves creatively. A chance to relax, listen, talk and/or simply ‘be’.

Please get in touch to book a place on any of these events or to find out more: [email protected]

These projects are made possible by Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation and their funding round opens this spring. Visit or call 01273 409 440.

Local & Live Revived – Nature Talks

The dates for the final events in the Local and Live festival: a celebration of local creativity funded by the Arts Council and produced in partnership between Shoreham Wordfest and Ropetackle Arts Centre have been announced.

The events include two talks by the Sussex Wildlife  Trust:

Rewilding the Seas – Henri Brocklehurst SWT – Tuesday 25 May 7.30pm

What Have Plants Ever Done for Us? – Dr. Tony Whitbread SWT – Thursday 3 June 7.30pm

Tickets cost £10 for each event.

For more information:

Green Tides – Wildflower Trail 

The local forum and partnership for Friends groups and environmental volunteers, Green Tides (now also a CIC), is excited to launch the Wildflower Trail.

The idea, first conceived of by a new volunteer during the glorious spring of our first lockdown, has been made real. The Wildflower Trail maps a variety of sites across our area who have wildflower spaces already. We are now busy making special school packs, with seeds for planting and information about the flowers and insects who will benefit.

If you want your school to bee involved (sorry, couldn’t resist), please get in touch with Chris at [email protected].

Visit the website here:

Green Books: Investing to save the planet

The next Green Books talk from Greening Steyning, on Thursday 1st April, is focusing on a really important topic – how we use our savings and investments to help the planet, rather than trashing it.

Financial Times journalist Alice Ross will be talking about her new book on “Investing to Save the Planet”.

It’s on Thursday 1st April from 7.30-8.30pm.

For tickets see:

Wonder of Nature – Series of Talks & Walks

The wonderful and inspirational Nicola Peel has announced that she will be holding a series of online talks and a guided walk round the beautiful Pulborough Brooks in the coming months.

Events include:

Nature as Teacher – Nature has the answers we just have to ask the right questions – Thursday 1st April – Tickets

What are we investing our money in – Part of the Horsham Climate Café – Saturday 3rd April – Tickets

Solutions in the Amazon – A day in the life of a Solutionist – Tuesday 4th May – Tickets

This is What Biodiversity Looks Like! – A photographic journey into the world of biodiversity – Tuesday 1st June – Tickets

Biomimicry Nature Walk – RSPB Pulborough, West Sussex – Sunday June 27th – Tickets

For more information about Nicola see:


Help Our Kelp – Trawling Byelaw Signed!

Some excellent news from the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Help Our Kelp project – The Near Shore Trawling Byelaw has been announced!

This means that trawling is now excluded from a vast area of 304 square kilometres of Sussex coastline all year-round! With this area now protected, it is hoped that the kelp will start to recover to its former density and range, bringing with it the wide range of benefits to people and wildlife that a healthy kelp forest ecosystem provides.

News of the byelaw was announced by the Sussex IFCA on 22nd March.

You can read the blog by Tor Lawrence, Chief Executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust, about the announcement.

And do visit the SWT Help Our Kelp page to watch the inspiring film which started the partnership, and to learn more about the project. SWT also plan to hold a series of related webinars – so do remember to check their online events page for details.

If anyone missed the excellent webinar about Help Our Kelp and would like to see it on SWT’s Catch-Up, here is the link:

If you didn’t already know the true value of kelp and what the new bylaw will bring to Sussex, you certainly will after watching this!

Breathing Spaces Go Pond Dipping!

We are very excited that South Downs National Park are going to help us start surveying some of the wildlife at the site in Sompting where we pick wildflowers. Within this old barnyard, that Mike Tristram of Sompting Estate seeded with wildflowers some years ago, there is an ephemeral pond that appears in wet seasons and then dries out over the warmer months. We are hoping to gradually reduce some of the overly dominant brambles and hogweed around it and hopefully increase the biodiversity, so before we start we need to know what is already there.

Ranger Sophie made an initial visit in February and with the help of a couple of volunteers we have set a date to do the initial survey in early March. We need to sample the pond water from different areas, for example around the clumps of willow, dock and bramble and see what’s there. We will repeat this, and also log what happens to the water level, throughout the year. We always see lots of butterflies in the summer and when the water goes down and mud is exposed Sophie told us it’s a habitat that insects like solitary bees and dragonflies enjoy. And although there are maybe too many brambles, they do make very good cover for amphibians and other creatures, so we will be sure to leave plenty near the pond. We will also be logging all the different wildflower species on site too.

Do get in touch if you would like to be part of this in the future.   [email protected]  Tel: 07827 924151

This project is made possible by Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation and their funding round opens again in the spring. Visit or call 01273 409 440.

The Kinder Living Home Show Online Event

The Kinder Living Home Show is normally an in person event, but this year the team are instead hosting a three day event online on the 5th, 6th & 7th March.

They have invited the businesses, charities and local organisations who normally showcase their products, services and activities at the live show and there will be advice, tips, videos to watch, things to download and some very special Zoom events you can join in. Check out their Facebook page for the full timetable of events:

You’ll need a ticket to join the Zoom sessions, which are free of charge, so check the tickets links on Eventbrite:


Green Books – Gardening to save the planet

For their second Green Books event, Greening Steyning have invited wildlife guru Dave Goulson to talk about his latest bestseller “The Garden Jungle or, Gardening to Save the Planet.”

The book is a wonderful introduction to the hundreds of small creatures with whom we live cheek-by-jowl and of the myriad ways that we can encourage them to thrive. Dave Goulson is great speaker, and has been described as “the kind of humorous, knowledgeable and bubblingly enthusiastic teacher anyone would want.”

It’s on Thursday 4th March from 7.30-8.30pm. You can either book a free ticket or choose to make a small donation (minimum £1) to cover costs and help support the work of Greening Steyning. Sign up via Eventbrite.

And in case you missed out on seeing Greening Steyning’s excellent Green Books with Charles Dowding on ‘No Dig Gardening’, it is now available to watch on YouTube:

Horsham Climate Café – Sat 6th March

On Sat 6th March at 2-3.30pm, the Horsham Climate Café will host an online talk about the Worthing & Adur Councils Climate Assembly.

The assembly culminated from Worthing & Adur Councils declaration of a climate emergency in July 2019, followed in March 2020 by the Zero 2030 conference c0-organised with Transition Town Worthing and Worthing Climate Action, and attended by about 300 local residents and representatives from local businesses, community and civic groups. This ground-breaking approach and event resulted in a GOLD Award at the CPRE Sussex Countryside Awards in 2020. Worthing & Adur Councils aim to achieve zero carbon energy use within the council estate by 2030 and within Adur and Worthing by 2050.

Council Officers, Amy Newnham & Chloe Clarke will be sharing their personal experiences as some of the key organisers of the Climate Assembly, the selection process, timescales, which speakers most impacted them and why, what the councils learnt and the final recommendations. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite 

For more info on the Horsham Climate Café: