Storrington’s Victorian Pleasure Garden

Storrington Conservation Society Newsletter April 2016

Fryern Dell, Storrington’s Victorian Pleasure Garden, has a number of interesting specimen trees. One of the most notable of these is the Giant Redwood, or Wellingtonia, (Sequoiadendron gigantium). It was originally one of three planted on the high ground above the waterfall in the area south of the lane through Fryern Park. It is about 30m tall and its dark green evergreen foliage can be seen rising above the canopy of the surrounding woodland. Its tall trunk is covered in rufous coloured, fibrous bark and is a distinctive feature in the clearing of the upper dell. Worth a visit. Giant Redwoods were introduced to the UK from California in 1853. These trees can live for over 3,000 years. It has been estimated that the Fryern Dell tree was planted in about 1884 so at 140 years old it is relatively young but probably amongst the oldest growing in this country.

Fryern Dell erosion controlWhich is just one reason for the conservation of the Dell. And on a fine spring morning, what better place to be? So on 2nd April a cheerful band of volunteers met there to begin a major work protecting the river bank from further erosion. Walkers will have noticed the result, just upstream from the bridge, a fence of stakes interwoven with withies has been ‘planted’ in the riverbed. A technique known as spiling, to be continued later. During the work, it was good to see youngsters in the woodland enjoying the school holiday.

Our next project is clearance of the banks and stream ready for the annual Duck Race on 8th May. We meet in the library car park at 10.00am on Saturday 7th May. Wellies advised, unless paddling preferred. As usual tools provided, and a break for a free cup of coffee.

For details of the Thursday work party on 19th May at 2.00pm, please refer to our website. Can you spare any time, even an hour or so, to help us make Storrington a better place for people and wildlife? Just come along to any work party. It will be much appreciated.

It’s not all work. On 12th May a visit has been arranged to Norfolk Estate South Downs Sites. It includes a free guided tractor tour to view conservation activities on the estate. Essential to book with Mick, see below.

For information about this and all our activities, or becoming a member, please get in touch with Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or look on our Storrington Conservation Society website.

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