GREEN-FINGERED volunteers from across the district have braved snow, sleet and lashing rain in an attempt to make parts of Littlehampton and Arundel blossom.
Relentless wet weather had already postponed the annual maintenance day at the Littlehampton Library, in Maltravers Road. But on Friday (February 8), volunteers decided to brave inclement conditions and do the best they could to sow the seeds for future blooms.
And over in Arundel, almost 30 people from the town took part in a community day to plant a new orchard, in Herrington Field, Fitzalan Road, on Monday (February 11), amid a flurry of snowflakes .
The scheme, arranged in conjunction with Brighton Permaculture Trust and Arun Well-being, saw around 12 children from the Arundel CE Primary School’s eco-team mucking in with the work to plant a total of 20 apple and pear trees.
Arun District Council’s senior parks officer, Dee Christensen, oversaw the action in Arundel. She said: “The weather certainly didn’t help at the beginning.
“Snow was coming down like a blizzard at one point. So it was a bit chaotic to start with.
“But everyone got involved brilliantly in the planting, which was funded by a grant from Arun Well-being.”
It is hoped the orchard will become an valuable asset, helping to unite the community, as well as becoming a vital resource in educating children and adults about nature.
Councillor Paul Dendle, Arun District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, described the orchard as a “fantastic scheme”.
He said: “The orchard is about even more than growing fruit; it’s an educational resource and will help bring the community together.”
The Littlehampton maintenance day was initially started in 2010 as a memorial to Angela Bayley, of the Littlehampton Civic Society, who had always been keen to get involved in helping the town bloom.
It was led by Arun District Council with the support of Littlehampton town and West Sussex county councils, the civic society and members of the Littlehampton in Bloom Committee.
Helen Wilson, Arun’s senior parks officer, was in charge of the day.
She said: “It has been a nightmare trying to do anything over the winter. It’s either been raining, freezing cold or snowing. But we decided, come rain or shine, we would do it. We managed to clear a range of herbaceous plants ready for fresh bulbs to be planted for the spring season.”