Highdown Gardens is situated between Ferring and Goring nestled on the South Downs and operated by Adur and Worthing Council. Entry into the gardens is free of charge.
These stunningly beautiful gardens on downland countryside overlooking the sea, are one of the least known gardens in the area, but it is one that offers a unique collection of rare plants and trees. In fact the whole garden has been deemed a National Collection.
The Friends of Highdown is an established volunteer group who assist with a variety of jobs in the gardens. Tasks from the above list can be found to suit most abilities. Any spare time you have could be well rewarded just by being in such a beautiful garden environment. It is a friendly, informal group who all enjoy gardening and being outdoors and work under the direction of the Highdown Gardens’ team.
The 34479 sq m (8.52 acres) of garden were created out of a chalk pit overlooking the Downs, where there was little soil and very unfavourable conditions for plant growth. The Chalk Garden at Highdown is the achievement of Sir Frederick and Lady Stern who worked for 50 years to prove that plants would grow on chalk. This was during a period when many expeditions were going out to China and the Himalayan regions collecting rare and beautiful plants.
Many of the original plants from the early collections can still be seen in the garden today, particularly plants collected by two pioneering botanists Reginald Farrer and Ernest Henry Wilson.