Press Release: Growers’ Association raise funds to save the Victorian glasshouses

The West Sussex Growers Association (WSGA) has raised funds in support of West Dean Gardens Save the Glasshouses Appeal! It is over 120 years since the 13 Victorian glasshouses were erected by Foster & Pearson (1895 and 1901). The jewel in the crown of the walled Kitchen Garden, the magnificent glasshouses remain in constant use to this day not only to nurture new plants but also new horticulturists learning their craft. It will require £40,000 to fully restore No. 25, the nectarine and late vinery house, to bring the glasshouse back to life and preserve it for future generations.

Graham Bryant, Chair of the WSGA this week handed a cheque for £1,000 to Sarah Wain, Gardens Supervisor.

"The Association feels it is important to preserve the wonderful Victorian glasshouse range at West Dean as a unique example of our horticultural heritage to continue to inspire and delight future generations of gardeners," says Bryant. "On behalf of the Association and its members I would like to express our thanks to the trustees of The Edward James Foundation and all of the West Dean staff who have been instrumental in preserving them."

The Growers' Association is a specialist horticultural branch of the National Farmers' Union. The membership is made up of those around the West Sussex area who have a strong interest in horticulture.

This year marks 25 years since head gardeners, husband and wife, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, began the transformation of West Dean into award-winning gardens, in the wake of the Great Storms of 1987. In the years since 1991, they have revitalised the 19th century landscape and overseen tremendous changes which have brought the gardens international respect for both the quality and variety of their horticultural practice.

Highlights include: a 300-foot Edwardian Pergola designed by Harold Peto; an award-winning Sunken Garden; a fruit collection of 100 varieties of apples including many heritage varieties; a Spring, Wild and Woodland garden; parkland and St. Roche's Arboretum, with its fine collection of trees, offering breathtaking views of the South Downs, gardens and West Dean College on a two-mile circular walk.

A photographic display 25 Years of Glorious Gardening in the renovated 'mushroom shed' at West Dean Gardens runs until the end of October. Free entry with a ticket to the gardens (adult standard entry £8.50, children go FREE).

For more information and to donate to the Save the Glasshouses appeal online visit


Notes to editors

  • West Dean Gardens is part of The Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean College, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • West Dean Gardens are open to the public from 1 February - 23 December and offers free parking and free admission to Shop and Restaurant. Dogs on short leads welcome.
  • Media accreditation now open for the award-winning Chilli Fiesta at West Dean Gardens (5, 6 & August 2016).
  • West Sussex Growers' Association
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College and Gardens are situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

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Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ