Friends

West Dean College and Gardens is a special place with so much to discover.

Every penny raised thanks to your Friend membership supports the upkeep and development of West Dean College and Gardens for present and future students and visitors.

If you share our love for the arts and conservation or have a passion for the gardens then become a Friend of West Dean and be part of our story.

You can view the Terms and Conditions for College Friend membership and Garden Friend membership.

Complete your application form and become a Friend.

Become a Friend of West Dean College and Gardens

Friends go behind-the-scenes at West Dean and discover more.

The two levels of membership (College and Garden) enable you to enjoy the parts of West Dean that interest you most.

The following benefits are included in your Friend membership:

Complimentary entry - all Friends enjoy the changing face of West Dean Gardens throughout the year during normal opening hours, every day except 23-26 December and 1 January. 

Events - your chance to get behind-the-scenes. Discover more about the College and meet the people who look after West Dean house and the glorious gardens that you enjoy year round. An additional charge may apply and certain events are restricted to College Friends only.

Regular Newsletters - packed full of information to help you make the most of your membership, keep informed and right up to date with all the latest news and events.

Relax and have a brew! - After a long walk around the gardens, perhaps it's time for a cream tea? You can enjoy a 10% discount in the Gardens Restaurant (excluding alcohol and special menus/events) - just show your Friend membership card at the till.


College Friends receive the following additional benefits:

Make use of the College Craft Shop, Dining Room and Steward's Bar - Connect with like-minded Friends and become part of our artistic community. Stock-up with supplies from the craft shop, have a drink in the bar or dine with us in the College Dining Room. Advance booking is essential.

Monthly Coffee Morning - Join us on the second Friday of each month from 10.30am for a cup of coffee and to meet other College Friends. We will also be joined by a guest speaker every other month - a great opportunity for you to hear from the people who work hard to protect the historic house, its collection and grounds. There's no need to book, just show your College Friend membership card and sign-in at the College reception. We look forward to seeing you.

"I was so pleased to find the regular monthly walk for Garden Friends. To know I can stroll around with a group of kindly people makes membership so valuable. I really look forward to it."

Alison Pearce, Garden Friend

Friend membership levels

Choose the level of Friend membership that suits you. Download and complete an application form.

Terms and conditions apply.

Gift Membership

Give a Gift of Friend Membership

West Dean College or Garden Friend membership for an individual or a couple, is the perfect gift for a friend or loved one to enjoy all year round. We can send the membership pack directly to the person of your choice or return it to you to give them directly.

To buy or renew a Friend membership download your application form and return it completed with your preferred options. Friend memberships are also available to buy in the Gardens Shop or can be purchased by phone, please call us on 01243 818256.

'West Dean Gardens are so special because they are where horticultural skills are honed, traditions preserved and plants of all types grown and tested.'

TOBY BUCKLAND, Gardener and TV presenter.

Garden Friend events

Friends-only events for 2020

We are planning a series of Friends-only exclusive events for 2020.  The first date for this year:

Rose Pruning Workshop on Wednesday 12 February.   We will meet in the Gardens Restaurant at 10.30am for hot drinks and cakes, followed by the workshop at the Pergola from 11.15am to 12.15pm.  

Anne Kelly, the pruning Queen at West Dean, will talk to us about all types of rose pruning and demonstrate how to prune shrub and rambling roses on the Pergola.  The Pergola is planted with roses, honeysuckle, clematis, wisteria and other shrubs, which Anne very carefully prunes and ties. During the growing season, new growth is tied in weekly. In the winter all the plants are detached, pruned and retied, that is two climbers per column, 62 columns, roughly a month’s work, so she’s got a lot of pruning experience and expertise!   There will be the opportunity for pruning questions and answers too.

Tickets are £15 including refreshments.   

We will announce the other events and dates for 2020 soon.

Book here

Contact the Friends Team

The Friends office is open Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm.

You can contact us via email or telephone us on 01243 818256 and we shall be happy to help.

Support West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is part of a registered charity and its upkeep and care are only possible with the support of generous donors, friends and legacy gifts.

If you share our passion for the gardens and gardening excellence,
please find out how you can help support their upkeep.