Nursery comes to life with wildflower display

Jack Dunckley's Birchfield Nursery Henfield - new wildflowers flourish SUS-150515-120657001
Jack Dunckley's Birchfield Nursery Henfield - new wildflowers flourish SUS-150515-120657001

A once criticised garden nursery has finally transformed its grounds into a haven for wildflowers.

Jack Dunckley’s Birchfield Nursery, off the A281, was under scrutiny by residents last year after the Henfield business cut down hedgerows and trees that screened the nursery from the main road.

However, nursery owner Mr Dunckley said the felled ancient bluebell wood was diseased and had to be removed.

“I felt there was no other choice than to clear its boundary last year due to a combination of highway safety concerns and the need to locate new electrical cables underground,” he said.

Now, one year on, there are improved soil conditions, with English bluebells, red campions, cow parsley, pignuts and spurges all thriving.

Mr Dunckley said the need to remove the trees was also to create a secure boundary around the site for a potential new centre. In February, Mr Dunckley’s planning application to build a horticultural centre was refused by Horsham District Council.

Mr Dunckley told the County Times he is now to take the council to appeal over its decision. The multipurpose building would include retail, office and exhibition spaces.

“One of the main reasons for the new centre is to use it as a space to invite local schools, gardening groups and the community to learn,” said the 22-year-old.

In a post committee report, councillors claimed the building was ‘at odds with the rural character of the site’.

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