Arun Street Garden

Report by Lesley Collyer

The Arun Street Garden is open again following works by the Environment Agency for the Arundel Tidal Walls Scheme. The back section, by the river wall, is still fenced off as the sheet pile is being backfilled with concrete and finishing details are made. The work is due to be completed by the end of August.

This little public garden is situated at the bottom of Arun Street in Arundel, alongside the river. It is south facing, has good light soil and comprises borders with plants and shrubs, some grass, a couple of trees and, most importantly, several benches, where people can sit, admire the garden, chat and picnic with their friends, feed their babies, read or just relax.

Originally the garden was an unloved area that the Arundel Society together with Arun District Council developed into what you see today.  It has been cared for by various local volunteers over the years and now Arundel Gardens Association is involved with its maintenance. The little garden has obviously been well designed and planted in the past because it has survived very hot dry summers, being shut off and used as an access point for work on the river wall, and other incidents. Arun District Council have also been very helpful with structural jobs, such as putting up trellis, relevelling and repaving one of the paths, mending benches and fences.

It is now looked after by AGA members whose main aim is to keep it low maintenance but nevertheless interesting all year round. As a result, plants have to be as hardy as possible and not need a lot of attention. Last summer proved very testing as there is no water in the garden, and just to keep the the plants (tough as they are) alive meant much water-carrying from homes. Fortunately, people living nearby were generous with their water so volunteers didn’t have to carry heavy containers too far.  But, it was a task that went on for weeks.

It is an extremely popular little oasis in Arundel and volunteers receive many thanks and compliments on their work from visitors, which is very gratifying and makes all their efforts worthwhile. When there is a bigger or more strenuous job involved such as spreading manure or cutting back the shrubs, the volunteers get together to do the task. Otherwise, they tend to come individually when they have a spare hour or two and the weather is favorable to do some weeding, pruning or cutting the grass.

More volunteers would be welcome but, because of the rather relaxed maintenance schedule, it would be useful if they had some gardening experience so working unsupervised would not be a problem. This is not necessarily a lonely job as one often gets chatting to visitors who are curious about the garden.

If you would like to help in the garden, please email

Unloading cargo at the historic port of Arundel – plaque by Josse Davis