Our Story


Bohemia Walled Garden is a gem hidden in the middle of Summerfield Woods which is a local nature reserve LNR Site and gorgeous wilderness not far from both Hastings and St Leonards town centres.
It was built in the mid-19th century as part of the Brisco Estate, along with a Roman Bath and the Ice House. Over time, however, the garden became neglected and the house itself is now long gone...
In 2008, a group of visionary locals took an interest in the forlorn historical garden and formed the Bohemia Walled Garden Association (BWGA) in 2009. With a lot of love and dedication, they resurrected the garden and opened it up for the local community with small individual plots for a nominal rent, community plots and many wonderful events. In a major project, they also restored a part of the wall that had fallen down.
Bohemia Walled Garden Association is still entirely managed by volunteers. We now aim to maintain and develop the garden as a space for horticultural use and education, arts, creativity and wellbeing for local people. It is a wonderful setting for botanical and cultural events. The waiting list for individual plots is currently long. We are now creating more communal areas for food growing, including the new forager's garden for those who would like to get involved without tending their own plot. We have many exciting ideas and a lot of passion for this truly beautiful place. Especially now, an outdoor space like this has so much potential to become a sanctuary for the community, and we need more hands and minds to make this a reality. If you want to get involved and contribute, please get in touch. We need all sorts of skills beyond gardening - anyone with admin, fundraising, social media, IT, building, artistic, educational skills etc is most welcome. Contact us and we can arrange to meet at the garden to have a chat.


How the garden is managed

The garden is owned by Hastings Borough Council (HBC) and held by BWGA on a lease basis.


Charity Status was awarded in May 2016. Charity No. 1167167

Click here to view our entry on the Charity Commission Website


Our  Charity Objectives are:

(1) To promote for the public the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment;

(2) To advance the education of the public in the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment; and

(3) The provision of facilities for recreation and other leisure-time occupation in the interests of social welfare for the public at large with the object of improving their conditions of life.

The garden is managed by a small committee which meets regularly and submits its annual report and financial statement for each year ending 31st December. The members of the Management Committee are responsible for ensuring that the BWGA has an appropriate system of financial controls, for keeping proper accounting records which disclose, with reasonable accuracy at any time, the financial position of the Association, for safeguarding the assets of the Association and for taking reasonable steps to detect and prevent any financial irregularities.


There are currently four trustees:


Nigel Sinden (Chair)     
Susan Jirbandey
Lesley Bruce

Beryl Lovett


The Management Committee consists of the following volunteers with what roles they complete:


Darren – Finance Admin, Membership, Web Site.
Lesley – Catering & General garden maintenance
Sue – Treasurer
Dinah – Event Co-ordination
Nigel – HBC representative, Events
Terry – Maintenance
Beryl – Community & Education Groups/Secretary
Abi – Projects
Karen - Plots

They endeavor to ensure that all requirements in the lease from HBC are met.

The Committee is also responsible for the health and safety of plot­holders, members and volunteers working in the garden as well as visitors to the garden and ensuring that the Association complies with relevant statutory legislation.

The Committee is responsible for developing projects and events for the benefit of the members and the wider community in line with the business plan (See reference documents page)

Plot­holders, members and interested volunteers are kept informed of activities and events through the website, emails and other social media.