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Hotham Park needs YOU.   Help protect the heritage of Hotham Park – the ‘lungs’ of Bognor Regis.
Please read on to learn about the change to Friends of Hotham Park and help continue the HPHT legacy.

Friends of Hotham Park urgently need the help of the local community to continue the legacy of Hotham Park Heritage Trust. The Friends have loads of exciting new ideas such as childrens story telling around the Alice statues; a mother and toddler club; regular Tree Trail walks; early morning bird walks; night time sky watching; bat walks; an Easter bonnet event and an Easter egg event to name but a few. These are for the benefit of the Park, visitors to the Park and the local area in general but they CANNOT happen without more Members and Volunteers to help.

So why the change from Hotham Park Heritage Trust to Friends of Hotham Park?

Hotham Park Heritage Trust (HPHT) is being closed after more than 20 years of working with Arun District Council and many other organisations and individuals to help protect, conserve and enhance the Jewel in the Crown of Bognor Regis – Hotham Park. During this time HPHT has raised over £125,000 for the benefit of the Park.

This decision was made after a thorough review by the Trustees, when it was decided that HPHT – a registered charity – would unfortunately have to be closed. The reason for this is because it had become increasingly difficult for the Trust to find volunteers who were willing to be Trustees, Members, Event Organisers and Event Volunteers – all of which were unpaid and would have been essential to continue organising and running the increasing number of events that HPHT held in Hotham Park each year. These included the annual Country Fair, Carols in the Park, Music in the Park and Film in the Park events which have entertained tens of thousands of people over the years.

Rather than just close the Trust the Trustees worked hard to find an alternative solution. After much consideration it was decided that the best way forward would be to support and help finance the creation of a new organisation called Friends of Hotham Park which, by being an unincorporated voluntary organisation, would have less onerous regulatory control (which seemed to deter people from becoming Trustees of HPHT). The Trustees also thought that people might be more interested in joining an organisation that is more obviously about being a Friend.

Friends of Hotham Park (FoHP) is now ‘up and running’. It is being run by an entirely new committee, all of whom are also unpaid, and they urgently require YOUR help and support to hopefully continue the work of HPHT, whilst at the same time coming up with new ideas to take the venture forward. By becoming a Member and Volunteer of FoHP not only will you be helping to ensure this happens, you will also be a part of the community within Hotham Park and could have a say in what happens in the future.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys Hotham Park, whether by using the Children’s Playground, having runs, walks and picnics in the Park, attending events or walking dogs in the Park. It is also great for anyone who is interested in the protection of our environment in general. In these days when it is increasingly appreciated that woodland areas are the ‘lungs’ of the world your time in helping protect and conserve the heritage of this beautiful Park will make a big difference, especially to Bognor Regis and the surrounding area. What would happen to the environment without the wonderful green space of the Park?

Friends of Hotham Park can be contacted through Facebook or Instagram (click the relevant link) or by emailing info@fohp.org. They would love to hear from you.

Please continue reading this website as it has loads of information that will help you to explore and appreciate the Park in full whilst also giving you a history of the Park and work of HPHT.

HPHT are proud to have raised over £125,000 for the following over the years:

  • seating and lighting in the Mary Macfie Pavilion (the Pavilion was built with a £20,000 bequest to the Trust)
  • commissioning and funding the Mad Hatter’s table, then a further 3 figures for the Alice in Wonderland trail
  • providing ongoing funding towards equipment for the Children’s Playground
  • helping towards the cost of restoration of Hotham House Clock Tower
  • paying for the replacement sundial, situated close to the Clock Tower
  • purchasing and installing nine park benches
  • purchasing two interpretation boards, one next to Hotham House and the other next to the Mary Macfie Pavilion
  • contributing towards lighting for the bandstand
  • contributing towards plants and improvements for the ornamental pond
  • paying for provision of a Blue Cedar Tree
  • paying for and installing the Christmas Tree by the Lodge at the main entrance to the Park
  • paying towards the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the Lodge garden
  • commissioning and funding a sculpture inside the main gates depicting life within the Park
  • repainting engine shed for Hotham Park Railway, with voluntary help from The Environment Agency

HPHT will also be funding the following between now and spring 2020, working in association with Arun District Council who will be undertaking much of the work on behalf of the Trust.

  • new fencing around far end of Children’s Playground
  • natural play area in Children’s Playground – grass mounds, boulders, tree stumps etc
  • new trees to be planted throughout the Park, in the style of William Fletcher
  • new park benches and picnic tables throughout the Park
  • improvements to the Discovery Garden
  • a new flag pole beside the Lodge car park
  • shot-blasting of rose garden ironwork (4 x obelisk + 4 x trellis)
  • refurbishment of notice board in Lodge car park
  • information board beside sundial with instructions on how to read the dial

Total raised for the above

£125,617

(plus funding for smaller projects and events such as Carols in the Park, Music in the Park and Film in the Park).

The Trustees will complete the closure of Hotham Park Heritage Trust once all remaining projects have been finalised, with funds spent as above and in accordance with the constitution of the Trust.

All events listed on this website have always been organised and run entirely by a small group of unpaid Trustees, Members and Volunteers of Hotham Park Heritage Trust, which is now being closed, as explained above.

The new charitable group, Friends of Hotham Park, are hoping to continue the legacy of HPHT by running various events in 2020 but they need your help. For more information please email info@fohp.org or click here

© Hotham Park Heritage Trust – Registered Charity Number 1117011