Prince Charles pays a visit to Sheffield Park

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Back in March 1988 HRH Prince Charles paid a visit to Sheffield Park as part of a visit to East Sussex.

At the time the Middy reported that the Prince was a patron of the National Trust Trees and Gardens Storm Disaster Appeal.

This was set up following the Great Storm of 1987 which caused destruction in the UK and ripped up many trees in Sheffield Park. National Trust properties lost about quarter of a million trees in that one night.

Sheffield Park lost more than 2,000 trees and shrubs as well as its drainage system.

On the National Trust website it said: “The Bluebells have never been the same since because of the lack of tree cover and there is four times as much grass to mow for the same reason.

“For a long time, plants put in after the storm either failed or were slow to establish due to the cold, wet conditions that have resulted from the lack of proper drainage. New drainage was installed 15 years after the storm with money raised from the ‘Planting for the Future’ appeal.”

The National Trust Trees and Gardens Storm Disaster Appeal raised more than £3million in six weeks. The money was used for replanting and restoration work.

On his visit back in the eighties the Prince met staff at the park including head gardener Archie Skinner.

He was said to be saddedned by the vast loss of trees at the park.

The paper said: “Chatting to Mr Skinner by an oak tree, the heir to the throne looked out upon what once was a horizon of beautiful and healthy trees and said how lucky it was his home in Gloucester was to have missed the storm.”

It noted that schoolboy Stevan Allen, 12, from Horsted Keynes, took along his Jack Russell Kizzy to meet the Prince.

Stevan said: “He asked me what sort of dog it was and said he has one as well which was brown and white and moulted a lot.

“It was lovely to meet him, I never expected him to talk to me.”

Were you there for the visit? If so, please let us know.