A number of projects are ongoing from 2020 with the objective of turning the spotlight onto our village's strong surviving natural heritage. This includes both the historic living natural landscapes all around us and the intertwined tales of celebration of flora and fauna and the sustainable working of the land by the people of Henfield.
Arborea: The Trees of Henfield This community submission project encourages residents to record the living history of the trees around us and our interactions with them. Any medium is welcome- word, image, recording, song. Presented digitally here, audio visual presentations and printed publications are planned for the future.
In February 2020, a trip was made to Cambridge University Library to digitise 104 of local botanist William Borrer's letters, dating from 1815 - 1860 (with a long unseen cameo portrait also being disovered!). The largest part of these were written to fellow botanist Charles Cardale Babington, with the second part being a mixture of earlier letters from and to Borrer. Having been categorised, the transcription of these letters is now being divided up amongst volunteers.
Silhouette portrait of William Borrer Esq, courtesy of Cambridge University Library
The Wade family collection has recently been fully digitised, with prioritisation and digital cleanup of degraded images now proceeding where necessary prior to decisions on the first sets for printing and sale. Many of the Wade paintings and others from the museum collection include now lost Victorian & Edwardian views of Henfield's countryside setting.
'The Old Mill Henfield' by (Audrey) Daisy Wade
Natural History Mobile App/Wellbeing Trails
We hope to proceed soon with the development of trails optimised for the experience of multimedia content via mobile app. We are currently trialling this with the first trail aiming to feature the story of local botanist William Borrer.
Green Research, Displays and Articles
Research is ongoing or has recently been completed on the following:
• William Borrer: Henfield's famous botanist & his garden • Charles Green: Henfield's accomplished gardener • Misses Allen-Brown Violet Nurseries & Henfield Market Gardening • Henry Phillips: botanist, gardener & visionary behind the early Anthaeum bio-dome • James Starley: 'Father of the Bicycle', born in Albourne • Heritage research for Henfield Parish Council and the Campaign to Protect Rural Henfield (CPRH) The Boundaries of Henfield
This project aims to present images photographed by drone of the rapidly changing edge of Henfield, contextualised with historical imagery.