Kingston Action Group

Kingston Action Group

Kingston Action Group


The Action Plan Steering Group, as it was originally named, was set up early in 2006 by Kingston Parish Council in response to a government initiative which required local authorities to draw up action plans reflecting the needs and aspirations of the communities they served. The first task of the Group was to draw up an action plan for the parish.

The first Kingston Action Plan was published in 2007 after extensive consultation with residents. It was updated and republished in 2011 and copies distributed to all households in the village. A further consultative exercise was carried out in 2013 and priorities identified for action either by Kingston Parish Council or the Action Group.

The Action Group, as it is now called, continues to operate independently of the Parish Council though works closely with it. It aims to represent the voices and views of the people of Kingston and convey these to the Parish Council. In late 2023,  for example,  it  responded to an invitation to contribute to the framing of a Parish Priority Statement formulated by the Parish Council, this Statement intended to be used for developing future action plans and policy decisions affecting the village.

The Group  produces regular updates for The Kingston News and is always open to suggestions and ideas for new projects. Membership is open to anyone concerned to protect and enhance the village and always includes at least one Parish Councillor.


The Group is closely assisted by a number of volunteers who undertake practical work in and around the village. As well as planting wild flowers and trees, volunteers help keep village paths clear of leaves, overhanging branches and debris, undertake  regular litter collections and try to protect roadside verges in the village from damage by traffic.

Over the years, the Group has been involved in securing several important road safety improvement measures and has campaigned constantly for action to reduce the speed of traffic through the village. We were successful in convincing the Parish Council of the need for additional bins for litter and dog poo and since their installation there has been a marked reduction in problems with both.

The Group has also been instrumental in framing the Parish’s entry to the annual Parishes in Bloom competition (part of the national scheme run by the Royal Horticultural Society since 2002 although originating in 1962) and in securing three successive gold certificates from 2021 onwards.



Recent work has concentrated on green initiatives. Several thousand daffodil bulbs were established along verges in Ashcombe Lane and Well Green Lane in 2009. More were added in later years including over 1000 opposite the garden centre on the Lewes-Newhaven road.

A new hedge was planted on the Village Green (behind the Juggs) in 2010 and has since been under-planted with wild hedgerow plants and snowdrops. More snowdrops were added here in the spring of 2018 and a variety of wildflowers, bought as plug plants and grown-on by villagers, in 2019.

With financial help in 2017 from Waitrose (to the tune of c £300) and in 2018/2019 with a further £4000 from the Tesco Bags of Help Community Grant Scheme, many more bulbs have been planted in the village to add to the several thousand already established which were financed by individual private donations.  Kingston Parish Council  provided the Group with £10,000, spread over four years, to help extend the planting programme.

By the spring of 2024, the Group had established 19,000 crocus, mostly on Snednore but also around St Pancras Green, as well as 18,000 snowdrops along verges in The Avenue and The Street. In addition, volunteers from the Group have planted more than 400 primroses and around 250 other wildflowers of various species, each selected for its attractiveness to pollinating insects. It is the ambition of the Group to continue to add to these, year on year.

Wildflower meadows

In the autumn of 2020,  a section of turf was stripped from the village green and removed to allow wildflower seeds to be sown in the less fertile subsoil. The resulting mini-meadow the following summer proved popular with villagers, anecdotally at least, and the experiment was repeated  and extended the following year.  The wildflowers were also popular with a variety of insects including  several species of butterfly attracted to the site, where there had been none before.  Species included Common Blue and Meadow Brown as well as less common species like Small Copper and Brown Argus.  The new meadows require little maintenance beyond an annual autumn cut.

Community Wildlife Garden

In September 2020, the Group began its most ambitious project when it assumed responsibility for the management of a former allotment at Gow’s Croft, renting it from Lewes District Council. The abandoned site was heavily overgrown with bramble, bindweed and nettles and took more than 100 hours of volunteer effort to clear.

In the years since, the Group has transformed the area into a Community Wildlife Garden, installing a shed, a greenhouse,  compost bays, raised beds, a perimeter path, water butts, a water tank and a seating area. We have also erected fences and carried out extensive planting of bulbs,  fruit trees, shrubs and perennials.  This work has been financed by grants from a variety of sources including the Chalk Cliff Trust,  the South Downs National Park and Kingston Parish Council. Lewes District Council have supported the project throughout, providing some of the fencing and two entrance gates. They also assisted by removing  more than a ton of green waste in the initial stages of the work.  More than 50 individuals in the village have been involved so far, either by working on the site or donating materials including the shed and greenhouse.

The Garden will be valuable as a new public recreational space in the heart of the village and as an exemplar of gardening with wildlife in mind.  It will also demonstrate what can be achieved without the use of chemical poisons.

Contact us

We are always pleased to receive suggestions from residents and welcome offers of help. If you would like further information, please get in touch with a member of the Action Group whose contact details are below.

Victoria Scott (Chair)
Steve Berry (Secretary and Treasurer)

Catherine Dampney

Will Dorman

Barrie Lambert

Dr Robert Watson

Tony Wheeler

Serving as a representative of Kingston Parish Council
David Hoare