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Heavenly Lordington Lavender

For just one week every year, Lordington Farm, near Chichester, opens up their gates to the public for a glorious walk around their 4-acre field of lavender. When ChichesterWeb visited earlier this week, we managed to grab a few moments with owner, Andrew Elms to find out a little bit more about the background to this event.

     

During the open week event, 10-16 July 2017, Andrew Elms gives fascinating talks about lavender farming in Chichester, and we were lucky enough to catch him straight afterwards with some questions of our own.

From talking to Andrew it is clear to see he is very keen on the natural wildlife in the area and his farming methods help them to thrive. His conservation grade farming means Andrew’s work is not just for profit, but also about helping to cultivate the land to create greater biodiversity so that local flora and fauna can flourish. Indeed on the farm they have many species of butterflies including Cabbage Whites, Marble Whites, Humming Bird Hawk-Moth, Large Blue, Red Admiral, Peacock, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady. There are also 12 birds identified by the RSPB including Skylark, Lapwing, Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Red Kite, Barn Owls. Most noticeably of all must be the bees of which there are 6 major species of bumblebee.

Lordington Lavender started with 25,600 Mailette lavender plants in 2002, a variety found in the Provençal area of France and especially chosen for their high quality oil producing content. It is those very same plants that are still growing strong today on the 4 acre plot.

The lavender is harvested after open week has finished. Once the flowers have been cleaned and trimmed they go to be steam distilled at a plant in Siddlesham to extract their precious oil before being cleaned up and delivered back to Lordington Farm. Lordington use the oil to produce a variety of products, from room scents and soaps to culinary grade oil for cooking and adding to drinks. Their latest addition is a glorious scented candle, perfect for recreating that French atmosphere at home. You can buy all of Lordington Lavenders products at the Open Days or direct from their website or find them at the Chichester Farmers markets, they will also be at West Dean Chilli Fiesta (as will we!)

 

 

 

Wedding car.Catering marquee.

The farm is nicely signposted and there is plenty of parking available. The whole family will enjoy the tractor-trailer ride taking you into the hub of the farm. Stepping off the tractor we could instantly smell the gorgeous lavender and the view was quite breath-taking.

Walking up the lavender field in between the lavender plants was truly delightful, one thing you couldn’t help noticing was just how many bees there were, a lovely sight at a time when we are constantly hearing how quickly their numbers are declining.

We're already looking forward to visiting again next year!

Lordington Lavender Website Link
 
Wedding car.Catering marquee.
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Andrew’s top lavender keeping tip – once the lavender has finished flowering around mid-august, be brave and cut it right back into the shape you want and it will come back again next year. Treat them mean and keep them keen! They like hot arid weather so don’t overwater and place in full sun.

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