Visitors have been flocking to Lordington Lavender, near Chichester, for the first day of its week-long opening to the public
The sun shone brightly on those who booked in advance to admire the sheer natural beauty of the lavender field and to listen in as owner Andrew Elms gave informative talks about the farm’s wildlife, flora and fauna as well as life on the farm and the process of growing lavender.
There was also the chance for visitors to take advantage of tea and cakes made by local charities, and buy Lordington Lavender products such as hand cream, dog shampoo and candles were on sale.
Organisers say booking tickets, which cost £6, became essential so that the “calm and natural atmosphere of the field is maintained and everyone can enjoy the beauty of the lavender. We have introduced a booking system to help spread the numbers across the week, as well as opening for two extra days. In addition, a new parking area has been designated with additional access to make entrance and exit easier.
“We are committed to keeping the field a rural, non-commercial oasis of bees, butterflies and other wildlife for everyone to enjoy. With this in mind, we have made every effort to keep it open to everyone. Entry for children under 16 remains free of charge and we welcome dogs on leads.
“Once again, our local charity teams will be providing delicious tea and cakes, including homemade lavender delights, raising funds for their chosen charities.”
Lordington Lavender, a family business, was established in 2002 by Mr Elms after selling his dairy herd and looking for a new way to diversify. He decided that lavender would be a “unique and exciting alternative”. The crop is grown with conservation of habitat and the environment very much in mind. No fertilisers or pesticides are used and it has become haven for wildlife.
Now, four acres of Mailette lavender, a French Provencal variety said to be famed for its high quality oil is harvested once a year to produce a wonderful essential oil. From originally just selling an essential oil a whole range has developed but all with one aim – to produce simple, pure and honest products using only the highest quality ingredients.