Sussex has always been a good place to grow cacti and succulents due to the relatively mild climate and above average sunshine.
In the 1950s the Sussex Branch of the National Cactus and Succulent Society (NCSS) was established and membership grew quickly with new Branches established in a number of the larger towns.
Sussex was also the home of a number of important national collections including Edgar and Brian Lamb's Exotic Collection in Worthing and the Holly Gate Reference Collection at Ashington, inspired by Clive Innes.
A more recent collection, open to the public, has been established by Jonathan Tate at Paradise Park at Newhaven. We also have two cactus nurseries, Holly Gate Cacti at Ashington and PlantLife in Eastbourne.
The Sussex Zone grew out of a committee set up to organise a Southern Area Show in Worthing in the late 1960s. Shortly after this the NCSS set up its zonal structure and this committee went on to organise a series of very successful Zone Shows.
At its peak the Sussex Zone of the NCSS had almost 250 members and there were a number of notable private collections in the area. Regretably few of these still exist and at the moment Sussex only has around 120 BCSS members while several former BCSS branches have closed.
If you live in Sussex, grow cacti and/or succulents and are not currently a BCSS member we need your participation.