By Dan Cain

Volunteers planted rare fruit trees at The Bevy pub on Sunday, January 27 helping it become Brighton’s first edible pub garden.

More than 40 people turned up at the Bevendean pub to get their hands muddy and support the regeneration of The Bevy’s garden.

A total of four rare Sussex apple trees and two plum trees were planted, as well as roses, wild flowers and spring bulbs.

The tree planting is the first step towards transforming the old ‘Bevy’ pub into a new hub for the community.

The chairman of the Bevendean community pub, Warren Carter, said: “Our aim is to make the garden look great. Some of the stuff we grow can go to the café and the rest will just look nice.”

Pub shareholders, residents and supporters of the project worked alongside, Stephan Gehrels of the Brighton Permaculture Trust, who helped the novice gardeners with the planting.

He said each of the apple trees would reach four to five metres in height and could produce up to 100kg of fruit once matured.

The apple trees are locally sourced and were once endangered.

Mr Gehrels said: “All these Sussex varieties were endangered varieties. Now there are quite a few schools and community groups that have them, like here.”

The Bevy’s street team were also on hand to ask residents about their thoughts on the future of the pub. The team carried out door to door surveys to find out what the residents like and dislike about the community.

Gavin Meaney, a member of the team, said: “People have bad memories of the old pub. Our ideas sound good to them and they are enthused but they don’t want it to return to the old ways.”

So far the project has come up with a number of ideas to prevent vandalism, fighting and loud noise which residents fear could return.

Mr Meaney said the pub would not open beyond 11pm and there would be doormen. He said the fact that the community were shareholders meant there was a vested interest in keeping The Bevy safe.

Michael Royston, 27, a volunteer on the day said: “The good thing about the project is it’s built for the community, by the community, to serve the needs of the community.”

The Bevy is auctioning off special commemorative plaques for each of the newly planted fruit trees. There are plaques available on ebay for £50 and buyers can have theirs engraved with a personalised message, with the money going towards the project total of £200,000.

Anyone interested in learning more about The Bevy project can do so by visiting