‘Pick your own’ fruit farm to open outside Chichester

A new ‘pick your own’ fruit farm is being set up near West Wittering Beach.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:36 pm
Matthew Higgs at the new "pick your own" farm near Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2106211 SUS-210621-172224001
Matthew Higgs at the new "pick your own" farm near Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2106211 SUS-210621-172224001

Local residents Matthew Higgs, Nick Cottrell and Sam Allison will run Dell Quay PYO Strawberries in a field on Birdham Road.

An opening date of July 1 has been set for the attraction, which will be open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am until 6pm. 

Visitors will be able choose their own strawberries and raspberries in any weather, thanks to the purpose-built polytunnels There will be a café on site selling barista coffee, tea and locally sourced cakes and an ice cream van.

Matthew Higgs at the new "pick your own" farm near Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2106211 SUS-210621-172254001

Joint business owner Matthew said planning for the business began shortly before the pandemic.

He said: “We’ve planted 36,000 strawberry plants and 1,800 raspberry plants. They will be staggered over two months, from July to early September. 

“It’s a great day out.”

Matthew’s daughter Evie said the inspiration for the business came from her cousins, who started a similar venture in Wales. 

Matthew Higgs at the new "pick your own" farm near Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2106211 SUS-210621-172317001

“We thought this area was perfect for it,” she said. 

“The area was desperate for something like this. It’s such a prime opportunity for visitors in the area. 

“It’s amazing for a family day out as it covers all generations.”

The new independent business will not be affected by the fresh food supply crisis in the UK.

Matthew Higgs at the new "pick your own" farm near Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2106211 SUS-210621-172305001

Experts have warned that supermarket shelves could sit empty in the coming months due to a shortage of lorry drivers.

“That certainly was on our mind,” Matthew said. “One of the reason we chose pick your own is because of this employment situation.

“I own a marquee contractors business and we cannot get labour.

“This is completely the opposite. You pick your own fruit and take it home so we are not affected by that here at all.

Matthew Higgs at the new "pick your own" farm near Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2106211 SUS-210621-172339001

“Labour on site is minimal apart from the people doing the shop. Family and friends have assisted with planting.”

The new business can be found on Facebook at @dellquayPYOstrawberries.