Sussex Roots, a student society at the Brighton-based university, triumphed in a search for a local cause that would benefit from a supply of the high-grade fertiliser and soil improver produced by Beddingham-based Tamar Organics.

The premium environmentally-friendly compost is free from peat, additives and chemicals. It is used by famous gardens including Glyndebourne, the Royal Festival Hall, Fairlight Hall and Kenilworth Castle, as well as top gardeners and landscape designers in the region.

The winning entry was selected by a panel including award-winning Cornwall-based garden designer Paul Stone. Paul, who has worked with the Eden Project, created two ‘Best in Show’ Gardens at Hampton Court Flower Show and collected numerous Gold and high award medals at Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton Park. Paul has also made many appearances on BBC Two’s ‘Gardeners’ World’.

Sussex Roots has recently started cultivating 700 square metres of newly cleared land, to encourage students and staff to discover the benefits of allotments. Their aim is to create an educational and bio-diverse area on the campus, showcasing the advantages of a healthy and sustainable food chain. The group’s aims were just what the judges were looking for. The prize will help meet the society’s compost needs and the group now also hope to improve raised beds and the campus’ family garden.

One of the judges, Andy Sibley, Divisional Manager, Tamar Organics said: “The Sussex Roots entry stood out head and shoulders for us as a worthwhile cause. We wanted to give a good local cause the opportunity to reap the benefits of the sort of soil improver that’s used by professionals around the UK. Sussex Roots do great work so we’re really pleased to be able to help them introduce the joys of gardening and growing your own food to more students and staff.”

William Cragg, a member of the society, said: “We’ve got big ambitions for our new area and winning Tamar Organics’ competition means everyone at the society is excited to get started. We’re really grateful for this help; it will make all the difference.”

Tamar Organics operates six composting sites around the UK, including Beddingham in Sussex. It is a subsidiary of Tamar Energy, the UK’s largest operator of anaerobic digestion plants, which turn organic waste into renewable energy and a nutrient-rich bio-fertiliser.

Pictured: Sussex Roots members (LtoR) India Connoly-Jones, William Cragg, Joe Eyles celebrate their win