Plant hunter to tell story of jungle kidnap and building a world garden

Plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke, who was kidnapped in the Colombian jungle and held captive for nine months, will be giving a talk at Buxted Park Hotel on Monday, November 25.

His story will range from growing up in a castle, to living under the threat of death in the jungle, and to achieving his ambition of creating a World Garden made up of all the plants he has collected.


The lunch is being organised by the charity Hospices of Hope and funds raised will help pay for vital hospice care in Albania, Moldova, Romania and Serbia.

Tom grew up at Lullingstone Castle in Kent and it is there that he has created the World Garden with plants from across the globe, planted out in their respective countries of origin.

The design for the dream garden was conceived on a day that, three months into captivity, Tom and his travelling companion were told to prepare to die that night.


The execution didn’t happen, and Tom and his companion were released six months later in time for Christmas 2000.

Tom is well-known for his TV work including Channel 4’s A Dangerous Obsession which followed his search for an orchid to name after his grandmother, and Save Lullingstone Castle produced by KEO Films for BBC2.

The Gardens and Guerrillas Lunch will take place on Monday, November 25, from noon until 3pm at Buxted Park.


Tickets are £35 per person, and include a welcome drink, a two-course lunch with a glass of wine, coffee and mints. They can be booked through the charity’s website

Tom said: “I am delighted to be talking at this event, and I am really looking forward to meeting everyone at Buxted Park.

“Hospices of Hope is a great charity that really helps children and adults struggling with serious illness, often in conditions of great hardship.”

For more information please contact Sam Barnett at Hospices of Hope on 01959 525110 or by email at

See also:

November round-up of Uckfield business news

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