A magnolia tree has been planted to celebrate 70 years of Wilton Park, a foreign affairs discussion forum.
Foreign policy forum Wilton Park has been based at Wiston House in Steyning for 65 years, bringing together delegates from the UK and abroad to discuss topics including defence, human rights, and the global economy.
Richard Burge, chief executive of Wilton Park and Harry Goring, owner of Wiston House, were on hand to plant the commemorative tree at the ceremony yesterday afternoon.
Mr Burge said: “We are very privileged to be able to call Wiston House our home, and very pleased to be able to share this corner of Sussex with people who come from all over the world to discuss global peace, prosperity and justice.”
Despite it pouring with rain until two minutes before the start, the event was a success. A large number of guests gathered to watch the ceremony, including former employees and current conference participants.
Wilton Park, an executive agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has this week hosted the annual British German forum.
The event allows 40 future leaders from Britain and Germany to reinforce political and social bonds between the two countries, and this year focused on what happens now Britian has voted to leave the European Union.
Discussions on the future relationship of Britain and Germany provided the perfect backdrop to celebrate the first Wilton Park dialogues on rebuilding democracy in post-war Europe in 1951.