Tree Planting

Google map of trees planted by the Friends of Lewes since 2014This Google Map shows where members of the Friends of Lewes Trees Committee have planted trees as part of the Lewes Urban Arboretum Project which began in 2014.

Click on the green tree symbols for photos, location, and details of the trees planted.


November 2021 – Planting street trees in the Wallands area

We now have 31 more street trees in Lewes!

Over three working parties in November, 12 hard-working members of our Trees Committee planted 10 trees in King Henry’s Road, 13 in Gundreda Road and 8 in Prince Edwards Road. Funding for the trees was met through a successful grant application to Sussex Community Foundation for £4,500, kind donations and bequests from residents, and a generous donation from Sparks Property.

The trees were carefully chosen for longevity and resilience in our changing climate and they include: Tulip trees, (Liriodendron tulipifera), Japanese Pagoda trees, (Sophora japonica), Hop Hornbeam, (Ostrya carpinifolia), Chinese Elm, (Zelkova serrata), Cockspurthorn, (Crataegus x prunifolia), Field Maple, (Acer campestre “Louisa Red Shine”), Nettle tree, (Celtis australis), Sweet Gum, (Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon), and Maidenhair tree, (Ginkgo biloba).

Thank you to all the co-operative residents who have promised to look after the trees if they need watering during prolonged dry spells – and who kept us going with cups of tea on the planting days!

This brings the total of surviving trees that we have planted since 2014 to 112! We have a long list of suggestions for planting sites in 2022 – but we would be interested to hear of any other ideas from Lewes residents.

Tree planting in the Wallands, Lewes, November 2021
Planting trees in the Wallands, November 2021: a Sophora, Celtis, Tulip Tree, and an Acer. Click image to enlarge


February 2021 – Planting wildlife hedge at Jubilee Gardens, Juggs Road

At the beginning of February 2021, members of Friends of Lewes Trees Committee helped to plant a new wildlife hedge alongside the fence at Jubilee Gardens Open Space, off Juggs Road, Lewes. The 200 whips used are all native trees and include Field Maple, Hornbeam, Spindle, Blackthorn, Downy Birch, Silver Birch, Pedunculate Oak, Hawthorn, Dog Rose and Hazel.

The trees were funded through a “Beelines” grant from South Downs National Park Trust as part of their campaign to create new wildlife corridors to link habitats and make it easier for pollinators to flourish. The project was another successful collaboration between Lewes Urban Arboretum and Lewes District Council and we are grateful for the support of Chris Bibb, LDC Specialist Adviser, and Jan Knowlson, SDNP Ranger. Thanks also to Matthew Stuart of Bonny’s Wood, for delivering the mulch for the hedge.

Hedge planting at Jubilee Gardens, Lewes
Hedge planting at Jubilee Gardens, Lewes [Map]


January 2021 – Planting wildlife hedges at Lewes Cemetery

In January this year we planted over 200 whips (small trees), in the grounds of Lewes Cemetery to make two wildlife hedges along the bottom wall and fence near to the Winterbourne. The trees include Alder, Blackthorn, Alder Buckthorn, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn, Hazel, Hornbeam, Dog Rose, Rowan, Spindle, Willow and Field Maple. Together with the 27 trees that we planted there in November 2020, and the Elm which we planted earlier in January this year, they will help to make sure that there is a long flowering season for the many pollinators recorded at the Cemetery.

The work was completed over three mornings by small family pairs of volunteers as part of the Lewes District Council and Lewes Urban Arboretum project to further increase the biodiversity of this important Local Wildlife Site. Our plans to involve more volunteers had to be changed because of the current Covid-safety regulations but the whips needed to be planted as soon as possible before they came out of their Winter dormancy.

We had intended to pay for the hedge whips ourselves, but thanks to collaboration with Chris Bibb of Lewes District Council, and Jan Knowlson of the South Downs National Park, it has been fully funded by a successful application for a “Beelines” grant from South Downs National Park Trust.

Hedge planting at Lewes Cemetery
Hedge planting at Lewes Cemetery, January 2021. Click image to enlarge


January 2021 – New Year: “New Horizon”

The Trees Committee made a positive start to the new year with the planting of a new Elm tree, Ulmus “New Horizon”, at Lewes Cemetery on January 15th. The tree was awarded to us by the Tree Council as the result of a successful application for one of the thirty trees they wished to donate to Tree Wardens to celebrate thirty years of their Tree Wardens Scheme. In our application we explained the nature conservation value of Lewes Cemetery, which is designated as a “Local Wildlife Site”. It provides a good habitat for a wide range of pollinators, and the rare Long-Tailed Blue Butterfly, Long-horned Nomad Bee and Brown-banded Carder Bee were all recorded there in 2020. Elms are the sole food plant of White-letter Hairstreak butterflies and this species has suffered as a result of Dutch Elm Disease.

The Ulmus “New Horizon” was introduced in 1957 by Eugene Smalley, who was determined to “put a smile on the landscape” by creating disease-resistant Elms that could tolerate the harshest of conditions. The tree is said to be 100% immune to disease and able to grow despite drought and floods. It is the same variety as the four lovely Elms which we planted on St. Anne’s Hill as a joint project with ESCC in 2017-2019.

Our tree is planted at the top end of the Cemetery, just inside the gate nearest to the Winterbourne Hollow entrance. We are very grateful to Lewes District Council, especially Chris Bibb, LDC Specialist Adviser, for their permission and support in planting this tree – and the twenty-seven other trees which we planted at the Cemetery in November.

Friends of Lewes Planting resistant Elm
Planting the disease-resistant Elm, Ulmus “New Horizon” at Lewes Cemetery – click image to enlarge


November 2020 – Thirty mature trees planted in Lewes

This November members of the Trees Committee of Friends have made a fantastic start to the tree-planting season by planting thirty mature trees in Lewes!

On Sunday 1st November we planted nineteen trees in Lewes Cemetery: four Grey Alder, four Swedish Whitebeam, three Cut-leaf Beech, an English Holly, a Copper Beech, a Judas tree, two Field Maples and three Irish Yews. We had a great team and the willing helpers included neighbours James Power and Juliette Mitchell from Rotten Row and the family of Chris Bibb, who is an active member of the Trees Committee. Careful siting of the new trees will increase biodiversity without compromising the chalk grassland recovery on the areas of the Cemetery left unmown for wildflowers.

On Wednesday 4th November, in a second working party organised at short notice once the new lockdown restrictions had become apparent, we planted a further eight trees: three small-leaved Lime, three Amelanchier and two Hybrid Larch. To celebrate that this was a collaborative project between Friends of Lewes and LDC, we invited several councillors to join us and were pleased to welcome Councillors Adrian Ross, Imogen Makepeace and Matt Bird. They all took an active part in digging, planting and staking the trees, as the photographs on our Facebook page, “Lewes Urban Arboretum”, will show you!

FoL planting trees at Lewes Cemetery
Planting Copper Beech, Holly, Irish Yews, and Larch at Lewes Cemetery. Click image to enlarge

The trees were chosen for the interest they would add to the landscape and for their resilience to chalky soil conditions and climate change. Some of us have taken part in Wildflower Lewes surveys of the Cemetery over the Spring and Summer and observed a wide range of butterflies and bees there, including Long-tailed Blue, Wall Brown and Adonis Blue butterflies! The rare Brown-banded Carder Bee, Bombus humilis, and the Long-horned Nomad Bee, Nomada hirtipes, were also recorded at the Cemetery by James Power last June. Knowing this, we considered how our tree planting might add to the food available for pollinators throughout the year. With the addition of the mixed native hedgerow that we plan to plant along the wall near the Winterbourne stream before the end of the year, the trees selected should provide a long season of flowering from February to October.

On Saturday 7th November, a small group of us met at Mount Harry Road to plant a Grey Alder and a native Crab Apple on the grass rectangle there – a project that had to be postponed from March. Last of all, we went back to Prince Edwards Road where we planted a Whitebeam to replace the Hawthorn which we had planted in November 2019 and which had suffered from fire blight.

Planting Whitebeam at Prince Edwards Road; Grey Alder, and Crab Apple at Mount Harry Road
Click image to enlarge


A new Elm for Lewes!

Back in September, Tree Wardens were invited to apply for one of thirty trees offered by the Tree Council to celebrate thirty years of their Tree Warden Scheme.

Elms on St Anne's Hill, LewesOur application was successful, and we will be taking delivery of a DED-resistant Elm, Ulmus “New Horizon” in January, to be planted at Lewes Cemetery. This is the same sort of Elm as the four we planted on St. Anne’s Hill, in collaboration with ESCC. It was developed by a Professor Eugene Smalley who began in 1957 with a determination to develop 100% DED-resistant Elms to “put a smile on the landscape”, to reflect his philosophy of smiling through hard or difficult times. It is believed that Ulmus “New Horizon” is the answer to providing mature Elms for the future and it is also key to the survival of the endangered White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.


Friends of Lewes plant elm grove at Vert WoodsTree planting in 2019

  • Seven street trees planted for National Tree Week
  • Vert Wood Elms
  • Lewes Street Elms Project – update

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Trees planted in Highdown Road, LewesTree planting in 2018

  • Mount Harry Stores, and Houndean Rise
  • Lewes Street Elms Project
  • Houndean Rise

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Tree planting in 2017

  • Abergavenny Road revisited


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Tree planting, Valence Road, LewesTree planting in 2016

  • Middle Way, Valence Road, Abergavenny Road, South Downs Road


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Tree planting at Southover SchoolTree planting in 2015

  • Malling Industrial Estate
  • Southover School
  • Southover and Western Road Schools
  • Lewes street tree survey

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