December 2016 – Middle Way, Valence Road, Abergavenny Road, South Downs Road
Following requests from, and consultations with, the local residents, the Trees Committee of Friends of Lewes applied for planting licences for replacement trees in Middle Way, Valence Road and Abergavenny Road. We worked with LDC and ESCC to secure the extensive utilities surveys necessary before planting permission was granted.
In December 2016, the Trees Committee planted the nine new street trees around Lewes, aiming towards our vision of Lewes as a “town in the trees” or an urban arboretum.
At the junction between South Way and Middle Way there is a grassy plot where two plaques record that trees were planted there to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935. Of the three trees growing there in recent years, one had been removed and one was very dead and we were asked by residents to replace them. We have planted: a fruiting cherry, (Stella on Colt rootstock); a Whitebeam, (Sorbus aria Magnifica), and a red Crab Apple, (Malus Rudolph).
In the cul-de-sac at the bottom of Valence Road, two Robinia trees had been badly damaged and we were advised that these trees were not vey hardy in our chalky conditions. At the request of residents, we have planted two specimen Liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon, (Sweetgum), trees, one on each side of the road. These trees have lovely rich red leaves in the Autumn.
In Abergavenny Road, opposite the gardens of St Pancras School, there used to be two Rowan trees with pink-white berries, (Sorbus Hupehensis), which were special to the neighbourhood because they had attracted a flock of Waxwings during the last cold winter. One of these trees was cut down in the summer and, having been advised that these Sorbus do not seem to have a long life on chalk, we planted three new Whitebeam, (Sorbus aria Majestica), near to the one remaining tree. Our hope is that the bright red berries of the Whitebeam will attract the Waxwings on their next visit to Lewes.
Finally, we revisited South Downs Road, where we had planted four trees in March 2015, to plant a Grey Alder, (Alnus incana), in the space which had used to be occupied by a burger van. This makes a fine row of five trees which meets our aim to increase the number of trees and improve the environment in this area of the town.