Trees can be conserved, but not preserved. Like all living things they grow, mature, age and die. They bring immense value to our lives which is not always recognised and appreciated. Our project vision is:
- Lewes – An Arboretum Town
We aim to increase our local community’s awareness and appreciation of trees, and change the way we look at Lewes: not trees in the town, but rather a town in the trees.
- Create an integrated, coherent resource from the town’s trees for educational, tourism and amenity purposes
We have a rich, diverse and interesting tree population (there are even some pomegranate trees), which can be curated into seasonal, commercial, medicinal and other groupings to make walks of educational value and tourist interest.
- Continue previous generations’ farsighted and generous tradition of planting for the future
The mature trees you see around the town will not last forever, and continual planting is essential to maintain our treescape. We’re not planting today for ourselves: we’re planting for our children and grandchildren. We encourage community engagement through volunteer planting and support in caring for newly-planted trees.
- Restore our streetscapes
Mature trees are lost through age and disease – and sometimes deliberate felling – from our streets. Often they are not replaced at all, or smaller species are planted in their place. The loss to our urban and suburban environments is substantial, and we aim to drive a cultural change regarding tree provision and management in our town. See the London Tree Officers’ Association’s report on The Barriers and Drivers for Planting and Retaining Urban Trees, which lays out the case.
In a time of changing climate, increased tree cover on our streets will provide shade, cooling and ecosystem services of increasing value, as well as improved visual amenity and wellbeing.
- Ensure that we plant species that will thrive in our changing climate
Some of our native and well-naturalised species, (elm, oak, horse chestnut, and now ash), are falling victim to a succession of diseases introduced as global trade increases. Climate change also means that some of our native species may cease to thrive. Diversifying the town’s tree population will minimise the risk of catastrophic losses through disease, climate change or other environmental factors.