Branching out in Lewes Town


Did you know that Lewes only has 11% tree canopy cover – whereas the minimum recommended for towns and cities is 20%? The Friends of Lewes’ Arboretum project is working to change that – and is inviting suggestions for tree-planting sites, as Audrey Jarvis explains.

Since 2014, The Friends of Lewes’ Arboretum Project has been working to support and expand Lewes town’s rich, diverse but relatively small tree population.

To date, we’ve planted more than 130 mature street trees and almost 2,000 whips as hedges to reap the benefits of having more trees in town – from shadier streets to more places for birds and wildlife to the sense of wellbeing that leafier, greener spaces provide. Not to mention the vital role that trees play in tackling climate change by absorbing CO².

Recent planting

Our 2022 tree planting season began at last with a splendid day in Malling on Sunday 20 November. Having taken a few months to research good sites where there aren’t too many underground services, we planted 12 street trees on the verges and open spaces.

In Fitzgerald Road we planted three Whitebeams and two Alders on the green and an Amelanchier and a Judas tree on the verge nearby. Round the corner in Queen’s Road, we planted a Tulip tree then moved on to Barn Road to plant and a Field Maple, a Crab Apple and an ornamental Pear. Last of all we went to Prince Charles Road to plant a new Elm as a replacement for the marvellous Wheatley Elm that was felled there recently.

These 12 trees have been funded by a very welcome donation from the Rotary Club of Lewes as their contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy. They were chosen for their biodiversity and ecosystem values, resilience, and chalk tolerance.

What’s next

Our plans for the next few weeks include planting 33 more trees in the Wallands, Winterbourne and Landport areas. We are very grateful to Lewes District Council and East Sussex County Council officers who gave us planting permissions, supplied the service maps of underground utilities, and generously included us in their Local Authorities Treescapes Fund grant, which will pay for 20 of the 45 trees we are planting this season!

Many of our tree-planting sites have been suggested by Lewes residents. So if you have an idea for a site, please email us at

You can also find out more about our tree and hedge planting by visiting our website at  Lewes Urban Arboretum – The Friends of Lewes (




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