What do trees do for Lewes?

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Lewes is a town with a strong tradition of tree planting going back at least as far as the 17th century diarist John Evelyn.

It continued through Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and more recent times with park, street and private gardens benefiting from varying contemporary fashions over the years.

A recent bequest to the Friends of Lewes, the town’s Civic Society, for the planting of trees and the imagination of the late

The late environmental campaigner Paul Millmore, also bequeathed a sum for tree maintenance. This led to a vision for a 21st century continuation of the practice by establishing a Lewes town-wide arboretum. To that end it has commissioned a survey of the trees in the town.

The arboretum has the wider objectives of protecting, restoring and enhancing the Lewes treescape, with all the environmental and well-being benefits involved; providing educational and interpretive material for educational and tourism purposes; boosting tourism; and addressing some of the consequences of climate change and current tree disease outbreaks (such as Dutch Elm Disease, Phytopthera and most recently Chalara).

As part of its Lewes Urban Arboretum project, the Society is running a photography competition.

The subject is ‘Trees in the Lewes Townscape’. A tree, trees or part of a tree should play a major role in the composition, which should capture the contribution trees make to the appearance of the county town.

The opening date for entries is August 1 and the closing date is October 1.

To download an entry form and rules, or to learn more about the Arboretum project, visit the Friends of Lewes website at http://friends-of-lewes.org.uk, search for ‘Arboretum’ and follow the links, or get directly to the entry form by following http://wp.me/P1GAs3-iP.

You can also collect entry forms from Lewes Town Hall, the Tourist Information Centre and H A Baker the chemist.

There are three age categories in the competition: Under-12, Under-18 and Adult, and there will be an overall winner selected by members of the public.

The prize for each category will be a three-emtre tree (chosen from a list of species) for the winner’s own planting.

All entries will be shown on the Friends of Lewes website. Finalists (up to four per category) will be hung in the Town Hall lecture theatre on the evening of October 17, when the final judging will take place.

The Society said: “Show us what the trees of Lewes mean to you.”