Viva Lewes - The Hills are Alive

On Tuesday they started chopping down the old copper beech tree in front of Southover Grange. The process is to take four days; as I write this, the tree is still standing, though it’s had virtually all its branches sawn off. The only leaves which remain are right at the top. It looks rather like the tree has a head, and all its limbs have been amputated. But it still looks alive. By the time you read these words, this bushy crown will have gone too: they are chopping the tree down in four sections, so as to cause minimum danger to passers by. Obviously they chop from the top down. By the weekend only a hole in the ground will remain, and a few leaves, presumably. It is uncertain how old the copper beech is. They will be able to tell, I suppose, from the rings in the trunk. It is almost certainly older than any person in the town. Beeches can live up to 300 years. But it has also been cut down in its prime - it was affected by a fungus at its base, which is the reason it’s being killed. The council put up a notice on a fence near the tree explaining the necessity of its demise. It reads like an apology. The tree is in the car park of Southover school: the safety of the people using this car park must come first. We don’t doubt the wisdom of this policy. But nonetheless we wish to mourn the passing away of one of Lewes’ most prominent, beautiful and well-loved inhabitants. Enjoy the week.

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Where is it?
Cover: Doers and Dreamers by Giglia Sprigge
Above: nice tree - but where is it now?
Last week’s answer - bottom of Station Street