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November 9th, 2018.

Remembering Seaford’s War Dead

104 men and boys from Seaford lost their lives in World War One. Planting a tree is a traditional way to remember a loved one. For the Armistice Centenary, Seaford Tree Wardens, working in partnership with the community, will be planting a tree for each of Seaford’s war dead. The trees will be planted around National Tree Week, at the end of November.

Seaford’s Elm Trees

Most of the memorial trees will be Elms. Elms have been chosen not only for their iconic beauty and huge value to wildlife, but because so many have been lost to the region due to the ravages of Dutch Elm Disease. The new trees are specially bred to be resistant to the disease.

The White-letter hairstreak butterfly
Another reason for choosing Elms is because Seaford is home to some of the last colonies of the rare White-letter hairstreak butterfly, which relies solely on the Elm. Local community groups have taken on the challenge to protect this butterfly and hope the disease-resistant Elms will ultimately create a new habitat.

Response from the community
Homes have been found for all 104 memorial trees in Seaford’s schools, churches, both golf courses, in a care home and even in private gardens. At Seaford Head Golf Course, 20 elms will form part of new wildflower meadows. Seaford Golf Club is also planting memorial elms and in a poignant twist, has discovered that some of the men who died in World War One were members of the Club.

Margery Diamand, Chair of Seaford Tree Wardens explained: “We’ve been absolutely delighted by the response from Seaford to the Elms for Armistice project. We hope that lots of people, young and old, will help plant, care for and enjoy the trees, and will be inspired to learn about the soldiers from Seaford who died in World War One, as well as the story of our Elms and the White-letter hairstreak butterfly. We hope that these trees will be a beautiful and lasting memorial for the men and boys from Seaford who lived and died so long ago.”

How to get involved and find out more
There are plenty of ways to get involved in the Elms for Armistice project, from helping to plant a tree, keeping an eye on the trees as they grow by volunteering as a ‘tree guardian’, spending a couple of hours in the fresh air on a ‘Tree TLC’ session or joining in on a butterfly survey. No experience is necessary. Contact or email

*The Elm for Armistice project is organised by volunteers from Seaford Tree Wardens, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation – Sussex Branch, and the South Downs National Park Authority with support from Seaford Town Council, Lewes & Eastbourne District Council and East Sussex County Council.