Holy Cross Church as photographed by Ian Ritchie from the tower at Uckfield Fire Station.

Ian Ritchie shares photographs of Uckfield’s green views

Recently-retired Uckfield firefighter Ian Ritchie took his camera to the top of the fire station tower this summer to capture views of the town from it, and shares his photographs here.

He says that from this unique view there is an impression the town has been dropped into a forest clearing, highlighting just how many trees there are to appreciate.

Ian writes:

Stand at the bottom of the Hgh Street and look North and all you can see is buildings with not a tree in sight save the minatures planted in the name of surface water flood prevention.

When walking around the town those who are unware of how close the ‘urban countryside’ is to them could be excused for failing to notice how green it actually is and thinking that it is just shops and housing.

Treeless High Street

A treeless urban view of Uckfield.

Take an elevated view and you suddenly appreciate the abundance of trees and greenery not apparently evident from ground level.

Over the years Uckfield has expanded from the original small market town into the once green fields which surrounded it and any appreciation of how much of a ‘country’ town it still is seems lost.

Holy Cross Church

Holy Cross Church tower emerging above the treeline.

From this unique view there is an impression that the town has been dropped into a forest clearing and highlights just how many trees there are to appreciate. To the North the magnificent Holy Cross Church stands proudly above the trees being perched at the top of the town.

Just below the church, Holy Cross CE School sits in a glorious sea of green with its excellent playing field which still sits under the potential threat of development.

Holy Cross CE School

Holy Cross Primary School, surrounded by greenery.

Tucked away at the bottom of the field, Belmont Oast House nestles almost hidden from view by its surrounding trees.

Belmont Oast

Belmont Oast House nestled among trees.

The Rocks Park and West Park Estates sit on the Western edge of the town and despite their size are obscured from view by surrounding trees and the West Park nature reserve.

Rocks Park Estate

Just a few of the homes on Rocks Park Estate, the rest are hidden among trees.

Looking to the South, the grand United Reformed Church peers over the trees suggesting that the Newtown area of Uckfield has an equal abundance of un-noticed greenery.

United Reformed Church

Uckfield United Reformed Church peering into trees.

The Bell Walk area appears more as dense woodland than car parks and retail confirming Uckfield’s country town image.

Bell Lane

The Bell Walk area, to the left in this picture, more trees than buildings.

Bounded on its southern edge by a row of trees which now fill the old rail route, the Bellbrook Industrial Estate also appears to have been ‘lowered’ into a clearing with the tree lined river flowing through its heart, while Bell Farm Road gives the impression of heading out of town and into the distant forest.

Bellbrook Industrial Estate

Bellbrook Industrial Estate.


And here is the Tesco car park. Plenty of trees in this photograph too.

Bell Farm Road

Bell Farm Road. Out of town to the countryside

Uckfield is surrounded by glorious countryside but there is much countryside to be appreciated within the town itself which is available to everyone by just looking beyond the High Street facades and taking note of our surroundings.

• Read more about Uckfield Fire Station in a premium listing in our Uckfield Directory.

• Ian Ritchie has written a series of articles on the history of Uckfield Fire Station. See them here:

History of Firefighting in Uckfield

Uckfield’s firefighting history – brigade gets horse-drawn steamer

Uckfield’s firefighting history – World War 2

How Uckfield fire service developed after World War 2

Uckfield’s firefighting history – when roads on the Ashdown Forest burned

Uckfield’s firefighting history: Great gale devastation

See also:

Uckfield’s Chris Baily becomes national visually impaired tennis champion

Dangers at every turn on Uckfield area A-class roads

New uses suggested for historic Uckfield High Street bricks

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com





Share this story

Sign up to receive daily news alerts

I'd like to receive updates every: