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.
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.
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.
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.
Tucked away at the bottom of the field, Belmont Oast House nestles almost hidden from view by its surrounding 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.
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.
The Bell Walk area appears more as dense woodland than car parks and retail confirming Uckfield’s country town image.
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.
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.
• Ian Ritchie has written a series of articles on the history of Uckfield Fire Station. See them here:
Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory