Planting of more than 14,000 trees begins!

We’re planting more than 14,000 tree whips across Brighton & Hove as part of our work to regenerate woodlands that have been devastated by ash dieback.

This is part of our Ash Dieback Regeneration Plan, which hopes to restore key woodland areas and enhance the city’s woodlands for the future.

Work will begin in Coldean where 2,640 tree whips will be planted over a 5-day period from 23 January 2023.

A tree whip is an unbranched young tree, which will be planted with 1m to 2.5m spacing and with tubex tree protection and a wooden stake to support.

Replanting will continue over a period of 3 months at sites across the city in Woodingdean, Moulsecoomb and Westdene, as well as Wild Park, Coney Wood, Abinger Woods and the ‘Three Cornered Copse’ in Hove.

We’re planning to plant a further 70,000 tree whips in 2024.

Ash dieback

Ash dieback is an incredibly disruptive tree fungal infection which is significantly affecting ash tree populations across the UK.

As part of our Ash Dieback Regeneration Plan, felling licenses were granted from the government’s Forestry Commission last year to remove infected trees to minimise the impact and reduce the risk to both the public and property.

We’ve had to remove around 10,000 infected ash trees from woodlands across the city so far and anticipate many more ash trees will need to be felled over the next few years.

Replanting plan

We have surveyed our woodlands and put together a replanting plan that includes a range of species to enhance the city’s woodlands by developing areas and habitat diversity to cope with diseases. This includes species such as oak, hazel, wild cherry and black walnut.

All tree whips have been provided by British Hardwood Tree Nursery.

While several methods of planting were considered, we have decided to regenerate by slip planting rather than natural regeneration since the species and seed stock is currently poor across the city’s woodlands. This is in line with Forestry Commission guidance.

The largest planned replant is at ‘Three Cornered Copse’ in Hove where 6,000 tree whips are expected to be planted within the next 3 months.

For more information about replant sites and what species to expect in your area, visit our ash dieback page.

A 10-year maintenance programme has been put in place to survey and monitor the young trees following replanting.  

How to get involved

While a significant number of tree whips will be planted by our teams, we are looking for volunteers to assist with replanting over the coming months.

An email is sent out each week with details of the tasks and a map detailing how to get to the meeting point. Volunteers can reply confirming their attendance and meet at the designated meeting point at 10am.

To join our volunteer mailing list, email

Hope for our woodlands

Councillor Elaine Hills, Co-chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: “It’s great news that we have started planting 14,000 tree whips this week.

“This stage of our regeneration plan is a promising and exciting development to ensure the longevity of Brighton & Hove’s green spaces and woodlands.

“It’s devastating that we have lost so many of our trees as a result of ash dieback, so it’s a priority of ours to ensure that a diverse range of plant species are brought to our woodlands to replace our lost trees.

“Our 10-year maintenance programme will ensure that our new trees are well cared for and given the best possibility of survival.

“It’s a huge positive to see that replanting has begun this week and that 2024 will bring an additional 70,000 tree whips to our city.”

For more information about our plans for managing ash dieback and replanting, visit our ash dieback webpages.

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