Tree campaigner pleads with Brighton College to save rare elm tree

Posted On 17 Sep 2014 at 1:18 pm

A green campaigner and prospective councillor is calling on planners to turn down Brighton College’s application to expand because they would lead to the felling of a rare elm tree.

Picture by Tom Druitt

Picture by Tom Druitt

Tom Druitt, who helped save another elm at Seven Dials by living in it for two days, wrote an impassioned blog post pleading for the tree to be saved.

He said: “Elm trees are rare, beautiful trees.  We’ve lost so many, but we’ve still got a fine collection due to the hard work of many people over a number of decades.  

“Isn’t that worth something?  Shouldn’t we be protecting each and every healthy mature elm in the city?”

The college wants to tear down its existing swimming pool and old music school and build a five-storey academic building.  The works require the felling of the elm. The plans are being considered by Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee this afternoon.

When asked if he would launch another tree-top protest if they are approved, he said: “The tree is on private property. I would hope to work with concerned parents, students and neighbours.”

Mr Druitt is standing for the Green Party in the Regency ward in next year’s city elections.

  1. feline1 Reply

    I cannot help but thinking that if people like Tom Druit planted a NEW elm tree for every day they instead spend lamenting the impending demise of an old one, we’d have a small forest of them maturing quite nicely by now!
    There are some environment issues that are very difficult to tackle, but planting trees is extremely easy. Get on with it!!

  2. rolivan Reply

    Yes perhaps Mr Druitt could push for more Elm Trees to be planted in Elm Grove now that vehicles are no longer allowed to park on the Tarmac that was once Grass and in between have the kerb set back to allow vehicles to park ‘legally’

  3. feline1 Reply

    A splendid suggestion, rolivan!

  4. Tom Druitt Reply

    Yes, definitely! The money left over from the Seven Dials campaign was used to plant a tree in Montpelier Crescent, and I’m working with local tree enthusiasts at the moment to get more urban trees in the city. If you’d like to join us please tweet @tomdruitt or email

  5. Jams Lille Reply

    The tree should be saved – such a rare variety is more important than a pointless development

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