Wealden District

Wealden is a local government district in East Sussex, England: its name comes from the Weald, the remnant forest which was once unbroken and occupies much of the centre and north of this area. The term is cognate with Wald, forest or wood in German.

Coordinates: 50°59′56″N 0°12′43″E / 50.999°N 0.212°E

Wealden District
Wealden shown within East Sussex
Wealden shown within East Sussex
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyEast Sussex
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQHailsham
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyWealden District Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsStephen Lloyd (LD)
Maria Caulfield (Cons)
Nusrat Ghani (Cons)
Huw Merriman (Cons)
 • Total322.4 sq mi (835.0 km2)
Area rank44th (of 317)
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total160,175
 • Rank122nd (of 317)
 • Density500/sq mi (190/km2)
 • Ethnicity
98.3% White
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code21UH (ONS)
E07000065 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ5519524567


Wealden District was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the Hailsham and Uckfield Rural District Councils (RDCs), both set up under the Local Government Act 1894, which also revived the parish councils.


Wealden District Council is elected every 4 years, with the Conservative party having had a majority on the council since the first election in 1973, apart from a couple of years after 1995 when no party had a majority. As of the last election in 2019 the council is composed of the following councillors:- [1]

Wealden District Council 2019
Wealden District Council after the 2019 election.

The district is second-level in local government, responsible for town and country planning and domestic rubbish and recycling collections, for example. There are 45 members of the Council, representing 41 wards.[2][3]The towns have more than one ward: Crowborough has six; Hailsham, seven; Heathfield and Waldron, five; Uckfield, five; and Polegate, three.[4] The ward boundaries are regularly redrawn in an attempt to maintain a standard number of electors per councillor. They are at 2007:

Ward Population (2007) Councillors Electors per councillor
Alfriston 2481 1 2481
Buxted and Maresfield 5052 2 2526
Chiddingly and East Hoathly 2934 1 2934
Cross in Hand/Five Ashes 2291 1 2291
Crowborough East 5202 2 2601
Crowborough Jarvis Brook 2698 1 2698
Crowborough North 5035 2 2517
Crowborough St. Johns 2262 1 2262
Crowborough West 4791 2 2395
Danehill/Fletching/Nutley 5003 2 2501
East Dean 2186 1 2186
Forest Row 5356 2 2678
Framfield 2611 1 2611
Frant/Withyham 4767 2 2383
Hailsham Central and North 5591 2 2795
Hailsham East 2769 1 2769
Hailsham South and West 8401 3 2800
Hartfield 2606 1 2606
Heathfield East 2349 1 2349
Heathfield North and Central 7832 3 2610
Hellingly 5117 2 2558
Herstmonceux 2826 1 2826
Horam 2583 1 2583
Mayfield 2615 1 2615
Ninfield and Hooe with Wartling 2362 1 2362
Pevensey and Westham 8981 3 2993
Polegate North 4811 2 2405
Polegate South 2245 1 2245
Rotherfield 2402 1 2402
Uckfield Central 2984 1 2984
Uckfield New Town 2604 1 2604
Uckfield North 5317 2 2658
Uckfield Ridgewood 2968 1 2968
Wadhurst 5085 2 2542
Willingdon 7121 3 2373
Total Wealden 142238 55 2586

This district is entirely civil parished, enabling all farms and outlying homes to have an established community and influencing civic body, into:[5][6]

Parish Type Area (sq mi) Population (2007) Pop Density /sq mi
Alciston Parish Meeting 2.7 146 53.7
Alfriston Parish Council 3.6 774 214.2
Arlington Parish Council 7.1 490 69.2
Berwick Parish Council 1.9 289 149.4
Buxted Parish Council 8.4 3145 376.4
Chalvington with Ripe Parish Council 4.3 1082 252.0
Chiddingly Parish Council 6.8 1006 147.9
Crowborough Town Council 5.2 19988 3812.1
Cuckmere Valley Parish Council 6.8 197 28.9
Danehill Parish Council 8.7 1927 220.3
East Dean and Friston Parish Council 3.3 1577 474.9
East Hoathly with Halland Parish Council 5.8 1343 229.9
Fletching Parish Council 9.9 1041 104.7
Forest Row Parish Council 12.6 5054 402.4
Framfield Parish Council 7.6 1855 243.3
Frant Parish Council 12.3 1367 110.9
Hadlow Down Parish Council 6.6 715 109.1
Hailsham Town Council 7.5 19836 2652.3
Hartfield Parish Council 16.2 2157 132.9
Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council 20.4 11514 564.5
Hellingly Parish Council 7.6 1552 205.1
Herstmonceux Parish Council 9.5 2598 272.8
Hooe Parish Council 3.9 446 115.4
Horam Parish Council 4.0 2583 643.3
Isfield Parish Council 3.0 564 190.7
Laughton Parish Council 7.3 585 79.7
Little Horsted Parish Meeting 4.1 168 40.8
Long Man Parish Council 6.2 412 66.2
Maresfield Parish Council 10.1 3246 319.9
Mayfield and Five Ashes Parish Council 16.4 3562 217.6
Ninfield Parish Council 4.1 1520 371.7
Pevensey Parish Council 6.8 3152 463.8
Polegate Town Council 2.8 8021 2853.6
Rotherfield Parish Council 17.8 3151 177.0
Selmeston Parish Meeting 2.6 190 73.1
Uckfield Town Council 2.9 13873 4810.0
Wadhurst Parish Council 15.5 4818 311.0
Warbleton Parish Council 11.2 1262 112.3
Wartling Parish Council 4.3 396 92.7
Westham Parish Council 5.5 5829 1066.9
Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council 4.1 6156 1511.3
Withyham Parish Council 14.2 2651 186.7
Total Wealden 321.7 142238 442.2


Wealden District covers two main upland areas: the section of the High Weald within East Sussex; and the eastern end of the South Downs, between which lies the Vale of Sussex, its lowlands of which are named the Pevensey Levels. The River Ouse, some of the tributaries of which originate in the district, is the border with the Lewes District; and the River Cuckmere is wholly in Wealden. The English Channel to the south is interrupted by Eastbourne. The River Rother rises on the Weald and flows easterly to the east of Rye Bay. The Wealden basin contains significant reserves of shale oil, totalling 4.4 billion barrels of oil in Wealden and surrounding areas according to a 2014 study, which then Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said "will bring jobs and business opportunities" and significantly help with UK energy self-sufficiency. Fracking in the area is required to achieve these objectives, which has been opposed by environmental groups.[7]

It is the central of the three East Sussex non-borough (low density) districts: the others being Lewes to the west, and Rother to the east.

Home ownership

The district has the highest proportion of home ownership of the 37 local authorities in Surrey, Sussex and Kent: combining the social (housing association and local authority provided) and private rented sectors, Brighton and Hove's returns recorded in 2011 that its rented sector comprised 44.4% of its housing, whereas 18.8% of Wealden's residents rented their homes. Neighbouring Rother has a marginally higher proportion of homes owned outright, 3.1% greater and a greater rented sector.

Form of home ownership in Surrey, Sussex and Kent compared[8]
Local Authority Owned Owned with a loan Socially rented Privately rented Other Shared ownership
Wealden 42.3 36.5 7.7 11.1 0.8 1.7
Epsom and Ewell 36.8 40.2 8.1 13.3 0.9 0.8
Surrey Heath 34.8 42 9.2 12.1 0.8 1
Tandridge 36.2 39.7 10.8 11 0.9 1.4
Horsham 37.3 37.2 11.5 11.8 0.7 1.5
Mid Sussex 35.5 38.8 10.6 12.8 1 1.4
Arun 42.8 31 8.8 15.3 0.8 1.2
Adur 37.8 36 13 11.4 0.6 1.2
Waverley 37.7 36 12.4 11.3 1 1.7
Mole Valley 39.1 34.5 12.2 11.9 0.9 1.4
Rother 45.4 28.1 10.3 14.1 0.5 1.5
Reigate and Banstead 33.2 39.9 11.9 12.9 1.2 0.9
Elmbridge 34.2 38.8 9.8 15.1 0.7 1.2
Sevenoaks 37.5 35.2 13.2 10.8 1.7 1.6
Lewes 39.8 32.8 10.9 14.5 0.7 1.3
Spelthorne 33.9 38.6 12.4 12.6 1.4 1
Tonbridge and Malling 32.6 38.6 16.1 10.1 1.5 1.1
Woking 31.6 38.9 11.9 15.7 0.9 1
Maidstone 32.9 37.5 12.8 14.6 1.1 1.2
Runnymede 33.1 36.4 12.9 15.2 1 1.4
Worthing 34.8 34.5 10 19.3 0.5 0.9
Guildford 33.7 35.1 12.8 15.8 1.3 1.3
Ashford 31.8 36.6 14.4 14.3 1.3 1.5
Swale 31.4 36.9 14.3 15.2 1 1.2
Medway 28.9 38.8 13.2 17.1 1 1
Chichester 40.5 26.6 14.9 14.9 0.9 2.2
Dartford 27.5 39.4 14.8 16 1.3 1
Dover 35.3 31.3 14.3 17.1 0.5 1.7
Canterbury 35.5 30.5 12.2 19.5 0.8 1.4
Tunbridge Wells 32 33.7 15.2 16.9 0.8 1.4
Folkestone and Hythe 35.3 29.5 11.2 22.2 0.5 1.3
Gravesham 30.7 33.9 17.3 16.1 0.8 1.2
Thanet 33.4 28.6 12.7 23.8 0.3 1.2
Eastbourne 33.5 28.3 13.2 23.4 0.7 1.1
Crawley 22.2 36.9 23.8 14.5 1.4 1.2
Hastings 26.9 28.3 14.6 28.8 0.5 1
Brighton and Hove 23.4 29.9 14.9 29.5 0.9 1.3


The major trunk road is the A22, London to Eastbourne; it is crossed by the A26 MaidstoneLewes road at Uckfield; and the A267 Tunbridge Wells to Eastbourne road. There are also three west-east roads: the A259 coastal route; next inland is the A27 Pevensey–Brighton trunk road; and further to the north the A272 cross-country route to Winchester.

The East Coastway Line, serving Eastbourne and Hastings, uses the Vale of Sussex and has two station serving different sides of Pevensey in the district, which forms a generally suburban conurbation with Westham and a largely rural holiday and visitor coastline, Pevensey Bay. The other railway line is the Uckfield Branch Line from London Bridge.

Long-distance footpaths include the:


Major landmarks include the Seven Sisters and Cuckmere Haven along the coast; and the Long Man of Wilmington together with all of the paths over the South Downs National Park. Roman fortified hills can be found in the north of the area and Uckfield has a large architectural conservation area.

Sheffield Park Garden is an informal landscape garden now owned by the National Trust but laid out by Capability Brown. Near to this is its terminus, of the Bluebell Railway a heritage, steam railway line.

For late medieval castle construction moated Herstmonceux Castle was begun in 1440 and is study centre of Queen's University open to visitors and organising tours on a few summer days.[9]

Ashdown Forest is to the north of the Weald and is the home of Winnie the Pooh

See also


  1. ^ "Wealden Council: Your Councillers".
  2. ^ "Council - Wealden District Council". www.wealden.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  3. ^ "The Wealden (Electoral Changes) Order 2016". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  4. ^ "The Wealden (Electoral Changes) Order 2016". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  5. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  6. ^ Interactive map showing locations of parishes
  7. ^ Prynn, Jonathan (23 May 2014). "Massive oil reserves lie under commuter belt in South, says report". London Evening Standard. p. 8.
  8. ^ Office for National Statistics 2011 Census Key Statistics: Tenure. Shared ownership forms the small remainder of each proportion.
  9. ^ Scheduled ancient monument: Herstmonceux Castle. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1002298)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
1999 Wealden District Council election

The 1999 Wealden District Council election took place on 6 May 1999 to elect members of Wealden District Council in East Sussex, England. The whole council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2003 Wealden District Council election

The 2003 Wealden District Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of Wealden District Council in East Sussex, England. The whole council was up for election with boundary changes since the last election in 1999 reducing the number of seats by 3. The Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2007 Wealden District Council election

The 2007 Wealden District Council election took place on 3 May 2007 to elect members of Wealden District Council in East Sussex, England. The whole council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2011 Wealden District Council election

The 2011 Wealden District Council election took place on 5 May 2011 to elect members of Wealden District Council in East Sussex, England. The whole council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2015 Wealden District Council election

The 2015 Wealden District Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect members of the Wealden District Council in England. It was held on the same day as other local elections.

2019 Wealden District Council election

The 2019 Wealden District Council election took place on 2 May 2019 to elect all members of Wealden District Council in England. Due to new ward boundaries, the number of total seats was reduced to 45 seats, elected from 41 wards.


Alciston is a village and civil parish in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England. It is inland, just off the A27 road, about ten miles (16 km) north-west of Eastbourne and seven miles (11 km) east of Lewes. The ecclesiastical parish is linked with that of Selmeston and Berwick.

Saxon in origin, its name was then Aelfsige; it is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The present 14th-century church, of unknown dedication, is built of chalk from the nearby South Downs. There is a large medieval tithe barn in the village. It is 170 feet (52 m) long and is the largest in Sussex.

Every Good Friday, the road outside the Rose Cottage Inn is closed for the villagers to take part in a traditional skipping contest.


Buxted is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex in England. The parish is situated on the Weald, north of Uckfield; the settlements of Five Ash Down, Heron's Ghyll, Hadlow Down and High Hurstwood are included within its boundaries. At one time its importance lay in the Wealden iron industry, and later it became commercially important in the poultry and egg industry.The village has both road (the high street is also the A272) and rail links to Uckfield and to London via Oxted.

Danehill, East Sussex

Danehill (also known as Dane Hill) is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. The village is located on the border with West Sussex, five miles (8 km) north-east of Haywards Heath, and on the edge of the Ashdown Forest. Other places within the parish include the village of Chelwood Gate and the hamlets of Furner's Green and Twyford.

The Prime Meridian passes through the middle of Danehill.

There are no major industries within the parish. One tourist attraction is the Ashdown Forest Llama Park which is located within the parish. The Cats Protection has its head office, The National Cat Centre, in the parish.

The 2007 estimated population for the parish is 1,927, increasing to 1,957 at the 2011 census.


Frant is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England, on the Kentish border about three miles (5 km) south of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

When the iron industry was at its height, much of the village was owned by ironmasters. Smuggling occurred here in the 17th and 18th centuries; and one of the turnpike roads (now the A267) came through here at that time.Frant church is dedicated to St Alban; and there is a church school. St Alban's Frant was a major surveying point for the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) calculating the precise distance and relationship between the Paris Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory, undertaken by General William Roy.

There are three public houses in the parish: The Abergavenny Arms on the A267 in Frant, The George Inn in the High Street and The Brecknock Arms at Bells Yew Green. The George Inn plays host to the Sloe Gin World Championships each December, which attracts entries from around the globe. Col. John By, Royal Engineer heading the Rideau Canal project, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1826–1832, is buried here. He was also the builder of Bytown, which became Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

Gun Hill, East Sussex

Gun Hill is a hamlet in the civil parish of Chiddingly in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England. It is one of the seven hills of the parish in which it stands. Its nearest town is Uckfield, which lies approximately 7 miles (11 km) north-west from the village. The hamlet is where Wealden and Wealdway cheeses are produced.


Hellingly (pronounced 'Helling-lye') is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England.


Isfield is a small village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex in England, located north-east of Lewes.

Laughton, East Sussex

Laughton is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. The village is located five miles (8 km) east of Lewes, at a junction on the minor road to Hailsham (B2124). It appears in the Domesday Book, and there are Roman remains nearby.

Education is provided at the Laughton Community Primary School. The parish church is dedicated to All Saints. The Roebuck Inn, on the Lewes Road, provides accommodation and food

List of Parliamentary constituencies in East Sussex

The ceremonial county of East Sussex,

(which includes the unitary authority of

Brighton & Hove)

is divided into 8 Parliamentary constituencies

- 4 Borough constituencies

and 4 County constituencies.

Long Man

Long Man is a civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England which includes the villages of Wilmington, Milton Street and Folkington. The parish is named after the Long Man of Wilmington, a 69.2-metre (227 ft) chalk figure in the parish.

The parish extends far from the left bank of the modest River Cuckmere where it starts to cut through the South Downs; after it is Cuckmere Valley immediately south. The A27 trunk road crosses the parish from west to east. The Wealdway long distance footpath also passes through the parish.

Richard Jones (The Feeling)

Richard Jones is a British musician.


Selmeston is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. It is located eight miles (13 km) east of Lewes, to the north of the A27 road between there and Polegate.

The church existed at the time of its mention in the Domesday Book; it is dedicated to St Mary. The ecclesiastical parish is linked with the village of Alciston.

The Labour politician John C Wilmot (1895–1964) took his title of Baron from the village.

Wealden District Council elections

Wealden District Council in East Sussex, England is elected every four years. From 2003 until the election in 2019, 55 councillors were elected from 35 wards. From 2019, 45 councillors have been elected from 41 wards.

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