For the stone, see Wealden Group.

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

Wealden District
Non-metropolitan district

Wealden shown within East Sussex
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region South East England
Non-metropolitan county East Sussex
Status Non-metropolitan district
Admin HQ Hailsham
Incorporated 1 April 1974
  Type Non-metropolitan district council
  Body Wealden District Council
  Leadership Leader & Cabinet (Conservative)
  MPs Caroline Ansell
Maria Caulfield
Nus Ghani
Huw Merriman
  Total 322.4 sq mi (835.0 km2)
Area rank 42nd (of 326)
Population (mid-2014 est.)
  Total 154,767
  Rank 123rd (of 326)
  Density 480/sq mi (190/km2)
  Ethnicity 98.3% White
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
  Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
ONS code 21UH (ONS)
E07000065 (GSS)
OS grid reference TQ5519524567
Website www.wealden.gov.uk

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.


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 2015 the council is composed of the following councillors:- [1]

  Conservative: 49 seats
  Independent Democrat: 4 seats
  Independent: 1 seat
  Liberal Democrat: 1 seat

The district is second-level in local government, responsible for town and country planning and domestic rubbish and recycling collections, for example. There are 55 members of the Council, representing 35 wards.[2][3] The towns have more than one ward: Crowborough has five; Hailsham, three; Heathfield, two; Polegate, two; and Uckfield, four. The ward boundaries are regularly redrawn in an attempt to maintain a standard number of electors per councillor. They are at 2007:

WardPopulation (2007)CouncillorsElectors per councillor
Buxted and Maresfield505222526
Chiddingly and East Hoathly293412934
Cross in Hand/Five Ashes229112291
Crowborough East520222601
Crowborough Jarvis Brook269812698
Crowborough North503522517
Crowborough St. Johns226212262
Crowborough West479122395
East Dean218612186
Forest Row535622678
Hailsham Central and North559122795
Hailsham East276912769
Hailsham South and West840132800
Heathfield East234912349
Heathfield North and Central783232610
Ninfield and Hooe with Wartling236212362
Pevensey and Westham898132993
Polegate North481122405
Polegate South224512245
Uckfield Central298412984
Uckfield New Town260412604
Uckfield North531722658
Uckfield Ridgewood296812968
Total Wealden142238552586

This district is entirely civil parished, enabling all farms and outlying homes to have an established community and influencing civic body, into:[3][4]

ParishTypeArea (sq mi)Population (2007)Pop Density /sq mi
AlcistonParish Meeting2.714653.7
AlfristonParish Council3.6774214.2
ArlingtonParish Council7.149069.2
BerwickParish Council1.9289149.4
BuxtedParish Council8.43145376.4
Chalvington with RipeParish Council4.31082252.0
ChiddinglyParish Council6.81006147.9
CrowboroughTown Council5.2199883812.1
Cuckmere ValleyParish Council6.819728.9
DanehillParish Council8.71927220.3
East Dean and FristonParish Council3.31577474.9
East Hoathly with HallandParish Council5.81343229.9
FletchingParish Council9.91041104.7
Forest RowParish Council12.65054402.4
FramfieldParish Council7.61855243.3
FrantParish Council12.31367110.9
Hadlow DownParish Council6.6715109.1
HailshamTown Council7.5198362652.3
HartfieldParish Council16.22157132.9
Heathfield and WaldronParish Council20.411514564.5
HellinglyParish Council7.61552205.1
HerstmonceuxParish Council9.52598272.8
HooeParish Council3.9446115.4
HoramParish Council4.02583643.3
IsfieldParish Council3.0564190.7
LaughtonParish Council7.358579.7
Little HorstedParish Meeting4.116840.8
Long ManParish Council6.241266.2
MaresfieldParish Council10.13246319.9
Mayfield and Five AshesParish Council16.43562217.6
NinfieldParish Council4.11520371.7
PevenseyParish Council6.83152463.8
PolegateTown Council2.880212853.6
RotherfieldParish Council17.83151177.0
SelmestonParish Meeting2.619073.1
UckfieldTown Council2.9138734810.0
WadhurstParish Council15.54818311.0
WarbletonParish Council11.21262112.3
WartlingParish Council4.339692.7
WesthamParish Council5.558291066.9
Willingdon and JevingtonParish Council4.161561511.3
WithyhamParish Council14.22651186.7
Total Wealden 321.7142238442.2


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.

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[5]
Local AuthorityOwnedOwned with a loanSocially rentedPrivately rentedOtherShared 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
Shepway 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 Victoria.

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.[6]

See also


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