A new Tree Trail Walking Guide has been launched by Sidmouth Arboretum, this one covering Salcombe Hill and Salcombe Regis. 

Since the group was formed 10 years ago, Sidmouth Arboretum has produced a range of free walking guides. An accessible Town Centre Trail was launched in 2019, and the original Sidbury Trail was updated in 2020.  The printed leaflets have been produced in the past with grants from Sidmouth Town Council and the Sid Vale Association Keith Owen Fund.  The Salcombe Regis Trail was introduced in 2017 and has been overhauled completely, thanks to a grant from the East Devon AONB Communities Project Fund. 

The guide describes how Salcombe Hill and Salcombe Regis have an interesting range of trees.  Salcombe Hill was open heath until the late 19th century when it was enclosed to turn it into farmland.  Most of the ground was too poor for economic crops and so it was converted to woodland.  There is a mixture of native broadleaves such as oak and beech, and stands of Douglas fir with their curious ‘mouse tail’ cones. 

The Salcombe Regis valley has some ancient hedgerows with splendid individual oak and beech trees and the churchyard has a fine collection of trees planted in the 1960s and now fully grown. 

Arboretum Chair Jon Ball said: “Walking among trees is good for you, exercise in the fresh air enhanced by the uplift that trees have been proven to give.  In Japan they call it Shinrin Yoku or forest bathing. The new trail leaflet offers a choice of routes around Salcombe’s varied treescapes from gentle strolls on level sections to the more arduous but very rewarding climb up from Alma Bridge. 

“We are excited to be providing another stimulus to encourage people to enjoy our local trees and the countryside of the East Devon AONB, and we would like to say thank you to the Communities Project Fund for their generous support.” 

The full range of trails is available from the Tourist Information Centre by the swimming pool, or they can be downloaded from the Arboretum website.