Planting at the Ham to celebrate Queen’s 90th

Diana East and John Dyson mark a tree planting with former town council chairman John Hollick last y

Diana East and John Dyson mark a tree planting with former town council chairman John Hollick last year. Sidmouth Arboretum has now set its sights on the Ham and the boat park. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 2054-20-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

Members of Sidmouth Arboretum are working on a community project to breathe fresh life into the eastern town and celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

A short-term plan to plant along the Ham, extending right up to the boat park, would revitalise that area of the town, say the people behind the initiative

Arboretum chairman Diana East said: “We discussed possibilities for improving the boat park and shrub borders on the Ham and agreed that – to do the job properly - designs would need to be agreed, prior to fundraising.

“However, a short-term project to replant the boat park would be possible – particularly if it could be agreed as a community project - linked perhaps to the Queen’s birthday celebrations [in June].”

At the arboretum’s annual general meeting this week, some members brought up the question of flooding across the area and whether this would be a concern for the project.

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In response, Simon Pollentine said: “The area does sometimes get hit by sea water but that’s not to say it cannot be done.”

Retiring treasurer and committee member John Dyson said the group could look at making improvements ‘step-by-step’.

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Speaking about the arboretum’s plans in the coming year, he said: “We all have different ideas, but we are all coming together with a common aim of improving the town and wider parish. If people have any time and are able to help, we are only too willing to bring people into the fold.”

The group also announced plans to host an open tree survey evening on the second Tuesday of each month in the Leigh Browne Room of the Unitarian Chapel from 5.30pm to 7pm.

A member of the committee will be present at each of these sessions and it will be an opportunity for people or groups to ask questions and hold discussions in an informal setting.

Member Jill Gray said she is very keen to talk to people from different groups who might be able to work with the arboretum committee for the good of the Sid Valley.

Anyone keen to find out more or get involved can email

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