Scots Pine is Tree of the Month

Devon Gardens Trust visit Sidmouth’s ancient trees

THE Devon Gardens Trust had a first rate wander around the ancient trees of Sidmouth last month.

Some in private grounds, such as Balfour Manor and Sidholme, Sidmouth, others very much open to the public such as The Knowle gardens, writes Diana East.

The original Knowle house – like so many in Sidmouth – was a large private home in the mid 19th century and then became a hotel, and more recently some have been divided up into apartments.

In the case of The Knowle, the house has been used by East Devon District Council since 1964, with many extensions.

Since the Second World War, it is not unusual for large gardens to have become too costly to maintain to the previous standards; and vegetable gardens, walled gardens, greenhouses have all fallen into disrepair or become over grown and suffered from lack of maintenance.

In the case of The Knowle there are some wonderful old trees, and such is the characterful Scots Pine shown in this photograph with members of Devon Gardens Trust group.

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The Trust works with owners to research the history of gardens and landscapes and advises on funding and appropriate restoration work.

The character of Sidmouth town includes a good number of magnificent tall mature trees.

We need to consider planting new trees so that when the old ones disappear, as they must, our landscape is not empty of sizeable trees which contribute so much amenity value and wildlife habitat.

The civic arboretum project, led by Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, is anxious to maintain the historic connections of ancient trees in the valley, as well as planning for new planting.

If you know of an old tree we would like to hear about it, please call (05603) 278 602 or email: