Sidholme hosts anniversary event for Sidmouth Arboretum

Sidmouth Arboretum's anniversary celebration at Sidholme

Sidmouth Arboretum's anniversary celebration at Sidholme - Credit: Sidmouth Arboretum

Sidmouth Arboretum celebrated its 10th anniversary in the gardens of Sidholme on Sunday, May 8. 

It was on May 7 2012 that the whole Sid Valley was declared a Civic Arboretum by Sidmouth Town Council, launching a programme to protect and celebrate the valley’s wealth of trees and wildlife. One of the Arboretum’s first tasks was to carry out a survey of the trees in the valley, and a small band of volunteers carried out the study, guided by Exeter-based Treeconomics. The results have guided the Arboretum’s choice of trees and planting sites, while taking account of climate change.   

Diana East and Jon Ball, president and chair of Sidmouth Arboretum

Diana East and Jon Ball, president and chair of Sidmouth Arboretum - Credit: Sidmouth Arboretum

Last weekend the new owner of Sidholme, Ali Rad, invited members of the Arboretum and their guests to celebrate their achievements over the last decade in the gardens of the Grade Two listed building. The town council provided marquees, Vinnicombes Bakery provided cakes decorated with tree designs, there was music from the Jurazzic band, and the Sid Folk Choir performed a song they had composed specially for the Arboretum. 

Music during the Sidmouth Arboretum anniversary celebrations

Music during the Sidmouth Arboretum anniversary celebrations - Credit: Sidmouth Arboretum

The event featured a display of paintings from the exhibition of ‘tree art’ that was held at Kennaway House last month. A group of local artists worked with Sidmouth Arboretum to create paintings and other works featuring 70 of the Sid Valley’s trees, to honour the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. From each piece of art that was sold, 15 per cent was donated to the Arboretum to support its tree planting programme. A selection of the paintings was hung in the marquee and they were available to buy at the event. 

A guided walk around Sidholme's mature trees during Sidmouth Arboretum's anniversary celebration

A guided walk around Sidholme's mature trees during Sidmouth Arboretum's anniversary celebration - Credit: Sidmouth Arboretum

Ed Dolphin of Sidmouth Arboretum led two guided walks around the mature trees in the gardens of Sidholme, talking about their history and that of the hotel building. 

Chairman Jon Ball gave a short speech outlining future plans, which include more planting, more research, more leaflets and a return of the annual Tree Celebration in November. Finally, the founder member and current president of Sidmouth Arboretum, Diana East, presented a Persian ironwood tree to Ali Rad as a gesture of thanks for his hospitality. 

Diana East presents Ali Rad with a tree to thank him for his hospitality

Diana East presents Ali Rad with a tree to thank him for his hospitality - Credit: Sidmouth Arboretum