Sidmouth Arboretum branches out into maintenance

Diana East of Sidmouth Arboretum with Charlotte Gottelier and Adam Neale from Willow Bridge Guest Ho

Diana East of Sidmouth Arboretum with Charlotte Gottelier and Adam Neale from Willow Bridge Guest House on Millford Road. The Arboretum have funded maintenance of trees at Millford Road by East Devon Tree Care tree surgeons. Ref shs 8044-43-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Arboretum is embracing a new role tidying up the town after it branched out to tackle a number of overgrown and dead trees in a conservation area.

The group, a civic arboretum for the whole parish, paid for the work in Millford Road after no-one else admitted owning the trees – and now it wants to hear from residents about other problems.

Chairman Diana East said the area is a key point on the Byes footpath that the members plan to replant with more manageable trees and shrubs before the end of the winter.

“It’s a major pedestrian footpath in a conservation area but the trees were dead, dying and overgrown,” she said. “It’s important it looks well cared for.

“There was no clear ownership of that part of the river bank, that’s how we came to step in.”

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Sidmouth Arboretum got approval from residents and the town and district councils before contracting tree surgeons East Devon Tree Care, who got the power switched off so they could remove dead trees and high canopy branches.

“We would like to continue the improvement down to the Ham,” added Diana.

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“Sidmouth in Bloom has done a lot of planting by the swimming pool but there’s still plenty of scope to do more.

“We would be happy to look at other areas people would like to see improved.”

The Willow Bridge guest house was among the properties to benefit from the Millford Road works as it’s regained its views of the Sid.

Charlotte Gottelier, who owns it with husband Adam Neale, said: “It’s much tidier and improves the impression of the town overall for people walking this way. [our customers will definitely appreciate it.]

Sidmouth Arboretum has been surveying all of the trees in the Sid Valley and has launched a tree trail but maintenance is a departure for the group.

Diana is keen to hear from residents about other problem trees or areas where the arboretum could intervene.

Send suggestions to or call her on 01395 519275.

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