A wonderful tour in October of the trees in our village has made me more aware of them, says Martin Flatman. Might I recommend doing the tour, even without our excellent guide Sarah Couch?
1. From Market Square walk west down Church Street, then follow Swan Street to Station Road.
2. The four big trees over the way are acacias (strictly speaking robinia pseudo acacia), popularised by William Cobbett of ‘Rural Rides’.
3. Walk south down Station Road and through the Abbey Fishponds area, where there are too many trees to mention.
4. Emerging on the playing fields, look at the old willows running alongside the Chilbrook, then follow the field edge to the lovely line of young oaks. Measure any oak and the inches tell its age: these are about 20 years old.
5. Behind the Sports Pavilion is a lovely walnut tree that sadly is to be cut down when the new pavilion is built.
6. Emerging on Oxford Road, look over and admire the tulip tree in the front garden of The Elms.
7. Walk up Queen Street and look right down the Bitterell to see a great Lombardy poplar.
8. In front of Beech Court in Newland Street are three great trees– a beech, a yew and a holm oak.
9. Walk east down the hill to Cobbetts Close. Walk up into the close and through the gate. Diagonally over on the left is the Peace Oak, planted in November 1919 – and yes, the circumference is around 100 inches. The three big trees beyond it are poplars.