For the 10th year without a break, Lime Aid, in conjunction with Brighter Uckfield, continued the work of the late Mike Benions who started the movement to maintain Lime Tree Avenue in 2008.
In order to keep the c. 100 Lime (Tilia spp.) trees rejuvenated, they need to have all of the epicormic growth removed from the base of the trunk each year.
If this did not happen, the growth would turn each tree into a multi-stemmed thicket and the main tree trunk would start to rot from the top, creating a hazard to the many walkers using the avenue below, and signalling the end of the avenue as we know it. The trees were also pollarded in 2008, which involved reducing the height of each tree to about 15 metres. This will need doing again in about 2027, maybe before. The trees are about 200 years old, and were planted by the Nevill family to line the coach drive to their Manor House which was demolished during the 1960’s to create Manor Park.
About 10 local resident volunteers worked during the snow flurry of Saturday 11th February to remove this growth and tidy up the avenue. The Nevills had maintained these trees meticulously up until they left the estate. The trees are now owned by about 20 different individuals.
About 20 trees are owned by the receivership company Deloite. Most of the owners of the trees do not want to take responsibility for them so that it is left to volunteers to manage them each year. One tree at the southern end of the Avenue was felled in November 2016 as it was heavily infected with fungus and became dangerous.
Lime Aid and Brighter Uckfield depend upon volunteers who are willing to give up valuable free time to work on Lime Tree Avenue. Each year many kilograms of litter are collected from the avenue despite the many litter bins available. Martyn Stenning who is Chairman of Lime Aid asks all those who use Lime Tree Avenue to respect the fact that it is privately owned but available for public use, and to dispose of litter thoughtfully and please come forward to volunteer to maintain the trees as a vertical green lung and nature reserve for the amazing town of Uckfield.
Volunteers on Saturday included Martyn S, Vivien, Andrew, Mike, Cathy, Martin E, Chris and Beryl.
To find out more, please call Martyn on 07759 722655.
Some of the Volunteers on Saturday.
ALL IMAGES by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)