Britain's best tree avenues
There's nothing quite like walking down a boulevard on a summers evening, with the trees towering above you and the sun shining through the leaves, casting shadows on the pavement. Here is our pick of the best tree avenues in Britain...
Kingston Lacy Beech tree avenue, Dorset
Over 170 years old, the Kingston Lacy tree avenue was planted in 1835 and holds more than 700 beech trees along what is now the B3082 near Wimborne Minster. Since 2008, 24 trees have been removed and a further 160 have had branches removed due to disease, old age and prior neglect. In May last year, the trees were felled as part of the National Trusts conservation efforts and the trust replaced the missing trees with Hornbeams, a similar looking but more resilient alternative to the ancient beeches.
Clumber Park Lime tree avenue, Nottinghamshire
This avenue is the longest of its kind in Europe. Planted around 1840, it is near enough 2 miles long, consisting of 1,296 common lime trees. In 1906 suggest the trees suffered from insect attack and to remedy this, black bands of thick grease were painted round the trunks to trap the insects. These are still visible on many of the trees today.
Kesteven Forest Yew Tree Avenue, Clipsham
The Yew Tree Avenue amounts to 150 clipped 200-year-old yew trees. The Avenue was once the carriage drive to Clipsham Hall at the centre of the Clipsham Estate. The topiary was begun in 1870 by Amos Alexander, the estate's Head Forester and the clipping is carried out each autumn by the Forestry Commission's local craftsmen. Each of the shapes commemorate a historical event, stories or people and the collection has grown to include the three bears, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the first moon landing and a tribute Amos Alexander himself.
Art in the Avenues, Hull
Time for something a bit different. This isn't your usual set of avenues, in fact if you visit Hull, you wont see many trees at all. In the mid-1990's many large trees in the Avenues Conservation Area of Hull, East Yorkshire, were being cut down. Residents were unhappy with the loss of the trees, and Kevin Storch, a local sculptor agreed to sculpt a trunk if it could be left in place. The trunk of a lime tree was left in Marlborough Avenue and from 6 September to 10 October 1998 Kevin Storch sculpted Hull's Angel. Since then, other artists have joined the project and there are now twelve tree sculptures around the area.
Biddulph Grange Wellingtonia Avenue, Staffordshire
This deceptively named avenue was originally planted with cedar trees and in 1995, they were felled in order to make room for a new planting of alternating cedar and wellingtonia trees, as were the original plans of the garden's creator James Bateman. Eventually, the plan is for the cedars to be removed, allowing the wellingtonias to assume their rightful dominance.