Gardeners plant new Aldwick tree

Mike Hopkins, left, with Paul Bignell
Mike Hopkins, left, with Paul Bignell

A HORSE chestnut is the latest sapling to be planted by Aldwick’s self-styled guerilla gardeners.

The parishioners have been saddened to lose pines, oaks, cypresses and other majestic trees that have given the area its distinctive character.

Aldwick still boasts more trees than any other parish but time is taking its toll on them.

The concerned residents want to ensure future generations will be able to wonder at the marvel of a woodland beauty among the decorative apples and pears and cherries.

Among them are three former parish tree wardens – Colin Crouch, Paul Bignell and Mike Hopkins.

Colin, who at 81 is the oldest of the guerilla gardeners, said: “There are still spaces bare of trees.

“We have saplings grown at the bottom of my garden.

“Our latest planting is a horse chestnut that, when we aren’t around to see it, will be spreading its magnificence over a patch of bare grass.”

Many of the parish’s fine old trees have been felled by storms. Some have been cut to prevent them falling.

Cash to replace them has been in short supply.

The county highways department has often preferred to fund smaller ornamental specimens instead.

It was a sensible policy, said Colin, in a suburban environment but still a shame to lose the traditional species.

The three men lament the decision of Aldwick Parish Council to go without tree wardens.