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Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue in process of restoration

The nationally famous Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue is getting a ‘haircut’ for the first time in five years.

Yew Tree Avenue, features more than 150 trees, most of which once depicted a famous person, event or pattern.

The avenue is more than 200 years old and was once the carriage driveway leading to Clipsham Hall.

Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham
Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham

The Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue Trust has started a programme of restoration works on the yew trees.

In 2018, following several years of negotiations, the trust was formed as a new charity and granted a 20-year management licence to restore and maintain the avenue.

Forestry England, which holds a 999-year lease for the Avenue, was unable to fund the upkeep after 2014, meaning it has been more than five years since the trees were last trimmed causing them to lose their shape and patterns.

Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham
Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham

Trustee Sue Thomas said: "The cutting of the trees is a job needing professional expertise and we have commissioned Euan Mclaren Tree Services to carry out this important task.

"They started their work on October 1 and it will take approximately six weeks to complete the re-creation of the original shapes of the trees."

Funding to restore the trees has been raised by the trust from individual supporters and sponsorship.

More than £15,000 will need to be raised each year to keep the trees trimmed and in good shape.

Restoration of Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham
Restoration of Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham

In addition to the restoration works on the Yew Trees, the trust has obtained grants from LEADER and the Rutland Healthy Living Scheme to resurface the car park, make new signs and interpretation boards as well as putting a wheelchair-friendly path from the car park to the main avenue.

The trust has also been able to refurbish the grade II listed gates and get the grass cut on a regular basis.

There has been a great deal of community support, with more than 30 volunteers that offer their services in a variety of ways such as litter picking and general site management.

Sue said: "Since we took on the management of the avenue we have had an incredibly busy year getting things sorted.

"Once we have got the trees trimmed back to a firm base, we plan to start working on the unique topiary designs in 2020.

"We very much want to thank all those who have given and continue to give their support in whatever way they can."

To read more about Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue, click here.

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