Rutland's Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham is all trimmed up for Christmas
The nationally-acclaimed Yew Tree Avenue in Clipsham is now looking all trimmed and proper.
The first stage of a major restoration project of the avenue of 150 trees has just been completed.
The Clipsham Yew Tree Trust, which funded the work, plans further restoration work in the New Year.
Dr Patrick Candler, who helped create the trust last year, says this is the trees first proper trim in nearly 10 years.
“For the first time since 2010, we have the trees looking like they should, which is really great.”
Forestry England used to carry out the work itself but it decided the job was too expensive, leading the trees to fall into disrepair and the trust was formed to restore them to their former glory.
Created last year, after several years of negotiation, the trust now has a 20-year management licence to restore and maintain the avenue.
The first phase of trimming was carried out by Bourne-based Euan McLaren Tree Services and completed in the past few weeks.
Patrick said: “We think he has done a fantastic job, but now we have to think of the next phase.
“We need to raise some more money as it costs is £15,000 to £20,000 a year to do the work, but we think it is well worth it.”
The trust has received grants from Leader and the Rutland Healthy Living Scheme to help with its aims.
Patrick continued: “Since the trees were trimmed, far more people have gone to visit the avenue. There have been families walking with their dogs and people have really enjoyed it.”
The trust has a regular band of volunteers who pick up litter and clear dog mess.
Patrick said: “It still depresses me that some people do not pick up after their dogs.”
In the New Year, work will start on installing new benches, signage, a wheelchair friendly pathway and the avenue’s nearby car park will also be resurfaced.
Patrick added: “We still have a long way to go. After all the other work, we still have to clip the trees every year. We have 140-odd trees that have to be carefully cut and that takes four to six weeks alone.”
People can help the trust, be it through donations of time or money, by going to website www.yewtreeavenue.co.uk. They can also ring Patrick on 01780 410435 or 07876806646.