Work on brick planter will be funded by town bequest

The planter in High Street
The planter in High Street
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A brick-built planter in the centre of a town is to get a much needed facelift – with funds from a local resident’s bequest.

Work to repair the large planter near St Michael’s churchyard, in High Street, Stamford, will be carried out over two months, starting on Monday. Efforts are being made to keep disruption to a minimum for shoppers and visitors with work done Monday to Thursday.

The £9,000 cost of the project will be met from a £26,000 bequest left by Stamford man Eric Winston Cook to the Skells Trust, a charitable body managed by the town council.

Repair work is necessary becasue the walls of the centrally located container, with three London Plane trees, have been “substantially damaged” as a result of growing roots pressing against the walls, and because there is no outlet for water to escape. It means the trees will have to be pruned back considerably before work can start.

“This will initially leave them looking a bit bare, but they will regrow their branches and foliage over the next couple of years,” said Peter Heyes, from the Stamford Civic Society Urban Group. The group, a voluntary team which ensures the town remains green and beautiful, is managing the project.

The walls of the planter will then be removed for the roots to be inspected and, if necessary, to reduce their spread, and the walls repaired with reinforced concrete.

Mr Heyes said: “It means the planter will take up a slightly larger area than the present structure in order to allow room for future growth.”

As part of the work a lamp-post will also be removed and replaced by lamps that cast light upwards set into the planter beneath and lighting up the foliage providing a secure base for the trees and forming “an attractive focal point in the High Street”.