Warwick Castle trees replaced

Phil Harris plants first tree on Stratford Road assisted by pupils from Aylesford School.
Phil Harris plants first tree on Stratford Road assisted by pupils from Aylesford School.

A 210-year-old cedar tree that crashed to the ground at Warwick Castle last January is to be replaced with the help of a small thank-you from local tree wardens.

Castle estate manager Matt Halford looks after some 2,000 trees on the 100 acres of historic parkland originally laid out by Capability Brown.

And he has always been happy to offer his expertise and give guided tours to the volunteer tree wardens who last year won more than £10,000 from the Forestry Commission to plant up a green corridor of foliage between the Longbridge roundabout and Warwick town centre.

On Tuesday volunteer Phil Harris told Mr Halford how grateful he and other wardens were for his help.

Together they had held a “whip-round” and wanted to offer £100 towards the replacement of the fallen cedar of Lebanon.

Sadly, when the old tree crashed to the ground, four male peacocks roosting in its branches were killed.

Mr Halford said: “The cedar went at the same time as a turkey oak of the same age. We don’t have any of the original Capability Brown trees left on the estate but when large specimens fall, and we count their rings, we are often surprised how old they are.”

One of the oldest trees in the grounds is a Wellingtonia planted by Prince Albert in 1858,

Mr Harris said: “Matt has always been so helpful to us and we were sorry to hear about the loss of the cedar and the four peacocks.

“Work on our own project of providing a green gateway into the town centre is progressing well.

“We have already planted about 1,000 whips (tree or shrub saplings without branches) along Stratford Road heading towards Longbridge Manor.

“What is very gratifying is the number of neighbours who come out and tell us they will personally try to look after the tree on their doorstep.”