Even trees do not last for ever and Lympstone is lucky enough to have a Parish Council who keep an eye on the trees which dot its fields and open spaces. A couple of weeks ago our PC held an open-air meeting to access the current status of our trees and how we could best use a few trees which we have been given and plant them where they are most needed? Obvious needs are filling any gaps around the Cliff Field and around Candys Field. Dave Tyrell (a sometime member of the PC) is the PC’s expert of trees and he gave us a chat on what kinds of trees we need and in his experience which would be most suitable and would be long lasting, easily maintained, salt-water tolerant and not too expensive.
The National Trust is the owner of Cliff Field. They delegate to Lympstone Parish Council the authority to maintain this field and occasionally inspect it. At such an inspection they noted that many of the trees overhanging the Exe and the boat park to the East were hanging over the edge of the field. These need supplementing or in some cases replacing. Many of the trees hanging over the Exe urgently need replacing. Some are European Oak, most of them are Holm Oaks, 20 or 30 feet tall, sturdy, tolerant to salt water and wind. These should be given an urgent priority. Viewed from the opposite side of the field they look good and provide a defence to the loss of small dogs, people and foot balls to the water 20 feet below. Strong protection to such trees in the first few years after they are planted will be necessary. Bicycles are not welcome in this field, but it used as a football pitch and for picnics in the summer. The PC pays to keep it mown several times a year. The National Trust has specified that they do not recommend having fences around the cliff edge – just trees and occasional signs.
The main recreation area in Lympstone Village is Candy’s field and as well as a dogs-on leads area has a fenced-off play area for infants, a keep-fit area for children, a youth club hut, a games area, a pre-school hut with a small garden behind it and 2 mini-football pitches complete with football goals and two floodlit tennis courts. We would also like to replace and add to the trees on this field to replace those dead and dying.
How can you help?
Whilst packs of smaller trees are available from The Woodland Trust for free, a few more mature trees such as Holm Oaks need to be purchased and planted before the loss of more trees over the edge of Cliff Field. Councillors Hill and Carter have already volunteered to pay for several trees. Would you like to pay for the purchase of one or more such trees either as a personal contribution to the attraction of the fields or in remembrance of a deceased relative? Cllr Carter (email@example.com) has volunteered to start a collection for such trees as well as relevant protective fencing. Hopefully, some of the children from our schools could help with the planting.