THE restoration of a popular tree-lined avenue takes another step closer to completion with the planting of new trees.

Cirencester Park in Cirencester has been a popular destination for residents and tourists for the past 300 years. The most famous walk in the park is the Broad Avenue, a tree-lined promenade that represents the main route into the park from Cirencester.

Major plans were revealed last year to formally restore the avenue for the first time in 200 years, with the trees fast coming to the end of their lives.

Phase one of this restoration project began in September, with the felling of 29 aged and diseased Horse Chestnuts that lined the first section of the Broad Avenue from the top of Cecily Hill.

These trees are now going to be replaced with 40 small-leaved lime trees, which have been personally selected by Lord Bathurst from Hilliers nursery, with expert guidance from the Bathurst Estate’s head of forestry, Keith Mills.

Considering the park’s prominence both throughout history and amongst the local communities, a substantial initiative is underway to engage with schools, colleges and local bodies and organisations, to engage with this project.

Already schools have enjoyed trips to Cirencester Park to learn from The Earl Bathurst himself about the history of the park, the forestry management involved, and about the ecological environment is represents. Representatives from local schools, Cirencester Community Development Trust, the Church and Councils will all be involved in planting new trees to leave a community legacy.

Lord Bathurst said: “This is being done for future generations to enjoy and it is essential we get this right.

“It will look a little bit odd to begin with but it is for our children and grandchildren and so on for the next 200 years.”

This story first appeared in the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard.