Following the Sidmouth Herald report of 20 September 2020, Sidmouth Arboretum has begun planting the rare Devon Whitebeams paid for by a grant from the East Devon AONB Sustainable Development Fund.

The grant paid for thirty young trees, the first three were planted in the Peak Hill Delderfield Community Nature Reserve which is managed by Wild East Devon.  They were sited in an area at the top of the reserve which has been cleared of dense brambles as part of the plan to restore the area to flower rich meadow.

Devon Whitebeams are not generally available, the Arboretum had to have year old cuttings prepared specially by the specialist supplier Urban and Rural Plants of Matford. They start small, but they will soon grow to a broad tree up to 5m tall.

The Arboretum’s planting manager Graham Hutchinson said, “It is a beautiful spot for the trees to call home with a wonderful view over Sidmouth.  We are glad to be working with the AONB and the EDDC countryside team on this project.”

The other trees will be planted at various sites around the valley, including two sites owned by the Sid Vale Association, in the coming months.

Two volunteers adding new fruit to an old community orchard