Student Ambassadors become part of local history and plant tree as part of the regeneration of Cirencester Park

Student Ambassadors from Cirencester College were recently invited to plant a tree as part of the Bathurst Estate’s regeneration project.

Four of our students, along with Vice Principal Karen Fraser, went down to the Broad Avenue in Cirencester Park yesterday afternoon to meet with Lord Bathurst and plant one of the trees that will line the avenue for many years to come. The previous trees, almost 300 chestnut trees, were planted in the 1800’s by the 3rd Earl Bathurst, but only 92 remain after disease and old-age took over. The Bathurst Estate website says of the remaining trees: “Sadly, the surviving trees are fast coming to the end of their lives, regularly shedding large boughs due to their sheer weight, storm and pest damage or disease. Whole trees are also now leaning at precarious angles, posing serious health and safety issues for the public sitting under the trees or trying to climb them.”

Replacing the old chestnut trees will be Small Leaved Lime Trees, chosen for many reasons but partly for their resistance to disease, meaning they should survive in the park for a long time. Our students chatted to Lord Bathurst about the project, which will especially impact them because the College backs directly onto the park, a space where students often go to enjoy the warmer weather in the summer.

Student Ambassador Harrison Woodcock said: “I spent lots of time in the park as a child, so it’s nice to preserve the park for future generations to enjoy. I also walk through the park on my way to College and the cricket club, so it’s great to be part of the regeneration.”

Vice Principal Karen Fraser, who helped the students to plant the tree, said: “It was good of Lord Bathurst to ask our students to take part in this moment of history-in-the-making. Seeing the steps being taking to protect and nurture the young trees was interesting and I am looking forward to seeing them thrive. It will be impressive to see all 60 trees lining the walk between College and the town.”

Once planted, the students were given their very own ‘Plant Passport’, stating the species and the number. They were told their tree was Number 18, so they can keep an eye on it as it grows.