Lime Tree By The Village Shop

The centre of Charlton Down is marked by the presence of a large lime tree. People come and go every day beneath its canopy to visit the village shop and post office, to meet friends, to sit in the shade, to catch the bus. They pass beneath its branches on their way to the village hall, the playing fields, the cricket ground, to buy from the hot food vans that park nearby, and use it as a rendezvous point for walks into the surrounding countryside. I do not suppose that many villagers notice the tree very much at all. But I like it, and delight in the changes it undergoes from season to season.

Five Sycamores

Trees are such a significant feature of Charlton Down. It is difficult to imagine just how stark the surroundings must have been before the Herrison Hospital was first built back in the 19th century. We benefit greatly from their strategy to create beautiful surroundings by extensive planting of specimen trees. Some of the original trees are still standing, judging by old photographs that have been published for the site. The trees provide us with a lot of pleasure today.

I like to record the seasonal changes in the countryside and village; and trees in particular love to put on a show as they open up in Spring. This group of five sycamores at the road junction between Harrison Road and Sherren Avenue look fully mature but I don’t know exactly how old they are. Maybe they are from the original planting. I have been watching their transformation from bare branches in January through to the present in mid in May. They look so different now the leaves are fully formed. Here are some pictures showing the changes.

Five Sycamores 29 April 2021 1115