Clifton and Hotwells
Improvement Society (CHIS)

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Richard Bland, Frank Martin and Roy Vaughan
There have been a few long-loved trees that have been felled this year, sometimes despite CHIS objections. On Clifton Green two large trees, a Chestnut and a Lime were felled for safety reasons as both were close to roads. The Chestnut was the older, and in the worse state. The Lime on Clifton Down had an electronic survey done to check for decay as there was some fungus infection at the base but, when felled, proved to be sound, and only about 120 years old, younger than anticipated. Limes pollard very well, a treatment which has become unfashionable, but the effectiveness of which is to be seen in the splendour of the Limes on Clifton College Close, so treated 10 years ago and thriving. Pollarding would have secured another century of life at least for the felled specimen. Its loss is regretted but it will be replaced with something a little smaller as the site needs filling.
Limes can easily live to be 500 years old and the most magnificent in Bristol are the avenue leading up to Kings Weston house, dating to 1715. On Canynge Road an ash was felled which probably pre-dated the Canynge Square house in whose garden it was. I like to think that it was a sapling in the hedge bordering the farm track from the Green shown in 18th century maps, which became Canynge Road, a link with a remote past which is a function of all ancient trees. It was quite hollow and far too top-heavy and has been replaced with a Tulip Tree which will be magnificent in its turn.
CHIS has long fought to protect all open spaces including gardens from development on the grounds that in a Conservation Area the spaces between buildings are as significant as the buildings themselves. A notable victory was won when these grounds were accepted as reason for refusing permission for a house to be built on a tiny site on Percival Road, filled now with growing trees, some of which I planted. There is, inevitably, an appeal. A defeat was suffered when, despite defeating many applications, permission was finally given to build on a garden at the back of 65 Pembroke Road, as a result of a planning department oversight. Two trees had Tree Preservation Orders on them, but permission was given to remove them in order to build the house, provided two trees were planted in their stead. CHIS will be watching closely.

Trees more details.

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