Trees of Farleigh


Having picked up the mantle from the legend Cllr Mick Merritt and the late great Cllr Chris Stockwell, Mick kindly spent an evening with me going over the history, paperwork and records of West Farleigh's magnificent collection of Trees.


A few hours later Mick left me with a cacophony of data and my head in a spin trying to make sense of it all, this was going to be a tough one…… A trip to Waterstone’s to pick up the Collins 'Complete Guide to British Trees' and a third read through the paperwork Mick had provided and things were starting to slowly fall into place..


I've started to catalogue the Trees and their locations, as well as comments & suggested actions dating back to 2004 from experts from the village and the Kent Men of Trees. This has allowed me to get an invaluable overview of the evolving landscape and the history of the treatment and care given to our beloved ‘Arbor’, albeit from a relatively recent 2004.


I feel very privileged to live in the village of West Farleigh with its excellent variety of trees and locations and of course the villager’s over the years who have helped maintain and care for them, and wanted to share some of the comments that I have unearthed during the cataloguing process that we have received from the Kent Men of Trees Judges over recent years;


 - The established trees are looking good - a beautiful Copper Beech, Field Maple and Millennium Lime (Village Green)


 - A very interesting estate with many fine trees (Ewell Manor)


 - A very pleasing churchyard. Path to church lined with golden Irish Yews, six very clean English Yews in the churchyard have been kept clean of ivy and elder (Churchyard)


 - Very fine trees in field by church including some youngish plantings (Church Lane)


 - Many mature Horse Chestnuts round the perimeter as well as Beech trees (Cricket Ground)


 - What a lovely sight to see the mature Ginkgo Biloba in all its majesty - an old Ginkgo such as this one is to be treasured (Smiths Hill)


 - Just past Smith's Hall is a wonderful new plantation of 7 acres planted by Stephen Norman. It is a striking feature of hardwood trees and should mature well if looked after (Smiths Hall)


 - A very nice mature Italian Black Poplar was seen (St Helen's, Kettle Lane)


 - The English Pendunculate Oak in the lay-by on Maidstone Road (Lower Road) looks healthy and is thriving


 - I saw many fine trees in public places and in private gardens, and particularly I noticed the Catalpa Aurora in a garden behind and to the side of the Good Intent (B&L's Garden?)


 - The Liquidambar is growing exceptionally well on the lower boundary (Cricket Ground)


 - The twelve year old Walnut next to the Pub car park is doing well. The Robinia and Copper Beech in the private garden next door are very attractive (Good Intent and B&L's Garden)


 - The beautiful Plane will develop a majestic shape now that it has more space (Tutsham Mill Pond)


 - There are many Oaks in this village and 2 massive ones are on the roadside in Mill Lane. From the lane I saw an attractive series of Crack Willows planted by the river (Mill Lane)


 - 'Handel(s)' Oak - It is fortunate to receive extra water every time the river floods and is looking good.! (Teston Lane)


 - There are some good Beeches on the left going down this lane to the church (Church Lane)


  - An excellent variety of Trees, well-spaced (Cricket Ground)


 - I was very impressed by the tidiness of the churchyard and the quality of both varieties of Yew. The Golden Irish Yews have been trimmed to a sensible size. The Deodar Cedar is glorious (Churchyard)


 - We did not have direct access to the grounds but I could see the magnificent Tulip Tree which should be TPO'd. I understand that there is an avenue of Limes which is worth keeping also. This estate contains some historic trees (Court Lodge)


 - Here there is a good variety of English parkland trees (Elmscroft Park)


 - It is clear that trees in West Farleigh are well cared for (West Farleigh!)



These are just some of the comments received, there are many more. Watch out for further updates and acticles!