Cheltenham Clubs to plant 100 trees in Town

To celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Cheltenham all four clubs
have collaborated in a ‘Tree and Crocus Planting
Project’, with support from members, friends and local
businesses. See "Details" for more information
and our stories so far.

Locations for all the trees have been identified following discussions with Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham Borough Homes and Gloucestershire County Council. Planting will commence on Saturday 24th October, with the first trees being planted in Montpellier. Schoolchildren will be invited to take part in the Project.

David Evans, Chairman of the Centenary Group, commented ‘With our nature and climate remaining in crisis, the project will help to fight the emergency by planting trees in our Town. The benefits of more trees and woods to our health and wellbeing are now irrefutably established in science. It will be very satisfying to think our organisation has played a part in taking action to address our climate crisis’.

The first stage of the project is to plant fifty trees this Autumn and the remainder in Autumn 2021.

Project Manager and Landscape Consultant, Sue Jenkins said ‘We are grateful for the generous support and enthusiasm shown by the local Community wanting to provide a lasting environmental legacy for the town. During the pandemic residents have seen the importance of the public green spaces for informal recreation. Trees enclosing these spaces provide shelter and shade as well as dramatically increasing biodiversity and habitat for small birds.

Rotary clubs have worked for decades to eradicate the epidemic Polio, from the World, by funding and participating in vaccination programmes. To highlight this work, the first trees will be planted on End Polio Day, with symbolic purple crocuses planted around the base of trees.

Cheltenham Tree Planting 2020/21

The Tree project has been developed with support from Businesses, Friends and Members.

Sue Jenkins from the Cheltenham North Club is leading this project and the following are the latest updates from Sue.


These are our stories so far;


To mark the World Polio Day on October 24th, Rotarians from the clubs in Cheltenham turned out wearing purple masks and socially distanced to plant 1500 bulbs around the newly planted Plane tree on The Promenade.

Photo of the Crocus Bulbs being planted


A London Plane tree was the first of 100 trees to be planted in Cheltenham, close to Imperial Gardens on 24th October, as a Rotary Centenary Environmental project. This tree replaces a diseased Horse Chestnut which had been killed by Bacterial Canker and was recently removed by Gloucestershire Highways staff to make room for the new London Plane.

The launch ceremony attended by the Mayor, Roger Whyborn and MP Alex Chalk, was a time for celebration amongst members of the Cheltenham Rotary Clubs and those people, including local businesses, who have made generous donations.

David Evans, Chairman of the Rotary Centenary Group said ‘what a pleasure it was to see our first tree being planted, with a plaque giving details of the donor and we look forward to planting around another seventy this year and the remaining thirty next Autumn’.

Photo of the first tree planted, with participants, on The Promenade which is sponsored by Elliot Oliver Estate Agents.

The second photo of the event shows MP Alex Chalk, Mayor Roger Whyborn, Simon Wheeler of Cheltenham Club, Stephen Lloyd of Cleeve Vale, David Evans of Cheltenham and Sue Jenkins of Cheltenham North.

The second tree is an Ornamental Pear planted by Nature First beside Montpellier Roundabout. This tree is sponsored by Mid-Counties Co-Op who have a shop nearby.


On the 4th November, the day before 2nd lockdown, Cheltenham and Cheltenham North Rotarians got out their trowels and kneeling mats to plant the last 2500 crocus corms. The area chosen, is a park area adjoining the London Road. We were assisted by the grandson of Rotarians Ross and Rosanne Cole. The area where we were planting is one of the sites for identified for perimeter tree planting as part of the Rotary in Cheltenham Centenary commemoration. Some of the trees will be sponsored by adjacent residents and they were keen to help with the crocus planting as well.

Rotarians and residents planting crocuses

Photo of Resident, Tom Howells, and Josh, grandson of Ross and Rosanne Cole helping with bulb planting.


As part of National Tree Week, the landscape contractor, Nature First, planted 10 Bird Cherry trees at Oxford and Priory Gardens on London Road, Cheltenham. These trees are sponsored by some Rotary members and local residents.

Photo of David Evans, with residents Mark Palmer and Paul Newman

In addition, a London Plane tree sponsored by the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce was planted outside the Town Hall, to replace the dead Copper Beech tree.



Working with Cheltenham Borough council, Cheltenham Rotary have responded to Lynworth Place residents' requests to improve their environment with tree planting on their Green.

Next year, to commemorate 100 years of Rotary in Cheltenham, clubs are organising the planting of 100 trees to provide a lasting environmental legacy for the town.

Sue Jenkins, a member of the Rotary Cheltenham North club, and Chartered Landscape Architect, is organising the sponsored Tree Planting project. Councils have limited funds for tree planting and Rotary clubs have had to cancel their fund-raising events due to the pandemic. Instead, Rotary members have obtained generous sponsorship from companies, individuals and charitable trusts who are interested in improving the Cheltenham environment.

The Cheltenham Rotary club applied to Enovert Community Trust (ECT) on behalf of the residents at Lynworth Place, who were keen to have tree planting to enhance the green space outside their houses. This grant application was successful and tree planting will be starting soon, with the work being carried out by local landscape contractor, Nature First.

Angela Haymonds, ECT Trust Secretary said: “Outdoor spaces are so precious and this project to plant trees in the heart of a residential area really appealed to the Trustees of ECT. Particularly heartening is the long term impact this project will have, by establishing trees which will increase the biodiversity of the area whilst also enhancing its look and providing shade for the many activities that happen on Lynworth Green. We are pleased to have been able to contribute.”

Photo of Lynworth Green


On the week before Christmas Nature First planted 7 Hornbeam trees to replace dead Silver Birch. In particular, one of these trees was donated by Eric Labrum in memory of his wife Jill. Eric chose a location overlooking the Town Hall where he had spent many happy times with Jill.

Photos of Eric Labrum planting his Hornbeam Tree


A couple of days before Christmas, Nature First planted a replacement tree for an ornamental tree dying of Honey Fungus. This tree is sponsored by the well known environmentalist and writer, Sir Jonathon Porritt. Cheltenham Borough Council’s Senior Tree Officer, recommended a Honey Fungus resistant species of tree, Zelkova serrata, as a replacement.

To find out more about this Environmental Project and ways you can help local Rotary Clubs visit their websites. All clubs will welcome new members, particularly those who would like to become involved in volunteering in the local Community. Alternatively, you can contact Sue Jenkins direct by emailing to find out more about the trees.

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