Centenary Trees

Sat, Oct 17th 2020 at 12:00 pm- Thu, Jun 30th 2022 - 11:59 pm

As part of the Centenary Celebrations for 100 Years of Rotary in Cheltenham the three Cheltenham Clubs are planting Trees within the Cheltenham area.

See "Details" for Our Stories

                                             Cheltenham Tree Planting 2020/21

Website Links

Links to Rotary and other relevant sites can be found at the bottom of the Home Page under Popular Pages and then click “Links” and then the link you wish to access.

To Celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Cheltenham the three Cheltenham Rotary Clubs are collaborating with a number of projects. (Please see the other featured page on the Centenary Celebrations for details of all the proposed Projects.)

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

Locations for all the Trees have been identified following discussions with Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham Borough Homes and Gloucestershire County Council.

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

All of the Pictures taken of the Tree and Crocus planting can be found under Photo Galleries which is in the "What we Do" area of this website at the top of the Home Page.


This is our story so far;


Centenary Tree Planting

Replacement trees

In January, Nature First replaced the 6 failed trees (mainly oaks) in various locations around town. The contract included replacement to be covered at the contractor’s expense.

As well as these trees, there were the 7 vandalised ones which required additional funding to replace and install wire mesh cages to give further protection. Fortunately, several generous individuals and organisations have been able to assist with raising sufficient funds to cover the costs to enable them all to be replaced with good sized trees.

Adam Henson’s planting of 100th Tree

On Thursday 27th January we had help from Adam Henson, of Country File, to plant the 100th Rotary Centenary Tree at Montpellier roundabout. The large specimen ornamental pear tree (Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer) was donated by David Evans, President of Cheltenham Rotary Club and his wife Gina in memory of their dog, Lucca.

Despite the dull weather, there was a good turnout of members and partners from all clubs and the District Governor, Graham Ogden, which was all photographed by our Chief Photographer, Michael Rouse.

Karl Stuckey, Director of Nature First, was responsible for the planting and has erected a substantial cage structure to protect it in this busy area of town.

Tree Planting to mark 50th anniversary of Cheltenham North Club

Following on from the success of planting 100 trees for the Rotary Centenary, we are planning to plant 50 more trees for the Cheltenham North’s club milestone this year.

During lockdown, when people were unable to spend money on holidays and treats, it was easier to find sponsorship. However, we realise that people are concerned about the additional costs of heating etc. and will be more reluctant to commit to funding these trees. It is encouraging that several individuals are interested in sponsoring trees and I am sure we will meet our target.

David Evans has found a source of funding for some of the trees by encouraging County Councillors to use part of their Build Back Better allocation to improve the environment in their area. Whilst this has involved liaising with many Councillors to try to agree potential locations, and complete multiple grant application forms, we are starting to obtain grant approval.


Fortunately, to date we have been able to proceed with the Tree Project, despite the various Covid restrictions. In total, we have approximately 80 pledges for trees from businesses and individuals, with generous donations from all the Rotary clubs and members.

There was a flurry of tree planting in the Autumn, with most of London Road, Bouncers Lane and Imperial Square trees being installed. On the run-up to Christmas we wanted to ensure that sponsors wanting plaques fitted to show visiting relatives were prioritised. We benefitted from Nature First’s large project in Guildford being delayed because of tighter Covid restrictions there.

By the 22nd of December a total of 31 trees had been planted finishing with Sir Jonathon Porritt’s tree on Lypiatt Terrace and Martin Surl’s Police Commissioner’s Fund tree opposite the Police Station on the A40 verge.

Whist many of the trees have Rotary rondels attached to the stake crossbar, there is a slight delay on engraving some of the plaques. The company, DT Solutions, producing the our computer laser engraved plaques have been rushed of their feet during the pandemic preparing Covid instruction signs for businesses and have even had to work extra shifts to complete orders.

Details of the various plantings in 2020 are given below the January 2021 update.


Over the Christmas break, I was able catch up and prepare lists for the next batch of trees to plant. However, Nature First were having difficulty obtaining some trees. They wanted to avoid purchasing from Holland with potential Brexit trade complications which might delay delivery in frosty weather. Fortunately they found that, the wholesale supplier, Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, had most of the stock available.

Nature First’s Rotary tree planting resumed on Monday 4th January 2021, with 2 Gingko trees sponsored by the Charles Irving Charitable Trust being planted, one in Malvern Road and the other next to Wellington Square. Whilst in Wellington Square, a concerned resident came out to see what we were doing. As a result of explaining, they have emailed their local resident groups to see if other people want to be involved. The next trees that Nature First planted were 3 Hornbeam on Central Cross Drive, supplied by them free of charge in lieu of sponsorship. Then their men had to depart to spend a couple of weeks in Surrey to complete the Guildford contract.

Throughout this project there has been reasons to talk to many businesses, residents and council officials about what Rotary is doing in Cheltenham and how we are able to provide lasting improvements to the town. These contacts will enable clubs to invite a variety of local people to future meetings and hopefully encourage some to join us.

The next planting will take place on 22nd January outside of Hesters Way Library, with 4 trees being planted in memory of Peter Keenan on what would have been his birthday. I never met Peter, but everyone I have spoken to about him, say what a lovely man he was.

Covid restrictions are unlikely to have eased much by then, but I am happy to attend and support Janet under the headings of work, volunteering and even ceremonial up to 6 people rules and take some photos to record the event for others.

April 2021 Update from Sue Jenkins

At the start of the Centenary Tree Project, we did not realise that we were going into the start of the pandemic. Initially the idea had been to obtain sponsorship from companies throughout the town in exchange for publicity. Of course I knew that this project would not be easy, and the Coronavirus meant that the 4 Cheltenham clubs had to cancel all fund raising events.

Prior to lockdown, we had £7500 pledged by companies and individuals and still had almost 12 months to raise the total of £30,000 required. Some of those companies have been successful in the lockdown e.g. Co-Op stores, DPD Couriers etc. but many others were unable to support us due to their uncertain financial situation.

However, the clubs were keen to support the project and the generosity of members, their contacts and members of the public have enabled us to reach our target of sponsoring 100 trees.

Tree planting started last autumn with the first 2 trees on the Promenade and next to the Montpellier roundabout. Throughout the tree planting season, trees have been planted all around the town and 99 trees will have been planted by the end of March. Planting would have finished last week but unfortunately we have been victims of Brexit, with 4 trees from Holland being held up by customs.

However, we have been fortunate that the planting has been able to keep going throughout the pandemic and it has been a good distraction for all involved. The 100th tree will be planted in the autumn when our mother club celebrates its centenary.

In the meantime, we are considering having an informal garden party in the summer for members, sponsors and other people who have helped us over the year by way of a thank you.

This project has never been exclusively about trees. From the start it has been a way of getting outside talking to people about what Rotary does, and will hopefully attract new members in the future.

The various Plantings in 2020/2021


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.


As part of the 100 year Celebration of Rotary in Cheltenham, Helen and I thought it very appropriate to sponsor 1 of the Trees, relatively near our home in Prestbury.

We thought this project – shared between the 4 clubs in our attractive town – was a great way of reflecting the Community work, which Rotary want to be associated with and remembered by.

This is especially true as in the past 12 months, Rotary around the world have added a new Area of Focus – namely helping to protect the environment.

We were delighted to be present to watch the planting on a bright afternoon in the middle of December. Our tree was 1 of a group of 12 will brighten up a busy joining of 2 popular roads in and out of the town.

What was really pleasing was the delight from the local residents on the planting taking place. And this feeling has been echoed when the announcements have been made in other areas, where residents have been asking for trees to be planted in areas that need them “to brighten up” areas of grass in public spaces.

Every effort has been put into this major project, to ensure that the ground is well prepared, the trees are sturdy, and that they will have the benefit of a watering service in the critical growth period of the first 2 years after planting.

Even in the desperate times of lockdown, due to the pandemic of 2020/21, it has been wonderful to see the spirit of individuals and organisations working together, mostly on a voluntary basis to bring this worthwhile project to the community.

We are proud to be part of this endeavour.

Richard Purdon – President of the Rotary Club of Cheltenham North in 2020/21

Photo of the planted British Oak Tree with Helen and Richard Purdon

10 Hesters Way Library

On Friday, 22nd January, as part of the Centenary trees project, we planted four trees in memory of Peter. This was the day before his birthday, which we wanted to celebrate. We had planned it to be the start of a family weekend, but the lockdown did not permit that. However my son Philip and I were able to be there and RCCN’s indefatigable photographer, Michael, took plenty of photos which we sent to my daughter and her family in Cornwall.

The trees were planted around the Hesters Way Library. The library had one small tree near it and is opposite the concrete labour exchange beyond which is a bleak shopping area with no trees at all. The trees we planted were an oak (which Sue Jenkins, who was present throughout despite the cold, thought was about thirty years old), a plane tree, a tulip tree and a whitebeam. They were all sturdy well grown trees and I think they have already transformed the immediate area.

We chose to plant the trees for several reasons. Peter was a keen gardener and planted lots of trees himself in our garden and particularly around the car park. He cared very strongly about the environment and the prevention of global warming and this was one of his motives for his support for solar energy. He also felt strongly about trying to make things better for those less fortunate than himself. We thought that planting trees where there were very few in a deprived area would make a fitting memorial for him. I look forward to watching them grow and the Cornwall family plan to visit them as soon as they are able.

Janet Keenan President elect. Rotary Club of Cheltenham North

11 The Cotswold Physiotherapy Tree Gwynne Tucker Brown

I decided that a tree would be a great idea to remember how our clinic started and to remember all the people involved. The clinic in its present site, Bath Road, started in 1994 in the building which was on the site of the Old Irving Hotel. Our treatment rooms, 5 in total, were on the site of the old Ballroom! There were 6 founder partners of which I was one, 3 other partner contributors to the tree are June Kent, Robina Heaton and Anne Hackett, the latter who is now the owner of the practice. A long term associate, Sally Moir also joined us in funding the tree.

Our practice evolved over the next 25 years to become what it is today, a very modern go-ahead concern. It is staffed by multi-talented practitioners who can deal with most of today’s problems including elite sports injuries. The start was very different, 6 physiotherapists with no business management skills, we soon learnt! The tree is to remind us of our beginnings and the happy sometimes worrying times we spent together and the patients we helped. We will be able to visit the site and remember those times.

12 Other trees planted this month

Michael & Elizabeth Jones

Elizabeth and I thought it would be a great idea to donate a tree for a number of reasons, it helps Rotary and it is a nice way to give something back to the community to enhance the look of Cheltenham. Moreover it supports a lower carbon environment which rightly so is becoming more important to all of us.

On a more humorous note we like the location of our tree which is situated opposite the entrance to Cheltenham Crematorium! and is on route from our current home to both our daughters, so now we have the hope that when we are actually in the Crematorium the girls will be reminded to visit when passing the tree “Result”

Anne & Peter Wilson See Picture

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