Survey highlights seaside town's wealth of trees

Cherry blossom

Cherry trees in full blossom in Hunstanton - Credit: Chris Bishop

A new report lists a town's trees to highlight their importance and the need to protect them.

Town councillor Adrian Winnington has been working on a tree survey of Hunstanton since the autumn.

Since then he has recorded hundreds of trees around the resort, from prolific pines and poplars, to less common eucalyptus and sea buckthorn.

Mr Winnington said he carried out the survey as part of the town's local plan.

He said while the town council's environment working party was keen to plant more trees, he felt it was important to record those which were already present, with a view to protecting them.

"As a keen amateur naturalist, with a special interest in plants, I was able to identify most of the trees I found," he said.

"While Hunstanton cannot compare with the neighbouring parishes of Old Hunstanton, Ringstead and Heacham for numbers and age of trees, it was interesting walking around the whole parish and realising just how many trees were growing in Hunstanton.

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"Although we often notice flowers we seem to not really look at trees and take them for granted.

"With the many threats to our trees in the countryside - disease, housing development, road building - trees in towns and gardens become increasingly important in providing shelter and food for wildlife."

Hunstanton's grand squares are home to holm oaks and sycamores. Palms lend a riviera theme to the Esplanade Gardens, while pines preside over the golf course.

Lombardy poplars line the sweeping Oasis Way, while the town's community orchard boasts 100 fruit trees, along with dogwood, whitebeam and holly.

While much of the Victorian heart of the town is a conservation area, few of its trees are protected by preservation orders.

In the autumn, the town council hopes to plant a number of young trees at the Community Centre Field and also work with the borough council to plant more trees on its land around the town, with support from Norfolk County Council's Million Trees for Norfolk campaign.