In August 2007 we were lucky to have Steven Falk of the Warwickshire Museum return for another evening among these huge trees which so enrich the panorama throughout the year. From bare wintry branches drooping earthwards or those long dark fingers reaching to the skies, early spring blossom to full summer leaf and finally the glory of autumn with blazing colour changing almost daily.
There are a staggering 54 varieties of tree in Abbey Fields with all the broad-leafed English varieties and many others from the New World and Asia. There is insufficient space to detail all that we saw but better to put a marker down for readers to follow up as they wander around. Go into the churchyard and look closely at the towering pines, pick out the differences by leaf, bark and the way the branches hang. At first sight, all the trees look very similar but closer inspection will reveal that they are different. Our walk continued down the avenue of common limes leading to the church across the footbridge close to Bridge Street. There are willows which will colonise rapidly if left to do so. Then up the hill towards the War Memorial, where several specimen trees can be seen, including an Indian Bean tree.
The range of trees makes Abbey Fields almost unique in Warwickshire and the Midlands. They provide the visitor with a lasting reminder of the Fields and an enduring backdrop for the town. Abbey Fields protects many trees whilst preventing over-planting. A balance has been achieved. Our thanks again to Steven Falk for his most interesting “Walk ‘n Talk” – we did hope that he would come again for another evening among the giants of Abbey Fields, but unfortunately he no longer works for Warwickshire Museum.
Steven Falk helped us put together a pamphlet on Trees of Abbey Fields which is available at Kenilworth Library or the swimming baths – or email us if you have difficulty in obtaining a copy.
In Spring 2011, three of the trees were replaced – the Small Leaved Lime by the Church has been sponsored by donations to FOAF, The Cypress Oak on Rosemary Hill, very generously sponsored by Hilary and Geoff Hilton, and a Horse Chestnut, also on Rosemary Hill has been replaced by an English Oak, privately sponsored direct to Warwick District Council. These new trees will hopefully enhance Abbey Fields for many years to come.
In 2012, we replaced an oak tree to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.