Saturday, 18 November 2017

Therapists’ plan for glade of ‘healing’ trees

A GLADE of nine trees is set to be planted in Marsh Meadows in Henley.

A GLADE of nine trees is set to be planted in Marsh Meadows in Henley.

Therapists at the Be Well Centre, which operates at King’s Arms Barn every Monday, will fund the venture, which will cost around £500.

Val Stoner, a reiki and crystal healing therapist who lives in Station Road, outlined the idea to members of the town council’s Mill Meadows and river sub-committee.

She said: “I have lived in Henley for 50 years and have seen enormous changes but I absolutely love this town.

“At the Be Well Centre, which is all to do with healing, we are very interested in trees and their healing qualities. It is our desire to have a glade of healing trees in Henley, ideally near the river because many people walk that way.

“We have been saving money at the centre from when people make donations and have quite a lot to finance the glade now.” Mrs Stoner said the group had sought advice from the Woodland Trust, which suggested rowan, hawthorn and hazel trees as suitable varieties for the type of soil.

Three of each would be planted by the towpath at the end of Marsh Meadows near the Mill Lane entrance.

Mrs Stoner said: “It is a lovely place where people would walk by and we also want to put up boards to explain the significance.

“We are losing many trees in this country to lots of diseases and it is incredibly important that we have as many trees as possible in our area and in our town.

“Each tree has different sorts of healing and we would want to plant them in threes as three is an incredibly important number.”

Councillor Jeni Wood said she thought planting the trees was a “lovely idea” and they would become a focal point.

Gareth Bartle, the council’s parks services manager, said: “The idea is not to turn the area into a woodland, it is to keep an open feel so the trees will be spaced apart. I think nine is a good number.

“I am not sure that the hazel would do that well in that location because it is so wet. I am happy to be proved wrong on that though and happy to endorse this project.”

Sally Rankin, of the Henley Wildlife Group, said: “Alder trees are worth considering, not least because they are a tree that has had some problems and it would be nice to have more of them.

“All I ask is that if we are going to get a new sign, can you give consideration to making it in the same style as the other signage in the meadows?”

Councillor Sam Evans said: “I think it is a lovely idea and it will be fantastic. One of the lovely things about Marsh Meadows is that it is really quite wild. I just ask that the signage can be made subtle.”

Mayor Liz Hodgkin said any signage would have to be approved by the council. Councillor David Clenshaw asked whether there was a conflict with the plans to replace the poplar trees outside the River and Museum which were felled at Christmas because of internal rot.

A decision on what new trees to plant has been postponed to the autumn in order to devise a plan for the whole area.

Cllr Hodgkin added: “We have been criticised in the past for not having an overall plan so on something like this we have to be very aware of the whole view. I think this is a lovely idea but I think we should have a 10-year plan for the meadows.”

Mr Bartle said: “This particular area affects the museum not a jot and I would say that this is town council property.”

The committee agreed that a small group of councillors should develop the idea with Mrs Stoner.

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