The trees which form the avenue in Fore Street, one of the most striking features of the Town, are mostly Horse Chestnuts. These have been heavily pollarded over their long lifespan (110 years), and are now vulnerable to bleeding canker, a disease which has become prevalent due to climate change and is currently ravaging this species in the South West. Experts advise that they will all be dead within twenty years. One has already succumbed.
If the avenue is to be replaced, it would be better to take action before the old trees have to be removed, and while there is time to plan. New trees will take several years to get established.
The trees in Fore Street are one of the principal features of the town, and many will feel affection for them. Replacing them is something that will be gifted to future generations, and the significance of this act should not be underestimated.
Currently, the responsibility for the trees and verge on the east side of Fore Street lies with the Highways division of Devon County Council (DCC). However, the Town Council considers this to be too important to the Town for it to be left until DCC see it as an issue. Though Bradninch Town Council are taking the initiative, any changes will need to be negotiated with DCC.