We recently attended the Mayor’s annual public consultation, where the main talking point was the fate of the grand avenue of Chestnut trees that lead to our Château. The current avenue is the second to be planted here (the first dating back to the time of Louis XIV) and is around 200 years old. We were informed that the Chestnuts are getting so old now, that they have become a safety concern in times of high winds, and thus it will not be long until they must be replaced. The Mayor was keen to stress the great value of the avenue, in terms of its ecological, historical and cultural importance (avenues of such splendour are getting quite rare) and to state that he has done everything in his power over the years to safeguard the trees for the benefit of the local community.
It was heartening to hear how important the avenue is, and our initial shock at the news that it would need to be cut down, was softened by the promise of replantation. We were told that this time Oak will be used, as Horse Chestnut is vulnerable to disease and prone to wind damage, and this is great news! Oak is such a wonderful tree, and has a much greater lifespan – so we can take comfort from the fact that we will be here to help create something that will provide innumerable benefits to people and animals for something like the next 400 years!