The lime trees along the Church Street side of the churchyard and in the churchyard, itself have just been pollarded.
As can be seen in the photo, pollarding is cutting the branches of the trees back to the trunks.
It is an ancient technique and promotes a denser head of foliage and restricts the size of the trees.
It was also once a useful source of bean poles.
Pollarding is not suited to all trees, but limes respond to it very well.
Without pollarding those limes every few years, the trees would now be extending well over Church Street.
Pollarding the limes has been carried out for decades.
Here is an old view of St Nicholas’ Church from The Lanes.
Judging from the size of the trees in the churchyard – and by the nature of the roads – the photo dates from before the Second World War, probably the 1920s or ’30s.
That would make the churchyard limes some 90 years old.
Their regular shape shows that they were being pollarded from a young age.
In this photo from taken from roughly the same spot, it is just possible to see that the trees behind the triangle and along the edge of the recreation field are no longer being pollarded.
David Richer. November 2021