Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Conkers competition on Tooting Common

Throughout the summer a group of local people – the Save Chestnut Avenue Action Group –  have been trying to dissuade Wandsworth Council from cutting down an avenue of [horse] chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) trees.  The Council claim that the trees are unhealthy and possibly dangerous; the Action Group claim that the Council seeking, as usual, to save money, wants to remove the trees and replace them rather than pay for their maintenance.

It appears that the Group’s campaign has been unsuccessful, and the trees’ removal is expected to start before the end of the month.  On the afternoon of 23 September the Group organised a conkers competition, using conkers collected from the trees.  About 50 people, mostly young families, some of whom had evidently not played the game before.  People played five games, and if they won them all were rewarded with a rosette.

Update:  Destruction of the Avenue commenced on Monday 25 September, and the horse-chestnuts replaced by small-leaved limes (Tilia cordata).

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