Cirencester’s second-oldest firm, Moore Allen & Innocent, has planted 175 trees in the town to mark its 175th anniversary.
The agricultural and property agents and auctioneers had hoped to plant the trees during the firm’s 175th year in 2020.
Lockdown restrictions meant ground clearance and planting was delayed.
But in November staff members were able to clear a bramble-covered area of land at the western edge of Cirencester Hospital. And this week (February 3 and 4) the planting began.
Working in teams of four or five in half-day shifts, volunteers planted a mix of native species including oak, field maple, hornbeam and hazel – some of which were grown on the hospital’s nursery within the grounds.
Once planted, supporting stakes and trees guards we installed.
The steep bank on which the trees are being planted acts as a sound barrier between the hospital grounds and the busy A429 dual carriageway.
Ash trees that previously lined the road had to be felled because of the fungal disease ash dieback.
Once the planting is complete, the team hope to have created a peaceful haven for hospital staff, patients and visitors and a habitat for wild animals and birds.
A bench and dedication plaque will form the finishing touch at the site, which backs on to Querns Wood.
The hazel and field maple will reach maturity fairly quickly. The hornbeam should be fully grown by the time the firm celebrates its bicentenary in 2045, and the oaks will mature in around 50 years time.
Mark Halliwell, managing partner at Moore Allen & Innocent, said: “We wanted to mark our milestone anniversary by giving something back to the community and helping the environment.
“Planting trees creates a legacy – generations of Cirencester people will enjoy and benefit from the planting we are doing this week.
“It was also great to work with Cirencester’s vital and well-loved hospital Hospital.”
Like the trees, Moore Allen & Innocent has deep and long-established roots in Cirencester.
The oldest written record of the firm dates from 1845, when Mr. C.F. Moore conducted his first property auction at the Bathurst Arms, North Cerney.
The firm of Moore and Hill was in business in 1852, operating Cirencester cattle market, while Messrs. Innocent & Son ran the cattle market in Lechlade.
In 1915 they joined forces to create a partnership called C.F. Moore, Allen & Innocent. The firm still has offices in Cirencester and Lechlade to this day.
Pictured: Cirencester Hospital grounds manager Andre Curtis with members of Moore Allen & Innocent’s agricultural department: Stuart Milsom, Lucy Kernon, Jack Ayres-Sumner, and Richard Dell