A MILE-LONG train of trees is to be planted to create a lasting legacy at a National Forest gateway.
More than 100 small-leaved limes will be dug in to extend the renowned 'Conker Alley' in Burton Road, near Rosliston.
Bob Wheeler, chairman of Rosliston Forestry Centre Community Group and leader of South Derbyshire District Council, said: “These improvements will have a hugely visible impact, creating a gateway to the forest that can be enjoyed for years to come.” The need to regenerate the entrance has been given impetus because the on-site conkers are dying back.
To fill the vacuum, graduates and apprentices from Rolls-Royce are teaming up with scouts and volunteers to plant the limes.
The aim is for the trees, which grow up to 40 metres high, to rise alongside the conkers, eventually replacing them while effectively doubling the landmark's length.
Careful consideration was given to installing extra conker trees, but the threat of bleeding canker disease meant they might only have had short lifespan.
The project group was advised that small-leaved limes were the ideal replacement.
Councillor Wheeler said: “Conker Alley, also known as Franks Hill, offers a majestic welcome to Rosliston.
“Popular with visitors and residents, we were determined to make sure its legacy lives on.
“Thanks to the landowners taking part, and the dedication of a hard-working band of volunteers, this vision is set to become a reality.
“In particular, we would like to commend the team from Rolls-Royce, which has led the project in its own time and secured funding from The National Forest Company.”
The community group is inviting people to plant some of the trees on Saturday, December 8, by attending the forestry centre between 9am and 3pm.
Residents are being offered the chance to help name the gateway.
So far, suggestions include Lime Mile, Lime Mile Lane, Linden Lane, Lime Lane, Lime Way, Long Lime Lane or Lime Avenue.
The new title will not replace any existing names for different parts of the stretch but aims to give the new landmark its own identity.
Suggestions can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting the ‘Environmental Education Project at Rosliston Forestry Centre’ Facebook page, or Tweeting #roslistonenved.
Alternatively, comments can be posted to Rosliston Community Group, c/o Environmental Education Project, Rosliston Forestry Centre, Burton Road, Rosliston, Swadlincote DE12 8JX.
Voting ends at 5pm on Friday, November 30, and the winner will be announced at the community planting event.
More information is available by logging on to the website www.south-derbys.gov.uk/roslistonlime project