The path that runs alongside Avenue Road is a pleasant walk. It is far enough away from the road that traffic is not a real bother; it is right next to the field where people are playing, exercising or just sitting around and there are lots of trees to wander amongst. The path meanders amongst the trees which provide shelter from the sun in summer and from the rain and snow in winter. It’s nice to wander off the path and walk among the crocuses and daffodils in spring.
Starting at the Vicarage Road end of the path, one of the first tree to come across is this impressive Atlantic cedar.
Right next to the cedar, in the bed to the right is a Portuguese Laurel. It is full of white spikes of flowers in June and by late Summer and into Autumn these will have borne small red to black fruits.
Walking up the path past the cedar there is the first of quite a few Oak trees, at the fork in the path. On the right there is a Sweet chestnut, one of only three in the park. By October, the ground is littered with sweet chestnut masts but the nuts inside are not always of a decent size suitable for roasting. In the same area there are two smaller trees, one of which may be an Alder buckthorn and the other is a beech. There is also a small Lime tree and a Rowan, by the fence. In the same cluster of trees, just behind the bench, there is another oak which bends right over the path almost into the playground area.
Looking through the trees from the Sweet chestnut you get an idea of how many trees there are along Avenue Road; you can’t really see to the far end for trees.
But they are not all bunched up together. Some are in tight groups between the path and Avenue Road and some are on their own on the opposite side of the path.
One of the trees that stands on its own is a Grey Alder, just outside the children’s playground. The seeds of an Alder are held in a cone-like catkin and these cones quite often stay on the tree from one season to the next.
Looking back from the Alder tree, over the playground, you can see the Oak leaning over the path. Turning around anti-clockwise you can then see a Rowan tree by the fence, then a couple of Sycamore trees then an Oak, near the path and on the other side of the path, a Crab apple tree. The Rowan is also known as a Mountain ash and its leaves are slightly similar to an Ash tree but smaller, narrower and toothed around the edges. The Crab apple tree seems a bit lop-sided with a large branch growing away from the path, carrying most of the crown to that side. It probably grew that way to get away from the shade cast by the bigger trees on the other side of the path.
The Oak, near the path, has a lot of suckers growing from the base of the trunk and the leaves stay on these twigs for quite a long time over Winter, right up to the emergence of new leaves in the following Spring