A group of councillors helped re-root Colne’s history by planting five new rare Black Poplar trees.
The saplings, otherwise known as Cotton Trees because their seeds resemble cotton buds, were planted on the bank of Colne Water on land owned by LBS after being sourced from Gledstone Gardens.
The original four, century-old trees were planted adjacent to Cotton Tree Lane and gave the name to the Cotton Tree area of Colne but were felled in October after they were classed as being in a dangerous condition and could fall at any time.
The owners of LBS, brother and sister, Geoff and Anne Wolfenden joined the Chairman of Trawden Parish Council, Barry Hodgson, parish councillor Beverley Robinson, parish clerk, Adele Waddington and Pendle councillors Paul White, Margaret Foxley and Sarah Cockburn-Price for the tree planting.
The first tree was planted using the sterling silver spade presented to Alderman Varley, Mayor of Colne in 1903 after the first sod was cut for the Colne and Trawden Light Railway, which ran just opposite where the trees are located. The ornate, historic spade was loaned for this ceremony by Pendle Council.
The new Black Poplars have been planted on the opposite side of the river at the suggestion of Pendle Council, to ensure they can cannot present a danger in future.
Anne Wolfenden, Executive Director of LBS, said: “We wanted to show our commitment to the area by replacing the Cotton Trees as soon as possible, and it was lovely to be joined by people from the local community for the planting.
“We made sure that we’ve planted substantial, mature replacements, which will survive the elements. It was a beautiful winter’s morning, and it really gave us chance to appreciate our lovely area and our own history in Cotton Tree, including Standroyd Mill.
“The ceremony was unexpectedly moving and we’re grateful to Trawden Parish Council for its support. The parish council does great work for the village.”
Coun. Sarah Cockburn-Price, who represents Boulsworth, added: “It was tremendous fun with the LBS team, and I’m delighted that they’ve replaced these trees just one month after the originals sadly had to be felled.
“Crossing the river was a bit trickier than we thought, so we ended up with seven of us travelling across rutty tracks in the back of a cattle trailer, which added a spice of danger to such a celebratory morning!
“Along with the original trees, there are now more Cotton Trees in Cotton Tree than there were before and I hope these five new trees enjoy great longevity too.”