Published on 11th June 2014

Picture of a strawberry tree adjacent to the west flank of Pittville Pump Rooms

Three trees are to be planted in Suffolk Street by Nature First on Thursday 12 June.

Three Strawberry Trees (Arbutus unedo) will be planted in the pavement adjacent to Lloyds Bank. The trees are being planted as part of a number of environmental improvements in and near the Bath Road under the Connect Streets scheme, which is a joint initiative of several community groups - notably Cheltenham Connect and the St Philip and St James Area Residents Association - the Bath Road traders association and the council. The scheme is funded through the council’s Cheltenham Environmental Fund. Along with seven small trees already planted in front gardens nearby, the new trees will bring greenery into the urban street scene.

The trees will be ultimately small - less than five metres - evergreen broadleaved trees with edible fruit which appear like strawberries. They also have panicles of small white bell shaped flowers in the summer. It is hoped that they will provide colour to a relatively treeless environment on the Bath Road end of Suffolk Street.

Chris Chavasse, senior trees officer, says: “These trees grow well elsewhere in the town and there is a good specimen of an Arbutus at the Pittville Pump Room. The trees will be managed by Gloucestershire Highways but it is hoped that volunteers from St Philip and St James Area Resident Association (SPJARA) and Cheltenham Connect will help with their establishment.”

Councillor Chris Coleman, cabinet member for clean and green environment, added: “It’s great to see these new trees being planted as they will really enhance the area. It’s a positive example of partners working together to improve the local environment.”


For press enquiries contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 775050, email [email protected]


Photo opportunity: Whilst Nature First are commencing planting on Thursday, the trees will be in situ on Friday so this might provide a better photo opportunity.

Strawberry Trees (Arbutus unedo) used to be native to this country before the last ice age but are now more common in the Mediterranean. However they are still native to south west Ireland where they grow wild on the banks of the lakes of Killarney.