In Malpas one of the favourite local walks is across the fields known as the 'Ox Heyes' (meaning 'enclosure for oxen') where a prominent feature is the line of sycamore trees, marking the course of the public footpath. (Malpas FP9)
The original twelve trees, representing the Twelve Apostles, are said to have been planted in the late 18th century by the mother of Reginald Heber, who was born in the old Higher Rectory in 1783.
He is remembered in the name of the Bishop Heber High School.
Although there still are twelve trees, over the years some have had to be replaced for various reasons.
Sadly, in recent years the most prominent tree had been damaged by fire and wind, and was cut down by the local Fire Service on safety grounds.
It was long a popular climbing tree for local children.
Article published by Chris Whitehurst
29th December 2023