Sidmouth’s Sandy just can’t stop planting

Sidmouth’s Sandy just can’t stop planting

The Devon town of Sidmouth enjoys an abundance of trees and greenery. And a lot of that is down to one man, Sandy MacFadyen.

Retired farmer Sandy Macfadyen, from the Devon town of Sidmouth, enjoys its own version of the legendary character, Johnny Appleseed.

John Chapman, who was affectionately known as Johnny Appleseed, was the pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, as well as West Virginia in the 19th century.

Perhaps not on a scale of the American, but Sandy, who is Sidmouth Rotary’s environment officer, has become an avid tree planter.

In fact, since 1991, he has seized upon every spare plot available to plant trees in the town. Sandy has been supported by the District Council, the National Trust and Sidmouth Arboretum.

It is estimated that he has been responsible for the planting of 5,000 trees around the town.

It all began as a ‘Save Planet Earth’ initiative launched by Rotary International.

In his latest venture, Sandy enlisted the help of Sidmouth College students and fellow Rotarians to plant 300 beech and holly trees around the Sidmouth Scout Club grounds. These will help to form a protective boundary.       

“I am always looking for new sites to plant,” said Sandy.

“We have planted trees every year since the early 1990s. They all add to the charm of the town.

“Trees are such beautiful things, and it is up to us that this beauty is carried into the future.”

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