A century ago, women activists planted an arboretum outside Bath. Only one tree survived – now it’s generating seeds for a new woodland and a new cause
In a sunny back garden north-east of Bath stands a 30-metre pine tree. Its widespread branches are home to squirrels, magpies and nuthatches, and in late summer it sheds its needles to thatch the lawn below. The tree has seen enormous political and social change over its 100-year lifespan and, if the women who come to visit it have a say, has yet to see a lot more.
When midwife Eileen Paddock moved to Batheaston village 43 years ago, her two young boys wasted no time climbing the tree in their new home. But she knew nothing about its history until a Canadian professor of art history got in touch three decades later.