NEW Alresford Town Trust have finished a major renovation project on The Avenue in Alresford.

The Avenue was given to the town by the Bishop of Winchester 150 years ago this year, and some of the lime trees are close to that age.

Trustee Keith Divall said that a lot of effort had gone in to sustain the heritage of those who have looked after the Avenue over the last 150 years, and to continue the legacy of the lovely gateway to the town from the west.

There are well over 100 trees on the northern side of The Avenue alone.

Mr Divall said: “We have spent £20,000 working on the trees including replacing some because of disease, but we have replaced them all with the same species. We are grateful to the town council, all of our sponsors and, of course, the people of Alresford for their support of the Town Trust.

“2019 is the 150th anniversary of the gift of The Avenue to the town, and we want it to be in great condition for the celebrations on September 20.”

The Avenue is part of an 18th century turnpike, or toll road, between Winchester and Alton.

On September 23 1969 the Mayor of Winchester attended a ceremony on The Avenue to celebrate the centenary of the bishop’s gift. This was before the bypass was built and the Chronicle reported at the time that any words spoken were drowned by the noise of passing traffic.

In recent years the trust has suffered reduced financial support from Local Government and offers people the chance to become a ‘Friend’ for a minimum subscription of £25 per annum.