Plane ace takes root

What is 60 years old, more than 57 feet high, comes from Belgium but lives in Warrington, hangs round with former pop queen Kim Wilde and is just Plane Ace?

The answer lies in the arrival of a record-breaking tree in Winwick as part of Countryside Properties’ latest housing development.

Former pop queen-cum-greenfingered TV presenter Kim Wilde joined villagers and developers at the official unveiling of Winwick Park’s newest resident ­ a London Plane tree affectionately known as Plane Ace.

Developers are hoping the tree will qualify with the Guinness Book of Records as the largest tree ever to be transplanted, clocking in at 57 feet high. It has been brought to Winwick all the way from Belgium and is expected to live for around 250 years. Children from Winwick Primary School joined Kim and Countryside chief executive Graham Cherry at the special planting ceremony, last week. Three days before, the 60-year-old tree was measured by special independent witnesses the Mayor of Warrington Councillor Sheila Woodyatt and peace campaigners Colin and Wendy Parry, among others.

Robin Hoyles, managing director of Countryside’s strategic projects division, said: “Importing Plane Ace has been a massive undertaking and we’re delighted it has finally been put into place and that so many people have come to witness the event.

“The tree is expected to live for approximately 250 years so it will be a talking point for generations to come, as well as a very attractive addition to the landscape within the Winwick Park development.

“We are looking forward to receiving final confirmation from the Guinness Book of Records that we have broken the previous transplantation record and earned Warrington and Winwick Park an entry in this world-famous publication.”