Hannah Worthington, Torbay green space engagement officer:
It’s early morning and the sun is yet to completely clear the treeline.
A few rusty leaves cling to the branches of tall beech trees, small saplings perch like naked twigs caught in tussocks of dew-soaked grass, and the pale bark of a silver birch stands bright against a hedge woven with dark ivy leaves.
Yet we are not standing in a rural woodland, ride, or copse... we are in a corner of suburban Torbay, in Hele to be precise.
We’re back to visit Cricketfield Community Garden, tucked neatly into a corner of Torquay Academy’s school grounds on Cricketfield Road, and we’re here for a very special reason, the establishment of a tree nursery for Torbay.
As the name implies, the garden provides a location for the community to grow fruit and vegetables but part of the site is also one of three outdoor bases for local organisation Play Torbay, from where they run outdoor activity sessions for children.
And while all of this activity might mean that the intended nursery area will only be small, it will certainly play a very important part in ensuring there is a stock of locally grown trees to plant in sites across the Bay.
Grown from nut, seed, or fruit, or perhaps transplanted from a pot or container in someone’s back garden, saplings of different species will be looked after at Cricketfield by Torbay’s tree wardens.
Working in partnership with the community members who care for the garden, and supported by Torbay Council, SWISCo and Devon Wildlife Trust through its Saving Devon Treescapes project, the wardens will nurture the saplings, ensuring suitable growing conditions for the nursery’s arboreal youngsters, as well as cataloguing the species and maintaining related records.
Once established, some of the trees will likely be transplanted to another nursery to be nurtured until they have reached a more suitable size for planting in their final growing locations around Torbay.
To find out more about how you can get involved in caring for Torbay Green Spaces, including the tree warden scheme, please contact Hannah Worthington on 07747616075 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
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