Celebrating trees by planting quite a few

Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) in the grounds of Oldway Mansion, Paignton. Photo: Groundwor

Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) in the grounds of Oldway Mansion, Paignton. Photo: Groundwork South - Credit: Groundwork South

In the gardens of Oldway Mansion, the little Monkey Puzzle tree sits meekly below the towering grove of pines.

This South American native could eventually reach 30-40 metres in height, easily matching its neighbours, but for now it will have to be satisfied with its position as understudy/storey.

Many of us have a favourite tree; a special connection forged through climbing it as a child, rainy dog walks sheltering under its branches or, like the Monkey Puzzle at Oldway, perhaps that one tree that stands out from its surroundings.

No wonder the ‘Tree of the Year’ campaign run by the Woodland Trust is so popular, or that The Tree Council co-ordinate an annual National Tree Week - November 28 to December 6 this year.

Friends of Clennon Lakes and other Green Space groups in Torbay have been celebrating trees this year by planting quite a few!

Some have been planted to increase suitable habitat for wildlife, while others have replaced those removed due to Ash Die Back.

Planting trees can also play an important role in boosting climate resilience, helping us address the vulnerability that our communities face due to the consequences of climate change.

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With this year getting many of us thinking about the sustainability and seasonality of our food, it’s important to remember that there is a whole range of wild food out there to be harvested from trees; species such as hazel, blackthorn and crab apple that will produce fruit or nuts for making jams, jellies, wines and more.

Grow your own doesn’t have to be limited to windowsill herbs or back garden veg plots!

What’s more, it’s not just our local community that could benefit.

In the UK we import a significant percentage of fresh food from countries that are vulnerable to climate change and/or are likely to face high, or extremely high, levels of water scarcity in the near future.

By growing more of what we need locally, we can help other communities too.

To find out more about getting involved in activities with Green Spaces in Torbay, contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk