Sowing ideas, planting plans and growing projects

Blackthorn in blossom at Nightingale Park, Torquay.

Blackthorn in blossom at Nightingale Park, Torquay. - Credit: Groundwork South

The blossoming trees are like beacons, their bright white or pale pink flowers standing out against the dulled tones of the late winter sky and pale browns of the tall dry grass.

The blackthorn and wild cherry are letting us know that spring is on its way. 

At this time of year it’s easy to spot anyone involved in green spaces because it is prime ‘planning season’ and that means they’re probably spending half their time daydreaming; picturing the garden packed with flowers, plots full to bursting with veg or lawns rewilded and abuzz with pollinators!

Another harbinger of spring is the low growing violet. 

Another harbinger of spring is the low-growing violet. - Credit: Torbay Park Ranger, SWISCo 

Those who help care for public green spaces around the Bay are no exception, we too are busy planning – and daydreaming – but we’re all at all at different stages. 

For the community around Markham Plantation in Higher Chelston, the planning journey is just starting.

They are working to compile and prioritise ideas to make the small wooded area more accessible – from repairing footpaths to installing perches for humans and homes for wildlife.  

Over in Ellacombe, it may be fairer to say that Brewery Park’s journey is about to re-start.

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People from and working with the community around this green space are hoping to build on what was achieved there some years ago, spurred on by a growing awareness of the importance our green spaces play in people’s lives, especially children.

Other, more seasoned planners are ready to put some of their plans into action, including the Friends of Clennon Lakes who are sowing wildflowers and the Babbacombe Bay Bloomers who are busy spring cleaning the planters in St Marychurch precinct.  

Not forgetting the many groups across the Bay such as those at Oldway Gardens or at St Mary's Park in Brixham, all hoping their efforts will be recognised once again in the yearly RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood award but knowing that the joy that they and others take from their efforts are reward enough. 

To find out about any of the green spaces mentioned or support available for communities wanting to help care for them, please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email