Torbay's green spaces go wild

In warmer months, you may be fortunate to spot a dragonfly or two along the stream in Victoria Park, Paignton 

In warmer months, you may be fortunate to spot a dragonfly or two along the stream in Victoria Park, Paignton - Credit: Community Ranger, SWSICo 

Wood pigeons are not known for their stealthy approaches.

The unique whistle and flap of wings, combined with thump and scratch of feet which accompanies even a single pigeon landing on the roof is not subtle. 

Today, a pair of the birds have arrived to feast on the bright pyracantha berries, taking it in turns to launch themselves in an ungainly manner from roof ledge to bush, to pluck the juiciest looking fruit.

For even the most amateur of wildlife enthusiasts, there is plenty to look out for close to home.

From watching avian visitors to our garden birdfeeders, to listening for the snuffle of a hedgehog, or the wonder of spotting different butterflies and day-flying moths flitting from plant to plant. 

A walk in your local park or green space may be punctuated by a squirrel scampering across your path in Oldway Gardens, a robin singing from a nearby tree as you rest on a bench at Primley Park, or a fly-past from a dragonfly hawking along the stream in Victoria Park.

Spotting a squirrel amongst the tall conifers in the gardens of Oldway Mansion is not uncommon.

Spotting a squirrel among the tall conifers in the gardens of Oldway Mansion is not uncommon. - Credit: Groundwork South 

Whatever the species you come across and wherever you are, it is likely to put a smile on your face. 

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Is the joy of encountering our native wildlife face-to-face simply because we do not expect or look for it, or is it due to it being all too easily disconnected from our natural surroundings?

Perhaps it is a little of both. And yet the excitement or wonder is not likely to diminish the more wildlife you encounter. 

Caring for green spaces in Torbay does not have to mean simply doing ‘a bit of gardening’ - Green Space groups across the Bay would attest to it being much more than this anyway!  

Volunteering in green spaces can involve conservation work, habitat creation, and species surveying. It may be an opportunity to learn about different wildlife, how to help protect native species, and the importance of parks and gardens in providing wildlife corridors. 

To find out more about how you can get involved in caring for Torbay Green Spaces please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk