Torbay included in project to plant 250,000 trees

Torbay Weekly

Torbay and South Devon are two of five areas set to receive 'special focus' in a Devon charity's bid to plant 250,000 trees over the next four years.

Devon Wildife Trust is undertaking the massive tree-planting effort thanks to support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The trust's Saving Devon’s Treescapes project will plant a quarter of a million native species trees over the next four years to combat recent losses to the devastating ash dieback disease.

The charity is receiving £758,600 of National Lottery funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the project which it will lead on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum.

Saving Devon’s Treescapes will employ a total of four people whose job it will be to work with communities across the county but with special focus on five areas which include Torbay, South Devon, Coly Valley in East Devon, Exeter and Cranbrook.

The project has some ambitious plans to restore trees lost in recent years to disease.

It will:

  • stage more than 100 ‘tree hub’ events where the public will be able to go along and collect a free tree to plant in their own gardens
  • make more than 300 free advisory visits to advise landowners on where and which species of tree to plant
  • establish a community tree nursery at Broadclyst, East Devon, and support work with other communities to set up their own small tree nurseries elsewhere
  • work with 80 schools and establish a network 170 ‘school treescapes champions’ who will promote tree planting in their local communities
  • plant 19km of new hedgerows
  • monitor the success of its own tree planting by surveying key Devon species which have been affected by ash dieback. Species to be monitored will include the brown hairstreak butterfly, lichens and cirl buntings
  • celebrate the trees and natural heritage of Devon through a series of cultural events.

Rosie Cotgreave, who is leading the project, said: “We are very excited to be launching Saving Devon’s Treescapes’ ambitious work to restore trees to landscapes across the county.

"Our thanks go to the crucial support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

"Ash Dieback is going to affect us all, but this project is here to provide hope and action so we can ensure Devon’s treescapes are healthy and resilient in the future.

"Over the next four years we’ll be working with communities, landowners and businesses across Devon to achieve this.”