It’s easy to forget that many of the Bay’s green spaces are bordered by water, and none so intimately as the 20-odd miles of South West Coast Path that run through the English Riviera resort.
With asphalt surfaces and park-style benches, the short section of path that winds above Peaked Tor Cove, east of Torquay Harbour, may not be one of the wilder stretches of the coastal walking route - with private gardens hidden behind tall stone walls on the uphill side and terraced steps leading away to the cove below - but it still has power that draws you on to explore.
The trail here is overhung by holm oak to left and right which at times almost enclose the footpath, making it feel a little like a hidden world.
Introduced from the Mediterranean in the 1500s and known also as holly oak, this species of tree bears acorns like native British oaks but does not lose its leaves in winter, instead shedding them throughout the year like other evergreens.
It is the constant supply of dark green waxy leaves falling to the ground that is the cause of some trouble along this stretch of coastal path, blocking drains along the route and building up to form patches of mud in dips and along the edges of the path - perfect conditions for brambles and other vegetation to get a foothold, before creeping across the surface of the path or up and over the stone walls.
Clearing this overgrown scrub is the starting point for the recently formed Friends of Torwood Coastal Area, a small group of local residents who aim to help Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, SWISCo, Torbay Council and the South West Coast Path Association in caring for this stretch of the coast path.
With their first task set for Thursday, March 3, the group are asking anyone who would like to help with cleaning along the path to join them from 10am to 12.30pm - meet near the Imperial Hotel - friendly company and refreshments offered in return!
Contact Hannah Worthington by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07747 616 075 to find out more.
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