Torbay Council has now secured agreement and support from the Forestry Commission to re-commence active management within all its woodlands.

Consultations with all community groups, ward councillors, Natural England and English Heritage have gained positive responses and encouragement to commence the improvement works.

Chapel Woods has been selected as the first woodland to commence works for Torbay's approved Woodland Management plan. Works will start before the end of January with the first phase expected to last 3 to 4 weeks, subject to weather conditions.

Councillor Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Safer Communities, Highways, Environment and Sport, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into obtaining consent to actively manage Torbay’s woodlands. We have received positive responses about the improvement works and are looking forward to the start of the first phase.”

The extent of the works has required phasing over 3 years with the initial works principally focusing upon clearance of Holm Oak around and below the Chapel and to regain historic views of the Chapel from Torre Railway Station and beyond.
The nature of these trees has severely restricted the growth of native trees, narrowing wildlife benefits greatly in this part of the wood.

The value of the timber extracted will be used as support funding for the improvements works, where trees and lower layer plant diversity will be encouraged, footpaths will be improved and benches refurbished.

Further grant funding has been applied for from English Heritage for restoration works on St. Michaels Chapel and a positive decision is expected shortly.

An interpretation board is planned to explain the significance of the sites geological features and built heritage to further inform its importance as part of Torbay’s Global Geopark status.

Regular updates of the work program will be available via Social Media.

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