Working with SWISCo and a range of other partners we are launching a volunteer new Tree Warden scheme to help look after Torbay’s trees, and we want you to get in touch.

We have signed up to the Tree Warden Scheme, an initiative led by the Tree Council (a UK registered charity). Locally it will be delivered by the Council working with SWISCo and Groundwork South.

Tree Wardens plant, protect and promote their local trees. No training or experience in tree management is needed – just a love of trees, a desire to make a difference in your community and a few hours to spare.

Nationally, Tree Wardens are organised into local networks and each group is managed by a local network co-ordinator. All Tree Warden Networks are autonomous, meeting regularly to decide what they would like to focus on. Some of the projects Tree Warden Networks across the UK have done include:

  • Arranging local tree planting days
  • Pruning, watering and giving vital aftercare to local trees after planting
  • Working with local authorities to plant and care for our precious street trees
  • Rejuvenating local woodlands in need of management
  • Growing trees from seed
  • Surveying and monitoring trees and hedgerows
  • Raising funds and identifying suitable land for local tree planting projects
  • Going into schools to talk to young people about the value of trees.

Tree Wardens will be encouraged to take part in our local i-tree survey and although some knowledge of trees would be preferable, support and guidance will be provided by SWISCo tree officers and partners for the project Treeconomics and Hi-Line.

The i-tree project aims to quantify the eco-system benefits of the trees that we have in Torbay.

It will not only cover our park, street and open space trees but also account for those trees in private and non-council owned land (including gardens) in Torbay.

Eco-system benefits include shade, rainfall interception, support of wildlife, storing carbon, and tackling pollution.

Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We are looking for as many local people to become Tree Wardens as possible, so if you are interested then please do get in touch.

“Trees are a vital part of our response to the climate emergency, and as well as our plans to plant 350 trees over the next few years, it is vital that we look after our existing trees – and that’s where you come in by volunteering for our Tree Warden Network.

“In my own ward I know how much people value Brunel Woods and the space and tranquillity that this woodland offers our community.”

Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “To be a Tree Warden you don't need to be an expert, only enthusiastic! Being a Tree Warden can often be happily combined with other activities, such as taking children to school, exercising dogs and family walks. Some wardens have demanding jobs; others are unemployed or retired. No training or experience in tree identification or management is needed - just a love of trees and a few hours to spare.”

Sara Lom, CEO, The Tree Council said: “The Tree Council’s volunteer Tree Wardens are local tree champions who plant, look after and stand up for the trees in their patch. They are the eyes, ears and voice for trees in their community.

"It’s fantastic to be celebrating the new Torbay Tree Warden Network and we look forward to working with Torbay Council to support their wonderful new volunteer Tree Wardens to plant, protect and care for the trees which are so essential to our lives and our urban spaces. Tree Wardens don’t need to be experts – they simply need to have a passion for trees and a desire to make a difference in their local community. By joining Torbay’s new Tree Warden network, local residents can enhance the trees and woods they see and enjoy every day.”

The Tree Council provides each warden with access to training, resources and information. Torbay Council are also offering some awareness raising and training courses, as well as keeping in touch through emails and newsletters.

If you are interested in getting involved or just want to find out more, please email or visit our webpage and please tell us where you live, which areas you would want to be a Tree Warden for, and how you would like to be involved.

Benefits of tree planting:

  • Absorbing and storing carbon emissions helping us to tackle the climate emergency
  • Improving air quality
  • Increasing biodiversity
  • helping keep our homes cool
  • provide timber, wood and fibre products
  • offer opportunities for people to reconnect with nature
  • provide spaces to improve health and wellbeing
  • help to reduce flood risk
  • reduce the costs of water treatment

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