Volunteers have teamed up with Galmpton Football Club, Torbay Council, Hi-Line and SWISCo to plant new trees around the perimeter of the club. The planting supports the Council’s aims to plant more trees to help tackle climate change and create a Carbon Neutral Torbay.

Planting more trees is one of the key priorities under the Council’s Carbon Neutral plans and as part of this around 80 Tree Warden volunteers have been recruited. Torbay Council and SWISCo launched the Bay’s Tree Warden scheme last summer, working in partnership with the national charity The Tree Council. The Council’s new Carbon Neutral Action Plan and Policy is being presented to the Council Cabinet on 22 March.

Leader of Torbay Council Steve Darling said: “We are very pleased to support this tree planting at Galmpton Football Club, and that so many local volunteers in Torbay have come forward to be Tree Wardens and there are a range of exciting projects coming up so watch this space. We are always happy to have more Tree Warden volunteers and in particular we would welcome new volunteers from the Brixham area.”

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council said: “Trees are a key element to helping us tackle climate change. Their benefits include absorbing and storing carbon emissions, improving air quality, reducing flood risk and offering people the opportunity to reconnect with nature.

“It’s one of a number of measures we are bringing in to help the planet including new solar farms, encouraging more walking and cycling and electric vehicle charging points, increasing recycling rates and tackling fuel poverty.”

Helping out at the Galmpton Football Club tree planting was Mr Surajit Sinha, one of the Torbay Tree Warden volunteers - though his profession is as a Consultant Surgeon at Torbay and South Devon NHS Hospital Trust.

Mr Sinha said: “I’m very passionate about trees and we have got a huge problem with climate change and global warming.

“One of the things I’m passionate about is planting more trees because the planet has lost a lot of trees for various reasons.

“I was trying to find out about a group I could join to plant trees. I was inspired when I saw they were planting a forest in Plymouth and I wanted to find out if anything was happening in Torbay.

“So I got in touch with Torbay Council and saw this Tree Warden scheme which looked quite attractive to me. Taking responsibility in your local community to look after trees. That is what led me to volunteer with the scheme.

“I was glad to come and help plant some trees at Galmpton Football Club and I am very proud to be a part of this project.”

Torbay’s Tree Warden volunteers will be taking part in a range of projects throughout the year. In January Tree Wardens took part in a ‘wassail’ event and planted 16 saplings ranging from oak to hazel to cherry, establishing a new tree nursery at Cricketfield Community Garden, working closely with Community Builders for Hele, Barton and Watcombe and the Cricketfield Garden Volunteers.

Over the next few weeks they will also be helping local schoolchildren from two primary schools to plant trees near their schools. Year five pupils from Hayes Primary School have already planted spring flowering bulbs at the site where they are going to plant a birch and a rowan tree, while children from All Saints, Babbacombe, will be planting two trees in Centenary Park. the aim is to get children and young people in the Bay interested in trees and protecting their local environment.

Other projects the Tree Warden volunteers will be getting involved with this year include supporting the new COVID Memorial Tree Trail (working in partnership with the Green Spaces Forum, local Community Partnerships, SWISCo and Hi-Line).

In November 2021, the volunteers took part in a series of local workshops in Brixham, Paignton and Torquay, to start plotting out where new trees could potentially be planted across the Bay. Alongside this, an i-Tree survey has been taking place to measure the amount of tree canopy in Torbay (compared to a previous survey in 2011). Once the results of the i-Tree survey are published later this year, the areas suggested by the Tree Warden volunteers will be prioritised according to where new trees are most needed.

Andy White, Chairman, Galmpton United Football Club, said: Unfortunately over the past couple of years we have had to remove quite an amount of hedgerow from the club perimeter. This was due to a forty year old fence within the hedgerow that had become very unstable and causing a safety concern to the public footpath and highway.

“Planting the new trees will help create more natural habitats for wildlife, improve our facility visually, assist with sound deadening from the busy main road and help counter act the carbon emissions from the passing cars.

“This can only be a huge positive for the local community and the football club, and we look forward to getting the project underway.”

Recruiting the Tree Wardens and planting more trees in the Bay form a key part of the Council’s commitment to tackling climate change and improving the local environment.

Other projects Tree Wardens are able to get involved with 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.

More information and get involved

Becoming a Tree Warden  - email TreeWarden@swisco.co.uk or find out more here

Tree Council website

Picture caption: Pictured left to right are Dan Vickridge, Green Infrastructure Manager, SWISCo, Surajit Sinha, Tree Warden Volunteer, Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, Mike Drew, Chairman and President of Galmpton Football Club, and Hannah Worthington, Green Space Engagement Officer, SWISCo.

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