Some of Torbay’s grass verges will be turning blue to help local wildlife, increasing plant and insect biodiversity while also supporting Torbay Council’s ongoing commitment to tackling climate change.

Blue hearts, made from recycled materials, are being installed by SWISCo, a Torbay Council company, at a range of sites across the Bay, supporting the national Blue Campaign to rewild council land and roadside verges – something an increasing number of local authorities are now supporting.

A recent study by the Wildlife Trust suggests that 90% of lowland grassland has been lost in the 20th century, with fewer areas than ever supporting insects, wildlife and grassland species. These areas form an essential part of the UK’s ecological infrastructure and the Council is enabling them to grow along with other measures including more tree planting and growing urban flower meadows.

Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We are very pleased to support the Blue Campaign.

“In line with what an increasing number of other local authorities are already doing, Torbay Council is committed to reviewing and reducing the frequency of cutting highway verges across the Bay, wherever safe and desirable to do so.

“By changing the way we manage our grass verges, this will significantly improve biodiversity, help reduce carbon emissions and costs, and bring benefits for wildlife, for us and future generations.”

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Culture, said: “Road verges can be wildlife havens, as diverse as surroundings they pass through.

“But we need to cut less and later for nature. This is just one of a range of measures that we’re putting in place to help the planet.”

The blue hearts will be at the following locations:

  • Armada Park
  • King George V playing fields / Easterfield.
  • Churston/Bascombe Road former Car Park
  • Hampton Lands (St. Marychurch)
  • Stanley Gardens Paignton
  • Summercourt Way Brixham
  • Ashfield Gardens Torquay
  • Stoodley Knowle (near Community Café)

You can find out about some of Torbay Council’s other projects to tackle climate change here. 

Pictured is Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, with Jennie his guide dog by one of Torbay's blue hearts.

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