Teignbridge tree planting programme starts to take root

Three for a tree: Pictured are John Burgess, Danielle Westlake and Sally Burgess, volunteers with the Friends of Homeyards Botanical Gardens.  They are planting a Pyrus Salcifolia Chanticleer – or Ornamental Pear – following preparation of the spot by team members of Idverde grounds maintenance contractors

Kicking off an ambitious tree-planting programme planned by Teignbridge District Council (TDC) over the coming months.

Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, as they say.

This photo may show just one tree – but it represents the start of an ambitious tree-planting programme planned by Teignbridge District Council (TDC) over the coming months.

The photo taken in Homeyards Botanical Gardens at Shaldon is a preview of scenes set to become familiar sights as TDC’s tree-planting pledge starts to take effect early in 2020.

The plan is to plant a total of 1,500 trees in the latter half of February, with 500 being dug in at each of three sites – Sandringham Park, Newton Abbot; Michael’s Field, Bishopsteignton; and Dawlish Leisure Centre.

The allotment group at Michael’s Field are also proposing to plant around 15 orchard trees adjacent to the allotments.

TDC has secured trees from the Woodland Trust and contractors have agreed to sponsor the initiative by donating labour, compost and tree stakes. The council is in the process of organising a team of volunteers to carry out the plantings.

Towards the end of February, TDC is also planning to hold a tree-planting seminar, in partnership with the Woodland Trust. Local organisations will be invited to speak about their achievements and future plans. Town and parish council representatives will be made aware of potential partners and given useful advice to encourage them to get on board.

The Woodland Trust have exhausted their 2019 stock of trees for community groups but are currently planning for next year.

TDC also plans two further phases of planting on the three main sites identified above, but will also look to identify smaller sites and opportunities to be added to the programme.

Commenting on the tree planting initiative, Cllr Andrew MacGregor, TDC’s Portfolio Holder for Resorts and Open Spaces, welcomed signs that the tree planting programme was taking root.

He said: “As a new administration, we have a strong emphasis on combatting climate change and improving the landscape and environment of our beautiful district.

“Planting trees is a vital contribution to this process and will not only have an immediate impact but will make a positive contribution to the quality of life of our residents and visitors for generations to come”.

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