A special tree planting took place at Oldway Gardens in Paignton in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
A Silver Birch tree from the national ‘Tree of Trees’ from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations was planted by the Deputy Lieutenant of Devon Brian Wills-Pope MBE at a ceremony attended by The Worshipful The Mayor of Torbay Councillor Mandy Darling, local MP Kevin Foster, volunteers from the Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group, schoolchildren from Oldway Primary School, local councillors, representatives from SWISCo and some of the Bay’s Tree Warden volunteers.
The Tree of Trees, which was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, was a 21 metre sculpture made from reclaimed steel, with 350 British grown saplings in spun aluminium pots set along its 80 branches. After the Jubilee, the saplings were taken to a nursery in Cambridgeshire and cared for in 20-litre pots but have now been distributed to 300 different community groups around the country, including Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group – a charity established in 2019 to look after the 17 acres of grounds and gardens at Oldway Mansion. The pots the trees were presented in are embossed in the Queen’s name with Her Majesty’s cipher, from the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Cllr Mandy Darling, The Worshipful The Mayor of Torbay said: “We are delighted that Torbay has been chosen as one of the areas to receive a tree from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tree of Trees, and it is also a great opportunity for Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group to get recognition for all their hard work to brighten up the Bay. The tree will serve as a lasting memorial to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for locals and visitors to the area for many years to come.”
Tim Eley, the group chair said: “It is a great honour for all the volunteers in the group to have been chosen to receive this special tree, It is recognition of all the hard work they have put in”.
Jo Jones, the group secretary said: “The success of the Oldway Garden Group has given hope, regeneration and optimism to Oldway gardens and the community who are so involved with this project. It is a great honour to have been chosen to receive a tree from The Queen’s Green Canopy and will show the way forward to the transmogrification of the Oldway Estate”.
Torbay Council is committed to tackling the climate emergency and trees are a key part of this. Trees help the climate by absorbing and storing carbon emissions, improving air quality, helping to keep our homes cool, and helping to reduce flood risk.
The tree planting at Oldway Gardens was one of the latest projects in Torbay to promote the benefits of trees. Last year Torbay Council and SWISCo launched the local Tree Warden volunteer scheme and schemes so far have included supporting the COVID Memorial Tree Trail (working with Torbay Green Spaces Forum); planting new trees around the perimeter of Galmpton Football Club; and planting a Jubilee Tree at Babbacombe. Tree Warden volunteers have also participated in workshops to identify where trees could potentially be planted in Torbay, and, working with Treeconomics and SWISCo, supported the new i-Tree tree canopy survey which compares tree canopy cover now with ten years ago – this is due to be published later this year.
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