Community Delighted at Partnership Tree Planting Works
28 February 2023
Planting of over 70 new large trees has been completed with a big team effort at three green spaces across Tavistock.
The scheme was made possible by funding from the Forestry Commission and their Urban Tree Challenge Fund matched by contributions from West Devon Borough Council and Tavistock Town Council.
The funds covered the cost of the large standard trees, as well as cages to protect them. It also includes follow-up watering for the first few years to establish them properly, even more important after recent hot and dry summers.
The trees were carefully chosen to make sure that they would fit well in the space at Bishopsmead, Monksmead and Meadows sites in Tavistock, taking into account size, ground conditions. Aimed at well-used spaces on routes near to schools or shops, the scheme focused the planting on where there would be maximum benefit to passers-by, local residents and the wider community.
Year 7 students from Tavistock College helped plant 26 new trees at Monksmead, assisted by the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) Community Engagement Ranger, Emily Cannon, and Parklife South West.
The students planted a new row of Bird Cherry and Crab Apples alongside the well-used path from Monksmead to the Canal and school. These will bring fantastic spring flowering colour to be enjoyed by those travelling to and from school, as well as providing plenty of benefit to nectar and pollen for insects, and fruit for birds.
A new avenue of small-leaved lime trees were planted that will quickly have a striking impact for those walking and cycling along the path towards the Canal bridge as well as being a magnet for pollinators. They will also have the added benefit of carrying a sweet scent.
In Bishopsmead, on the green space alongside the Tiddy Brook, the Borough Council's Grounds Maintenance team planted 15 varied trees with a focus on flower and colour with plentiful Bird and Wild Cherry, Crab Apple and Liquidambar. A couple of oaks were also planted that will perfectly fit their locations and complement existing trees, for generations to come. A popular area, being part of the school run route, as well as the walking route to the supermarkets.
In Tavistock Meadows, the Grounds Maintenance team then joined forces with the Town Council's works team to plant a further 30 trees. The planting carefully considered the use of the park and the locations were chosen to not conflict with any existing recreational use.
Many of the trees were planted in a particularly damp area, not well used for play. The trees chosen thrive in damp conditions including Alder, Swamp Cypress and Grey Willow.
The opportunity was also taken in other areas to extend and add variety to existing tree lines including Oak, Red Oak, Wild Cherry and Liquidambar species.
Passers-by and local residents have been hugely positive during the planting days - it has been encouraging to the planting team and reflecting on the value that the Tavistock community put on trees within their local green spaces.
It was also a great opportunity for the Tavistock and West Devon Grounds teams to work together in partnership and to plant trees that will benefit children each day on their walks to and from school.
Cllr Lucy Wood, Lead Member for Environment for West Devon Borough Council, said: 'We are pleased to see the planting completed and believe this will make a real impact to these well used green spaces. The scheme was carefully designed to provide varied and long lasting benefits that both recognise the benefit to wildlife and to the community that trees can bring.
"Immediately after planting, young children were already playing excitedly asking their parents about the trees. So we have left the labels on the trees for now so that parents can answer some of the difficult questions the children may ask!
"The planting teams have been delighted by the positive feedback they have received from young and old, saying it was a joy to hear."
The Borough Council continues to show its dedication to achieving its Climate Change and Biodiversity targets, working hand in hand with its partners and the community towards a net-zero West Devon.
Tavistock Town Council Parks Manager Becky Rowe said: "The team really enjoyed working on such a positive project and got immediate positive feedback from those walking through the Meadows. The planting will add real variety to the Meadows, and we hope visitors and locals enjoy these new trees throughout the seasons."
DNPA Community Engagement Ranger Emily Cannon said: "It's great to involve local schoolchildren in improving their local green spaces. They did a super job and will get to enjoy the growing trees in the coming years whilst at College and beyond."
The trees were planted with suitable staking and guards with help from Parklife SW, a social enterprise company that supports community environmental projects. They will include a maintenance programme of follow-up watering to ensure their survival.
For a one-stop shop information point for trees from West Devon Borough Council, go to: www.westdevon.gov.uk/landscapes-trees-and-hedges