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Tree Wardens

Tree Warden Network launches in Torbay

The Tree Council

September 16, 2021

We are excited to share that a new Tree Warden Network has launched in Torbay, Devon.

Trees are going to be vital as we work together to tackle the climate crisis. From carbon storage to improved air quality, reduced flood risks to reconnection with nature, taking care of our trees can offer huge benefits. In 2019, Torbay Council declared a climate emergency and is the first local authority in the UK to measure the environmental value of its trees. The new Tree Warden Network, launched in August this year, forms a key part of the council’s ongoing efforts to protect their local environment.

Earlier this month, over 30 prospective new Tree Wardens took part in induction training led by The Tree Council’s Sam Village. These brilliant volunteers will work with Dan Vickridge, Senior Tree and Landscape Officer at SWISCo, with support from Network Coordinator Chris Gomm from Torbay Council to plant and care for trees in their area by arranging local tree planting days, working with local authorities to look after precious street trees, rejuvenating local woodlands, going into schools and more. We were thrilled to see so many new volunteers at the training sessions, excited to get involved and play their part in protecting their local treescapes.

At the induction day, some of the volunteers also learnt more about carrying out an i-Tree survey to measure Torbay’s tree canopy cover in a session led by Treeconomics.

The i-Tree survey will map the type and number of trees in Torbay, as well as   the impact of each tree on the local environment and community. The first of these surveys in 2010 showed that Torbay’s urban forest had an incredible 818,000 trees, absorbing 50 tonnes of pollution every year and sequestering more than 3,000 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to the annual emissions of over 7,000 cars. This follow-up survey will look at how things might have changed in the area and help in gathering information to assess the potential resilience of the urban forest to climate change.

Leader of Torbay Council Steve Darling said: “It’s fantastic that we have so many people in Torbay that have come forward to become Tree Wardens and also to support the i-Tree survey. Looking after our trees is one of the most important ways, we can help tackle climate change, so it is great that the local community is so supportive.”

Following the success of this induction day, Torbay Council is planning future events for all those who were unable to attend but are keen to get involved. Prospective Tree Wardens in the area can find out more via www.torbay.gov.uk/treewardens.

We can’t wait to see what wonderful things the Torbay Tree Warden Network accomplishes in the coming months and years and are delighted to welcome them to Team Tree Council!

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