Redwood trees are 'fantastic news for Torbay's Naturally Inspiring environment'

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet member for infrastructure and environment for Torbay Council, said: “The planting of these...

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet member for infrastructure and environment for Torbay Council, said: “The planting of these trees is fantastic news for Torbay." - Credit: Submitted

Around 150 Giant Redwood trees are to be planted along Riviera Way as part of Torbay Council's commitment to improving the environment and to help reduce Torbay’s carbon emissions.

The trees will be planted along the north side of Riveria Way between the Hamelin Way Junction and the Brown Bridge Road junction and along the south of Riveria Way between Browns Bridge footpath and the Newton Road junction.

Some of it will be planted on our land while Cavanna Homes has agreed to allow 60 of the trees to be planted on its land.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet member for infrastructure and environment for Torbay Council, said: “The planting of these trees is fantastic news for Torbay and its Naturally Inspiring local environment, as well as for future generations.

“Over time, the aim is to create an avenue of Giant Redwoods that will form part of the gateway into Torbay.”

Riviera Way has long been, since its construction in early 1990s, the gateway road into Torquay and the original trees are well established, along with more trees planted in 1999 and 2010.

A recent initiative has identified further areas along Riviera Way that will seek to further enhance the established tree stock by planting on land that up until now had not been planted on, with the effect of creating a single species avenue of large canopy trees.

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The council's Community and Corporate Plan outlines its commitments to tackling climate change and becoming a carbon neutral council, working with others to create a carbon neutral economy.

The council has declared a ‘climate emergency’ and is a member of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG), a group of 25 influential public sector bodies, councils and business organisations who are working together to reduce carbon emissions and create a Devon Carbon Plan – a road map to carbon neutrality.

The Interim Carbon Plan is currently out for public consultation.

Councillor Jermaine Atiya-Alla, Torbay Council’s climate change member champion, said: “As well as improving the environment visually, planting more trees is one of a number of key steps to helping to tackle climate change – the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG), of which we are a member, say that all trees and woodland can store carbon and reduce emissions, providing a huge range of benefits."

Benefits of tree planting include:

  • Improving air quality
  • helping keep our homes cool
  • provide timber, wood and fibre products
  • offer opportunities for people to reconnect with nature
  • provide spaces to improve health and wellbeing
  • help to reduce flood risk
  • reduce the costs of water treatment.

A spokesperson for Devon Climate Emergency said: “Well-designed new woodlands will not only contribute to storing CObut deliver a wide range of other benefits too.

"Trees perform a vital role as natural carbon capture and storage machines. Woodlands absorb CO2, removing it from the atmosphere, and lock it away in their trunks, roots and surrounding soils.

“Sustainably managed woodlands aren’t just carbon sinks. Trees filter pollutants providing cleaner air, lower the temperatures of urban areas and reduce flood risk by intercepting rainfall.

"Planting new woodland is a crucial step in helping Devon reach net-zero emissions, and one that will continue to benefit society for centuries to come.”


The council employs professionally qualified arboricultural officers who between them have more than 50 years of experience within the specialist field of urban tree management.

These officers have identified what tree species would be appropriate for the area and will be most resilient to changes in climate.

Torbay, known as the English Riviera, is not known for its native tree species and many native tree species do not thrive in Torbay due to our changing climate.

It is therefore considered appropriate to continue with the establishment of the existing avenue of Redwood trees.

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