Tree specialists step up to help protect and preserve heritage

By Steve Peacock in Environment

Totnes has had to go months without a tree warden – and now the town has two.

They are Tommy Hutchinson from Bridgetown, an Arboriculturalist – who is also the new warden for Berry Pomeroy, and Pip Howard from Stoke Gabriel, a Silvcultural Surveyor who have teamed up to provide an all-round knowledge base to help protect and preserve trees, as well as drive forward plans to plant many more in Totnes and surrounding area.

They replace veteran town councillors and former mayor Pruw Boswell who held the town council post for many years before she quit the town council last year. Both new tree wardens were appointed by the town council last month.

Said Pip: ‘People are more and more looking at their street trees and others that surround them as their trees’.

‘This is understandable as trees are the most dominant natural feature in their landscape and as so many new planting fails – up to 75 per cent in urban areas – due to a lack of care when planting.

‘In formative years it is becoming essential to provide as much support as possible.’ He pointed out that a series of tree events are being planned in the coming year, including walks and talks starting this month, exploring all aspects of trees in the landscape.

‘There are many unusual trees in the area, some of international significance, and with an increasing amount of threats to trees from pests, diseases as well as climate change issues it is vital to ensure that local communities are fully engaged with their trees,’ he added.

The Totnes Tree Wardens operate under the South Hams Tree Warden Network, which is supported by the South Hams Council.

The Tree Wardens are available at all times to answer any tree related enquiries by email and can be found on Facebook and Twitter, @treestotnes.

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