Landscaping Plans Unveiled For South Devon Link Road Project

8th September, 2015
The landscaping plans for the South Devon Link Road project have been unveiled as the scheme approaches completion.

Devon County Council and Torbay Council, along with Galliford Try - the contractors responsible for constructing the South Devon Link Road - have outlined how the area alongside the route will be finished with trees, shrubs and grass areas.

Landscaping has been taking place throughout the project with the construction of items such as mounds and bunds, close boarded fencing and planting.

However, most of the planting takes place towards the end of a road construction project and is designed to enhance the environment, improve the ecological habitat, compensate for lost vegetation and minimise the visual impact of the road.

Now officially named the South Devon Highway, the areas alongside the route will be planted with a variety of indigenous trees and shrubs covering an area of 115,000m2 (25 acres).

The plants have been carefully selected to match those prevalent in the area and will be maintained for several years to ensure they become established.

The plans include:
- the planting of 63,700 native trees and shrubs to include pine, holly, privet, oak, beech, cherry, birch, alder, hawthorn, hazel, honeysuckle and rose.
- 300,000m2 (66 acres) of grass (using seed of various types).
- 900 linear metres of new stone faced and turf hedge-banks.

Specific ecological features have been included within the scheme to improve existing habitat and mitigate for loss of habitat. Features such as bat boxes, a bat loft and a bat chamber have already been created.  

Hibernaculum (artificial hibernation sites for reptiles and amphibians) are to be constructed and facilities for otters and badgers to cross the road through subterranean passages have been built. In addition, a considerable length of special fencing will be erected to prevent these mammals from inadvertently entering the highway.

Landscaping is vital to user safety, protecting the road itself and the surrounding environment. The plans have been carefully designed to integrate safety, aesthetics, community, economic and environmental values.