Torquay's gateway palm uncovered as winter returns
TORBAY Council unwrapped its £7,000 palm tree in time for some of the coldest March days seen.
While Dartmoor saw 6cm of snow, and fountains in Torquay froze, the decision was made to unwrap the Spanish giant from its protective coat.
The tree, which was controversially installed as part of a package of improvements costing £20,000, was tucked up for the winter period after suffering damage from vandals.
Despite being open to the elements in plunging temperatures, a spokesman for Torbay Council said the tree would suffer no ill effects.
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She said: "The palm tree was covered as a precautionary measure to protect it from any long periods of frost and cold weather over the last winter period.
"This did occur at times and it was always our intention to uncover it in March.
"We are pleased to advise the tree is not showing any indication of frost damage.
"While the weather over the last few days has been much colder than expected, it will not affect the palm tree as it is able to withstand short periods of cold weather, it is the longer term frost settling on the tree that could damage it."
Areas of the South Hams saw a smattering of snow this week and a bitter wind blew through South Devon.
It was cold enough to freeze the fountain at Princess Gardens, Torquay.
Bay weatherman Ernest Freed said: "We have had two days below zero and combined with the wind it is most unusual.
"We can have cold weather this time of the year but to have this cold wind that came with it has been horrible."
Both Paignton and Brixham harbours took a battering as the cold winds churned up the sea with spectacular results.