15 August, 2014
Torbay is 62.89 km sq. with a population in 2010 of 135,000 people. ONS figures issued in 2014 confirm that net migration into Torbay continues to fall. It is a Unitary Authority with the Mayor and Council based in Torquay. Torbay’s main industry is tourism because it has a spectacular coastline and very attractive marine setting. It also has some historically important buildings, a Marine Aviary and nationally recognized Zoo. Brixham is a very successful fishing port supplying fish and marine services. South Devon College continues to grow offering degree courses and a designated Renewable Technology Centre. Plymouth University took over a marine research laboratory on the outer harbour in 2014.
There are 3 towns in Torbay - Torquay in the North, Paignton in the middle and Brixham to the South. Torbay has suffered urban sprawl over the years bordering on picturesque villages such as Cockington, St. Marychurch, Marldon, Churston Ferrers and Galmpton. Berry Head in Brixham is the Southern limit and Hopes Nose the northern limit. Torbay hinterland has diverse and good quality agricultural land which is under threat from development.
Torbay has extensive and varied bio-diversity including an important Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, together with Conservation, Countryside and Coastal Preservation Zones, Areas of Great Landscape Value, Sites of Scientific Interest and a European protected SAC Special Area of Conservation for the Greater Horseshoe Bat. Protected Cirl buntings habitats have established on the Brixham Peninsula. There are numerous walks including the Riviera Coastal Walk, John Heritage Musgrave Trail, Torbay Dart Link and Greenway Walk to name but a few. The English Riviera Geopark was formed in July 2008 and is the sole urban Geopark in 53 Geoparks Worldwide due to its spectacular and diverse rock formations.