Proposals include introducing orchards, wildflower meadows, ponds and woods. Wild play areas look set to be brought in, along with a new cycle link, better signposting and information points.
The improvements are part of a Masterplan for the two Valley Parks and will be discussed at Exeter City Council’s Executive on Tuesday (9 February).
Cllr Keith Owen, Lead Councillor for Health & Place, said: “One of the elements of the masterplan is to mitigate against the effects of a growing population through enhancing alternative natural green space. This plan presents an excellent way of achieving this whilst ensuring the public can continue to enjoy this beautiful part of Exeter."
The Exe Estuary is a protected European wildlife site and by law the impact on it has to be mitigated.
The Masterplan is being considered for approval and the proposals contained within it will be funded from development in Exeter through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) not from council tax payers.
The key points of the plan include spending around £1 million, over the next 10 years, on creating new areas for the public to enjoy and enhancing the quality of what currently exists.
Examples of proposed improvements include:
• Ludwell Valley Park – re-naturalising the Northbrook stream to provide wild play and natural habitat
• New public access via a footpath loop around the Alphinbrook between the canal and rail line
• Re-development of Bromham Farm (changing rooms) to provide a cafe, covered BBQ area, bike/canoe hire and teaching room
• New wayfinding and information throughout the parks
• New orchards, wildflower meadows, ponds and woods
• Wild play areas, to encourage children to play outdoors and get close to nature
• Developing the first section of a new cycle link from Exeter to Crediton
The Masterplan has been informed by a user group, with representatives drawn from local clubs, communities, businesses and charities. The public and park users have also been involved, with 110 people interviewed on site in August . This was followed in September by a full day in the Riverside Park, which involved a range of fun activities, presentations and opportunities to capture people’s ideas and opinions.
The Masterplan can be viewed at http://exeter.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/parks-and-open-spaces/valley-parks/riverside-ludwell-valley-park-masterplan/
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