Expanding Exeter's Green Lungs
Published: 12 February 2019
Exeter’s much-loved green spaces have increased in size over recent months, with the City Council buying up 13 acres of privately owned land for the people of Exeter to enjoy for recreational purposes.
“We love green spaces,” said Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for Place, “and we’re really keen to open them up for public access.”
In the last 18 months, the City Council has acquired a total of 13 acres (3.3 hectares) of land within its valley parks to allow people to enjoy Exeter’s green spaces.
“The valley parks are a great place to unwind, take in nature, walk, job, cycle or just chill out and enjoy the views,” added Cllr Harvey.
In Ludwell Valley Park, the Council has bought 4.9 acres of land and is in the process of acquiring another 3.3 acres. The land has been bought from private ownership, with a view to Devon Wildlife Trust taking over the management of the Council's valley parks.
Bringing Devon Wildlife Trust on board helps the Council to increase public access to green spaces and open up new areas for people to enjoy.
Getting out in countryside has been proven to benefit mental health and the City Council is leading the way in social prescribing.
Community Builders – a ground-breaking initiative from Wellbeing Exeter, a strategic alliance of public, voluntary and community sector organisations, including the city Council, looks at ways of improving health and wellbeing by connecting people with activities they can get involved in, like walking in a Valley Park.
“We are so lucky in Exeter to have these green lungs right on our doorstep,” said Cllr Harvey.
“And by passing them over to a trust such as the DWT, we are protecting them for future generations to come and.”