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Proposals to enhance green space at Northbrook set for public consultation

Published: 4 March 2020

Northbrook Approach Golf Course Northbrook Approach is set to be enhanced as a green space

Planting more trees and creating a community orchard are just two suggestions for the future use of a former pitch and putt golf course in Exeter.

The Council is set to work with Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) to consult with the public on the future of Northbrook Approach off Topsham Road. A series of drop-in consultation events are set to be held this summer to gather people’s views.

Last year the City Council decided to close the golf course, which had low visitor numbers. It quickly stressed that it had no plans to sell the site or build houses on it.

Now DWT, who manage the Council’s six Valley Parks, has announced that it will canvas the views of local people on exciting new proposals for the site, and invite their ideas, working closely with the City Council.

These include a new collection of trees, known as an arboretum, with wildflower meadows and newly planted trees, a community orchard for locals to nurture and enjoy freshly picked fruit, and a project to allow the stream to re-naturalise, break out of its current channel and create new wetlands ponds and pools. The areas would allow people to access the water’s edge and observe the stunning range of wildlife that it supports, including otters and kingfishers.

Council Leader Phil Bialyk said: “Northbrook is a beautiful green space that we know people are extremely fond of. We have the opportunity here to create something very special and I am very excited to be working with Devon Wildlife Trust on this project and continuing to enhance Exeter’s green spaces.”

DWT would like to see the site managed to enhance its critical role as a crucial green corridor between Ludwell and Riverside Valley Parks. There are also early proposals for a flagship visitor facility at Riverside Valley Park.

Peter Burgess, Director of Conservation and Development DWT, said: “The Northbrook is a stunning site which plays a crucial role in connecting people, wildlife and cultural history in the city. We want to reach out to everyone who is interested in this special space to gain their views about its future and also how it will be managed. DWT and ECC have a shared vision about its future – but this is a community space and we want local residents to get involved and provide us with their ideas about how we can maximise its value and breathe new life into this much loved area.”

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