Plans are progressing to create a new wildlife haven in Exeter

Progress on plans to create a new wildlife haven at the former Northbrook golf course is due to be discussed by councillors.

The site off Topsham Road is set to become wild arboretum – an extensive collection of trees and plants – in partnership with Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT), who also manage the city’s valley parks.

It follows a public consultation last year which overwhelmingly supported the vision of Northbrook Park to prioritise wildlife improvements and be maintained as a peaceful and tranquil community space.

A report to Executive says £222,615 should now be allocated to move forward to the next stage of developing the project.

It sets out a phased approach:

  • Development – partners agree the budget and outline project plan
  • Tactical delivery – some smaller-scale tree planting and access works are agreed to generate community support and engagement
  • Infrastructure delivery – major access routes, paths, and other infrastructure improvements are delivered around the main park site
  • Habitats delivery – programme of habitat enhancements involving local communities
  • Management / ongoing development – including the transition from the initial capital project to DWT managing the site

The report says enhancing the biodiversity and green infrastructure of the site contributes strongly to three key priorities:

Tackling Congestion and Accessibility – the site has the potential to link up existing green, traffic-free travel routes, and make sustainable green travel options more attractive and accessible

Building Great Neighbourhoods – the quality of the environment directly impacts on the quality of life for residents

Promoting Active and Healthy Lifestyles – the link that Northbrook provides between Riverside and Ludwell Valley Park provides a great opportunity to enhance walking and cycling infrastructure, enhancing the greenspace and encouraging more people to visit and enjoy it

The report is due to be discussed by Executive on Tuesday 6 September.

Northbrook golf course

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