There are a surprising range of policies, priorities and plans, by different organisations, that affect Ludwell Valley Park, now and looking forward. This page provides some further information.
Transfer of the park to Devon Wildlife Trust
Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) is in negotiations with Exeter City Council to take over responsibility for managing Ludwell Valley (as well as some of the other valley parks in the city), on a 30 year lease basis. This is the biggest change that has happened since the Park was declared in the 1980’s. Ludwell Life is already working closely with DWT on ideas for joint projects and close collaboration and believe that this change will lead to some really exciting and positive results. The timetable has been very delayed but it is hoped that the transfer will happen in 2018
Ludwell Lane traffic calming
There is widespread agreement that Ludwell Lane is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, and that the relatively heavy use of it as a rat run is inappropriate for a lane of this nature, that runs through a valley park. The Masterplan for Ludwell Lane proposes traffic calming for example, and Exeter Cycling Campaign see it as a key strategic cycling route. There is no agreement however on what to do about it. Ludwell Life will work with any organisations wanting to progress action on the Lane.
Exeter City Council Masterplan
A master plan for the Riverside & Ludwell Valley Parks was produced and agreed by Exeter City Council, in February 2016. The Master plan is part of a strategy, driven by the EU Habitats Directive, to make these two Parks more attractive for local people, seeking to divert people from visiting important wildlife sites that are being damaged by overuse. The Masterplan provides a guide to some desired improvements, eg information about the park and what it offers, improved paths and signing etc. When produced, there was an assumption that a modest amount of public money would be available to implement the plan.
However, this is not now the case, so whilst the Masterplan still is the framework for changes to Ludwell Valley Park, there is no definite money on the table to support any of the proposals at present.
Or you can see a summary here –Download the Masterplan Summary as a pdf (5 MB)
Wonford Playing Fields form part of Ludwell Valley Park, and are an important access route and ‘shopfront’ for the Park.
Wonford Community Health & Wellbeing project started in early 2015. Exeter City Council have approximately £420,00 (from the sale of a playing field), earmarked to spend on wellbeing and sports related activities in the Wonford area. A report making recommendations on how to spend the money was produce in June 2015. This included some great improvements to paths and planting in the playing fields.
However, we were told that this project is in a holding pattern, whilst Exeter City Council develops two new strategies about playing fields and leisure buildings. Watch this space…
Flood management and improving water quality
There is a whole suite of plans and possible actions that are grinding their way through Devon County Council, (surface water flooding), Exeter City Council (drains, engineering), the Environment Agency, (flood risk from the Panny and creating new habitats that support improved water quality) and South West Water, (storm water discharges into the Panny, )which are currently polluted with sewage in high rainfall ) and Devon Wildlife Trust, (partners in any work on nature conservation /habitat creation, not least because they are taking over management of the Park this year).
We are not being kept in touch with any of the water quality /flood risk news, though we have asked for that, but there will be news on this at some point we hope soon!