A vast swathe of green space in the heart of Plymouth has been formally opened to the public for the first time thanks to a new walking and cycling route.
The brand new, purpose-build Seaton Valley Nature Path stretches for nearly two kilometres and links the green space between Tailyour Road and Hunter Close in Crownhill to Forder Valley Road, near to the entrance of Poole Farm.
It is the first part of 5.6 kilometres of off-road network that will give easy pedestrian and cycle access to the nearby Forder and Bircham Valley Local Nature Reserves and previously inaccessible greenspace along the Seaton Valley.
Although the path has been open for a number of weeks, it has now received the finishing touches with tree planting and hedge laying all completed by Green Minds volunteers.
Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet member for Transport, said: “I’m so pleased to be able to get this path open to the public so that this beautiful part of the city can be enjoyed by all. One of the big selling points for me is that so many communities can be sustainable linked for the first time.
“I’ve always said that we’re not going to get people out of their cars and on their bikes overnight, but if we invest in infrastructure like this, if we continue to set an example, it can only help in all our journeys towards carbon neutrality.”
Councillor James Stoneman, Cabinet member for Climate Change, added: “Sustainable transport facilities like this are so important, not just for the environment, but for people’s health.
“I can’t wait to see people of all ages enjoying the new path.”
The path was funded by the Transforming Cities Fund and Green Minds and its construction has ticked off another action on the city’s Climate Emergency Action Plan.
Green Minds is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.
A full ecological assessment has been completed as part of the scheme to ensure that the impact to wildlife was effectively controlled and mitigated and supports the aim of the Community Park being a high-quality site to benefit people and wildlife.
The new path is crucial to the wider Derriford Community Park project, which will see 147 hectares of beautiful natural space with wooded valleys, wildflower meadows and rivers around Poole Farm opened to the public.
Further paths and routes are set to follow this as part of the delivery of the Forder Valley Link Road, which is set to open shortly.
A further celebration event, open to public, will be held at Poole Farm during February half term. Follow Poole Farm on social media for more details - facebook.com/PooleFarmPlymouth