Derriford Community Park

Construction on another brand new walking and cycling scheme has started, this time in the north of the city.

The Derriford Community Park Strategic Walking and Cycling Scheme will see the construction of a new, 5.6km off-road path network within the Bircham, Forder and Seaton Valleys.  

It will start in the green space between Tailyour Road and Hunter Close in Crownhill and finish at Forder Valley Road, near to the entrance of Poole Farm, giving access to the nearby Forder and Bircham Valley Local Nature Reserves and previously inaccessible greenspace along the Seaton valley.

The scheme is funded by the Transforming Cities Fund and its construction will tick off another action on the city’s Climate Emergency Action Plan.

It will play into 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.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet member for Strategic Transport and Infrastructure, said: “This is a fantastic scheme because it finally gives the people who have lived next to or near this wonderful green strip access to it for the first time.

“It also makes a cycling commute from Forder Valley to Crownhill safer and more easily accessible and compliments the overall strategy of the Forder Valley Link Road. 

“As I have said before, we don’t expect people to turn to sustainable transport overnight, but we want to put in place the facilities that makes the decision to ditch the car and put on trainers instead that little bit easier. I think that this scheme does just that.” 

The design of the scheme has focussed on providing a high-quality surfaced route whilst preserving the woodland character and trees by ensuring that the route follows existing openings and gaps in the foliage. 

Despite this, 43 trees – generally those in poor health - will be removed although detailed work has been done to ensure that trees of highest environmental value are retained. 

In mitigation, we will be planting more trees than were lost and adding habitat improvements in the woodland and the surrounding community park. In all, this will result in a biodiversity net gain of over 20 per cent.  

A full ecological assessment has been completed as part of the scheme to ensure that the impact to wildlife is effectively controlled and mitigated and supports the aim of the Community Park being a high quality site to benefit people and wildlife.

Work is starting with the construction of a haul road on the green space between Tailyour Road and Hunters Close before moving into the installation of the path through the valley in March. Construction should be complete by September. 

All of the footpaths in the area will remain open during construction.

More details about the wider Transforming Cities Fund can be found on our dedicated webpages.