Derriford Community Park

Derriford Community Park will cover 146 hectares in the north of the city south of Derriford Hospital. It contains a large area of currently inaccessible farmland, and two designated Local Nature Reserves, Forder Valley and Bircham Valley. The site has a rolling valley topography which is steep in a number of places. Streams run through the valleys and there are a number of wetland areas. The site used to be part of the Derriford Estate that surrounded Derriford House, built in 1820. The estate included a pheasantry and several orchards, planted woodland and an ornamental pond.

The farmland is currently managed as pasture with hedgerows bordering many of the fields. The current Local Nature Reserves contain broad leaved woodlands, with small areas of grassland, and wetland features. The site supports a wealth of wildlife including bats, dormice, deer and badgers. The protection and enhancement of features that support these species will be a key component of the park.

Background to the park

The idea for a new park in the north of the city was developed by the Derriford and Southway Area Planning Framework in 2005. This was followed by the North Plymouth Community Park Feasibility Study in November 2007, which indicated that the vision for a new community park in this location was not only achievable, but would provide a much needed resource for the city.

Aim of the park

The community park aims to deliver:

  • High quality multi-functional green space that provides a new city-wide destination
  • Regionally significant environmental education centre offering hands-on learning opportunities in food production, nature conservation and sustainable living for people of all ages and abilities
  • Recreation destination that communities and visitors can access for walking, cycling, relaxing and as a way of improving health and well-being
  • Large-scale restoration of important habitats such as species-rich grasslands and hedgerows in line with Biodiversity Action Plan targets and will ensure the area becomes part of the network of important green spaces and links the city with the surrounding countryside
  • Network of high quality multiuser routes that link the park to the surrounding neighbourhoods and encourage visits by walking and cycling
  • Long term maintenance of the park through the development of a sustainable business model administered by a Community Trust

At the heart of the park will be the 'one planet living' centre. The centre will support the park both financially and managerially. Revenue generated from the centre through its use as an environmental education facility for all ages and abilities will resource the management and maintenance of the park.

Planning the park

Options and opportunities for delivering the park and the centre will be investigated and developed over the next six months.

A number of proposals for the park and the centre will be explored and developed and we want your help in shaping the design and delivery of this exciting project. The projects have now been drawn together in the Derriford Community Park Masterplan which provides a cohesive vision for the area.