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The Saltram Countryside Park covers over 600 hectares on the eastern edge of Plymouth, lying between the Plym Estuary and the urban areas of Plympton and Plymstock (and when built, the new community at Sherford). It includes the existing historic Saltram Estate, which contains a Grade I listed property and Registered Park and Garden, as well as the restored landfill site at Chelson Meadow, the Woodland Trust's Hardwick Wood and a large area of privately owned land.

The area already supports a diverse range of wildlife habitats including ancient woodlands, flower-rich grasslands, mud flats, and a network of hedgerows. A number of businesses, including farms operate in the area and it's hoped they'll continue to flourish in the Countryside Park.

Background to the park

The proposal for a countryside park on the eastern edge of Plymouth was first developed in 2005. Consultation with community groups and other stakeholders established that a Countryside Park could help to protect the exceptional natural and historic assets on the eastern side of the city and, at the same time, provide exciting new recreational opportunities.

The plans were further developed in the North Plymstock Area Action Plan (adopted August 2007) and the delivery of the park is now regarded as a key requirement to support sustainable growth and a high quality of life in the area. It is also identified as a key priority within the Green Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

Aim of the park

The countryside park aims to provide an exciting new recreational resource on the edge of Plymouth that is sensitive to and enhances the areas exceptional biodiversity, landscape, historic assets and productive farmland. The park aims to 'bring the bBest of the countryside to the city'.

The park will not be like an urban park which is managed primarily as public open space. Instead, most of the land within the park will continue to be privately owned and managed as 'working countryside' delivering the wide range of benefits described above. Public access will be provided along specific new routes throughout the Park.

The emphasis of the park will be to maintain and enhance the quality of the rich and varied landscape in ways that provide a consistently high experience for visitors. The result will be an attractive and well managed countryside in which the public, businesses and wildlife happily co-exist.

Planning the park

Options and opportunities for delivering the park were investigated and developed over a nine month period. A series of proposals were explored and developed into a series of projects through a process of detailed field survey, and consultation with landowners, local communities, service providers and users. The projects have now been drawn together in the Saltram Countryside Park masterplan which provides a cohesive vision for the area.