‘Ambitious’ plans to turn a new East Devon park into a wildlife haven are shortlisted for a national award

‘Ambitious’ plans to turn the Clyst Valley Regional Park into a wildlife haven, supporting an East Devon aim to be carbon neutral by 2040, have been nominated for a national award.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said it was ‘thrilled’ to announce the park’s 25-year masterplan had been shortlisted in the Excellence in Plan Making category in the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards 2022.

EDDC said the award recognises the value of plan making while involving the community.

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for coast, country, and environment, said: “I am really delighted for the team at EDDC that their hard work and dedication has been recognised for the Clyst Valley Regional Park masterplan being selected to be shortlisted for the final. It is well deserved.”

Cllr Jung said ‘ambitious targets’ had been set as part of the masterplan for the park, including a Clyst Canopy project to plant more trees, and climate change ideas.

He said: “It is vital that this council, at the same time as providing plans to provide to build 948 dwellings a year within the district, which is required by central government, it’s also imperative to improve, enhance, and protect our landscape and increase the biodiversity throughout the area.”

In planning for the new park, the district council said it had carried out ‘extensive’ community work through two £200,000 lottery projects – great trees in the Clyst Valley, which aims to increase the green canopy by 2050, and Routes for Roots – wellbeing walks tailored for adults to reduce loneliness and boost mental health.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “The plan has been hailed for the focus it has given to making the park more sustainable and promote wellbeing, for example, by working towards 30 per cent tree cover in the Clyst Valley by 2050.

“As part of this EDDC has worked with 250 school children and adults from the Broadclyst and Cranbrook area to plant trees and shrubs to suck up carbon, including planting Britain’s rarest tree – the Black Poplar.”

East Devon

Black Poplar species have been planted in East Devon – Britain’s rarest trees.
Photo: EDDC.

EDDC said the community green space was the UK’s newest regional park – prompting interest from other district councils and organisations keen to learn from the district council in a bid to create their own versions.

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