RESPONSE from local councillor

DEFRA TREE FUND / 11 May 2021

Thank you very much for the Email and the ideas.
The City Council’s Parks and Open Spaces team are always to keen to hear ideas on green initiatives of all types unfortunately we often do not possess the resources to implement these ideas.
I am sure that officers are aware of this funding opportunity but I will remind them and advise them of your thoughts. As with most Govt initiatives despite a fanfare of publicity the actual amount of funding is small and the process competitive. This process is at County level and I am sure I do not need to remind you that Devon is Tory controlled and that the chances of an urban project receiving County support is minimal, even if that were to be the case the project would then need to win approval at National level.
If successful absolutely fantastic but I would caution against raising hopes as there is always a great distance between Govt announcements and implementation. We shall do our very best but in all likelihood have little chance of success. In the meantime ECC will continue to work to maintain and develop our green spaces 

Cllr David Harvey
Pinhoe Ward
Labour Party
Lead Councillor City Management
Exeter City Council
10th May 2021
Hi David,

Interesting announcement from Defra to start the week! I’ve put info about the funding on the Pinhoe website and it’s getting a lot of hits today:

Knowing your own concerns about ash dieback in Pinhoe, this looks a great opportunity; I’m really interested in your thoughts and looking forward to working positively together.

With all best wishes,


DEFRA’s latest announcement of funding is important news: £2.7 million is now available through The Local Authority Treescapes Fund for local authorities to plant or naturally regenerate trees across communities to revitalise neglected green spaces

Pinhoe has lost so many hedgerows from development. Flooding is a problem in several areas across the village. Our community field is sadly neglected. Ash die-back will affect tree lines in Station Rd Playing Fields, Eastern Fields and beyond.

Let’s look at the funding: “This is aimed at establishing more trees in non-woodland settings such as in riverbanks, hedgerows, parklands, urban areas, beside roads and footpaths, in copses and shelterbelts, including neglected, disused and vacant community spaces. Trees in these settings are particularly valuable as they can provide the greatest levels of benefit to ecosystems and society, such as carbon absorption, flood protection and support for biodiversity, as well as connecting fragmented habitats”

How about we track Pinn Brook across the village : from magnificent hedgerow trees in Cheynegate Lane, through Eastern Fields and the playing fields to Monkerton, leading to the Brook’s natural floodplain by the Scout Hut: our community field. This route would support ash die-back areas in our parks and could regenerate our neglected community field, transforming it into an area rich with biodiversity which would hold floodwater in an amazing wildlife habitat

Applications will be led at County level, so with local councillor and acknowledged tree-man David Harvey working with newly elected Tracy Adams, Pinhoe should be in a good place. Especially since there’s an opportunity to work with East Devon District Council (our field is in their area) and connect DCC plans for Langaton Lane to become a “GREEN LANE”.

There’s not much time – the deadline for applications is 31st May

Would YOU like to work on an application? Do you have ANOTHER idea? Get in touch with the Forum and let’s develop some local support. Working with communities is an important part of this application process, so let’s get behind a plan!

Harrington Residents: TRAFFIC SURVEY

Following a request from the Harringtons Residents Association, Pinhoe Forum has set up a new Traffic Survey for residents to have their say on traffic, roads, parking and pavements in this estate (Harringtons residents only, please!)

Harringtons Residents’ Association have serious concerns about roads through the estate which have yet to be adopted by Highways. Drivers are using them as ‘rat runs’ at speeds inappropriate for a residential area. This area of Pinhoe suffers from traffic problems compounded by out-of-date local data, an inadequate Pinhoe Area Access Strategy and a lack of joined-up thinking locally.

With the climate emergency at the front of political thinking across the board, there are many opportunities for new thinking and a fresh approach. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods at a hyper-local level are one option and residents’ views will be needed and valued. We will need to move forward together, with imagination, ambition and long term thinking if we are to solve these problems.

Local data is a powerful tool when it comes to decision making. If you would like a survey for residents in your area, or would like to get involved with monitoring traffic levels or helping with local surveys, please get in touch:

Pump Track for Pinhoe

Back in August last year, a few families approached Pinhoe Forum to see if we could find out what was happening with the bike bump area in Station Road Playing Fields. It was overgrown and unsafe, but still used and valued by families who were keen to renovate it.

Following conversations with Exeter City Council and our local councillors, it was announced that £45k was already planned to become available from S106 money. This money will be released when houses on the Taylor Wimpey development are ready for occupation.

Louise Harvey, ECC Service Manager for Public and Green Spaces, mentioned we have an award-winning track designer who not only lives in Pinhoe but also designed one of the city’s most successful facilities: an opportunity to work with Tim Ruck was not to be missed!

In September, Tim took a look at the park: basing a track alongside the renewed pitch area would give the site real potential. We discussed options to pursue further grant funding to enable a holistic approach to the site, securing access and amenity for the whole community as well as ensuring any bike facility was ambitious, accessible for a range of ages and abilities, and had a sustainable future.

Wider consultation is the next important step to open up the process to the whole community, especially to hear from young people but also to ensure this area works for as many people as possible, so that walkers and dog owners are included too.

Tim has put together a range of suggestions with rough ideas for budgets so we can gauge the opportunity to apply for additional funding > 

Small basic tarmac track, approx £20-25K

Please email the forum to join the group discussing designs:

Breath of Fresh Air

After years of campaigning for community green spaces in Pinhoe, work is needed to protect and connect the fields of North East Exeter:

Pinhoe Forum has set up a petition to bring broad public support for residents working to protect the wildlife in Higher Field at the top of Pinhoe. Aligning the petition with Exeter City Council’s Living Better agenda, taking a practical and pragmatic approach to find opportunities within city strategies, is key. The petition highlights not only the view of the fields from across the city, but the historic woodland of Pinhoe’s Ridgeline as a distinctive part of Exeter’s skyline. This connects to latest research showing local distinctiveness is at the heart of a community’s sense of place. It’s not just in Pinhoe, it’s the north east skyline for the whole of Exeter

Pinhoe Village worked to support the Clyst Valley Trees project by exploring paths from Pinhoe to East Devon and it was fantastic news that their plan for a Valley Park has been successful. At the moment, Exeter’s own Valley Park stops at Mincinglake and proposed planning applications across Beacon Heath are set to fragment the fields and skyline, as well as the historic pathways which connect Pinhoe beyond to East Devon.

A change of plan would bring fresh opportunity to connect to local groups in Beacon Heath who have been working hard to develop local support, growing the reach and connecting to people who care about the city skyline and access to green fields. Clyst Valley Park has developed support through a range of national government, charity funding, developer funding and other sources. Let’s make the case to develop a network of green space which connects communities in NE Exeter and protects the city’s distinctive woodland skyline.


In Beacon Heath, there’s an amazing team working hard to protect the area behind Pendragon Field and another hard working group working to reject the housing development proposal for the top of Celia Crescent and the green at Spruce and Juniper Close. Connecting these fields to Pinhoe’s Ridgeline and the Higher Field will bring all our voices together.

Here’s a great workshop by Alex Morss – there’s so much we can all do to help wildlife recover >


The fields at the top of Church Hill and Park Lane truly are the green lungs of Pinhoe. The Forum’s petition to save them from further development is underway and ANYONE LIVING IN EXETER can sign. It is time to show that overwhelming public opinion is against further development

Paper copies of the petition are available at The Little House at the top of Station Road, also at the top of Park Lane

FOR MORE INFO on the history of these fields > Pinhoe Village


Do you have an hour a week to monitor traffic outside your home or business? Maybe you know of a traffic crunch point you’d like to nominate for monitoring?

We’re looking for volunteers to count motor vehicles, site traffic and cyclists. Get in touch to join the citizen science team!

Let’s provide the EVIDENCE FOR CHANGE. North East Exeter needs a new approach: green streets with sociable shopping environments supporting local businesses. Community is a destination, not a drive thru. Let’s connect!