Ongoing research

A sorts of new models for participatory democracy have developed since the mutual aid movement transformed traditional community groups. Along with citizen assemblies, doughnut economics and lots of reports confirming the importance of place-making and its impact on wellbeing, here are a few interesting links:

• A useful new platform for community groups, to encourage participatory democracy, consultation and even enable crowdfunding >

• We’re not alone in feeling like a village within our city: here’s the manifesto of a group building on the mutual aid community model we’ve been a part of, helping to build micro-local communications for communities >

• Sheffield’s amazing GREY TO GREEN project > showing how funding could be brought together to transform road space into green space >

• There’s great enthusiasm to find a space in Pinhoe for a circle of blossom trees inspired by the National Trust’s project >

Hedgerows – documenting the loss

Historic green infrastructure being replaced by development across Pinhoe:

Planting to replace high Devon hedgerow: compared with original hedge shown here opposite the development

Planting to replace high Devon hedgerow – 13 May 2021, see also the isolated oak tree on the skyline: Pinhoe Tree Watch

High Devon hedgerows featuring integrated Oak Trees, lining this important walk to Pinhoe’s Church


8th Feb 2020 / trees lining site along Pilton Lane, also documenting tree loss across the site including Brookhayes’ orchard planting in memorium of local teachers
The original wildlife-rich hedgerow connecting Harts Lane to Pilton Lane

Major sections of hedgerow boarded up and removed along Harrington Lane (24May21). This follows the removal of trees lining Harrington Lane earlier in the year which resulted in calls from residents reporting problems with distressed and disorientated birds (mainly covids).

This section of hedgerow was boarded up straight after this photograph was taken
This boarding has been removed to reveal newly turfed front gardens up to the pavement (July 21)

5. PINNCOURT LANE: BLOOR HOMES> Proposed Pinn Court Farm development

Hedgerows lining fields along Pinncourt Lane, to the rear of Parkers Cross Lane, Pinn Valley Road and Ross Close

Part of our report on green infrastructure across the ward area: developing a timeline of photography as a cumulative body of evidence contributed by the community in a citizen science approach. Please email YOUR photos to:

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.