Westerland Valley Country Park is an exciting new project between us and Groundwork South.
Over the next 2/3 years, Groundwork South will be working closely with us, local residents and a range of organisations and businesses to develop the concept of a new sustainable Country Park at Westerland Valley. Located in the Blatchcombe area of Paignton, the site is a hidden and underutilised green gem which the new project seeks to enhance for all the residents of Torbay.
Work is ongoing to uncover the full heritage of the site, which over 150 years ago was a reservoir.
Today the site consists of a variety of habitat’s, rough grassland, woodland, and a small but fast flowing stream. This stream flows onwards through Paignton zoo and then to Clennon Lakes and finally returning to the sea at Goodrington Sands.
The project started in April 2019 and will run for an initial two year period. To assess the Westerland Valley site and develop a shared sustainable vision with residents of Torbay, Christopher Smith has been appointed as the Countryside Development Manager for the project on behalf of Groundwork.
Some of the core aims for the project include:
Strengthening the sites ability to mitigate the impacts from fluvial and coastal flooding:
The Storage Lagoon area, previously the site of the reservoirs, receives surface water run-off from the Great Parks estate, allowing for a controlled discharge into the Clennon Valley Watercourse. The capacity of this Storage Lagoon area is now at its maximum and unless works are conducted to increase its capacity, its ability to mitigate the full impacts of flooding will be diminished. Works will help to alleviate the potential flood risk to the local area of Paignton.
Enhancing local biodiversity through habitat creation and improvement:
The rejuvenation works provide a unique opportunity to enhance a variety of habitats across the site. The full scope of this work will be largely unknown until the results from the habitats survey.
Providing new and engaging recreational opportunities for both local residents and those across Torbay through sustainable projects:
During the development of the master design for site improvements, we will be investigating ways to maximise access to all corners of the site and exploring opportunities to provide new and exciting recreational opportunities. We hope to use the natural landscape, heritage, and features of the site to create appropriate recreational opportunities for people of all ages to learn, discover and play. The challenge will be to ensure improvement works are sustainable for years to come.
Independent Ecology Survey: An extended Phase 1 & Phase 2 Habitat Survey has been commissioned to identify what species of flora and fauna are current present and if any legally protected or notable species are using the area. Independent ecologists from ‘EAD Ecology’ will be conducting the survey between April to November 2019 - full results will be made available at the end of the year.
Feasibility Study: The Torbay Development Agency (TDA) has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study of the Storage Lagoon. This involves undertaking hydraulic modelling works to design the increased storage capacity of the lagoon and identify the required flow control capacity and control methods.
For more information on Westerland Valley Country Park and to obtain live project updates please head over to our Westerland Valley Facebook page.
For all further enquiries please contact Chris Smith, Countryside Development Manager at Groundwork South.