Chris Wiseman: RAF Exeter

Following a fascinating update from Chris Wiseman, the connections between the community of Pinhoe and RAF Exeter are deepening. Interest from local people continues to surprise, with new information to keep Chris’s research inspiring us all. Whether it’s a visit with a 94 year old ex-RAF Lancaster crew member, or the tantalising thought of a book on Honiton Clyst, Chris is on an amazing journey to honour the courage and resilience of the pilots and crew who protected the city of Exeter during the war.

We were delighted that Chris was able to give us a special preview of his updated presentation at our last meeting. We’re thinking of putting together some form of book – would anyone be interested? Let us know! or contact us in the PINHOE VILLAGE book, in Alicia’s.

Pinhoe and the Clyst Valley

Following an inspiring presentation by Jon Freeman from the Great Trees in the Clyst Valley project, any disappointment at not being included in Exeter’s Valley Parks initiative has been replaced by an exciting view of Pinhoe at the city-fringe of a fantastic 25 year vision for the Clyst Valley Regional Park.

Here’s our letter of support for their latest project:

“As a community-led organisation, Pinhoe Village is committed to celebrating the people, place and natural environment of Pinhoe. We very much hope to work with Routes for Roots and have identified great enthusiasm amongst our local residents to connect to the Clyst Valley vision, wholeheartedly supporting the ambition to connect our growing community to the wildlife-rich countryside on our doorstep. 
We are keen to encourage all age groups into the natural environment, as many in our community are struggling with the scale and pace of local developments.

An increasingly urbanised part of the city, the sense of connection to Pinhoe’s heritage and local distinctiveness remains key for residents. The “Story is in the Map” workshops would bring an invaluable set of skills and support for our many local history enthusiasts, as would the opportunity to explore, protect and develop local knowledge of and access to footpaths across Pinhoe – routes which are being completely disorientated by new developments.
We hope to learn how to record, replant and protect our greatly valued trees and hedgerows and to build on our association with such an inspiring vision. The Routes for Roots initiatives would transform our ability to develop local knowledge of and access to our natural environment and would offer huge expertise, valued advocacy and powerful network connections.”

Here’s a useful thought from Shane O’Mara’s new book In Praise of Walking:

“Walking is good for our muscles and posture; it helps to protect & repair organs, and can slow or turn back the ageing of our brains. With our minds in motion we think more creatively, our mood improves and stress levels fall”

Coffee Mornings at the Hall Church

22 July: Yet another interesting week at Monday’s coffee morning!

Lynda brought her Dad’s amazing collection of photographs of old Pinhoe and we were delighted that her Mum, Beryl Hitchcock, was able to join us too. There is such a resource of interest and local knowledge in this lovely group and it’s a pleasure to be able to join their meetings.

Ebbie and Lynda

We loved the artwork on Hitchcock & Son’s invoices!


Monday mornings at the Church Hall

Thanks to an invitation from Margaret, I’ve joined a couple of Monday coffee mornings in the Church Hall. These fabulous ladies are a mine of information and I’ve been making loads of notes each time. They’ve put me right on several points and identified so many people in photographs from Chips Barber’s books. Also, there were THREE dairies in Pinhoe! More as soon as I can write up my notes…


Pinhoe’s Green Spaces

Emily Stallworthy from Devon Wildlife Trust visited Pinhoe this week.

Devon Wildlife Trust have been campaigning for the government’s new Environment Bill to include important protections for the network of wildlife habitats across England, to protect wild places and provide havens for wildlife. With the removal of so many trees and hedgerows across Pinhoe, I asked DWT whether there was any support they could offer us, especially in light of Exeter’s new Valley Parks project.

We walked around the newly accessible fields bordering the David Wilson Homes development and noted the amazing range of meadow species flourishing there. With Meadow Brown butterflies, a hum of bees and even a flypast by the local woodpecker, Emily was impressed by the potential of this space.

Although developers have dumped detritus across the site, even the mounds of groundworks soil have been seeded with grasses and wildflowers, indicating that this area was demonstrably viable as a superb wildflower meadow and could quickly recover.

Emily suggested the area could do with scrub encroachment management and would benefit from meadow restoration with some natural perennial seeding. There is great potential for a patchwork of different habitats, opportunities for wild play and dead wood areas to encourage wildlife.

We walked up to the top field by the Church and the sound of grasshoppers was amazing! It would be great to find out whether this field is named. It is home to one of only 2 vintage trees noted in Pinhoe – a fantastic old oak tree.

Emily photographing the mix of trees on the Cheynegate linescape

As a community group, Emily has advised we could apply for funding to plant new trees. There are various pots of funding for this at the moment – especially as there are also many ash trees in Pinhoe which will need replacing as part of the national response to ash die-back.

With so many problems Pinhoe is having with new developments (particularly with Linden Homes destroying the hedgerow lane leading to Gypsy Hill) there are many opportunities to repair and replace areas which have been destroyed.

Pinhoe Summer Fete 2019

Thank you to Ebbie for organising our table at the Fete. It was a lovely day and great to meet so many people. The strawberries and cherries on our stall went down well on such a hot day and several people joined our contact list.

We are beginning to map the scope of our project by the treescape – it seems a good way to identify the edges of the village since the electoral map is such a huge area.

We also asked everyone to help us identify any local trees which need looking after – whether it’s protection or maintenance. Thanks for all the suggestions on the day and please keep the ideas coming in!