Since our petition presentation to the Scrutiny Committee last year, residents’ fight to protect fields across the Northern Hills has seen some tough days in planning hearings. Despite surviving the appeal to build on Higher Field with some clear protection from the Planning Inspector, the adjacent field is now subject to a new application.

Exeter City Council’s latest version of the Exeter Plan includes all the Council’s proposals to shape development across the city for the next 20 years.

But the Plan is missing a key ingredient: a vision for the Northern Hills

We’re preparing a detailed proposal for the NORTHERN REACHES to be a protected nature landscape. Connecting to Stoke Woods and the Clyst Valley Regional Park on the Northern edges of the city, reaching across all the city’s valley parks and into the Exe Valley, this new parkland could be the super-connector: not only for people but for wildlife, too. 

A green horizon for everyone across the city. The natural protection of the Northern Reaches and the accessible open character of the hills, connects Exeter’s city heritage to significant cultural heritage within Stoke Woods across the landscape of iron age hill forts. The hills provide important biodiversity protection for a nature network of protected ancient woodland, overlooking the Exe Valley lowlands carved from deep-time geology and reaching into the medieval history across Pinhoe and the Clyst Valley.

The Northern Reaches is a ready-made extension of the city’s Nature Recovery Network – required by law and demanded by climate change. Please help us to get it onto the horizon of the city’s local plan.

The Commonplace platform is designed in sections and includes an outline vision which you scroll through to lots of detailed policies. It’s quite the maze of information. But we’ve done the homework and if you’re short of time here are some key points: here’s where the landscape of the Northern Hills fit in


Significant protections are needed across the Northern Hills as an important connection to the nature recovery networks of the city’s Valley Parks and the Clyst Valley Regional Park. All land parcels in the Aug 2022 sensitivity study designated as “high” or “medium/high” must be formally protected from built development alongside any undeveloped land >92m above sea-level and any land within 100m of a watercourse. 
The Northern Hills provide the missing link connecting the Valley Parks to the Clyst Valley Park. A Northern Reaches Masterplan should be developed to connect the valley parks to the Clyst Valley as an extended Nature Recovery Network 
Also sections on Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure


The Northern Reaches proposal connects the city’s iconic heritage assets to the iron age, Roman and medieval history of the ancient woodlands of Stoke Woods and the Clyst Valley. The hills enhance the local environment, provide access to important cultural heritage and a master plan should be developed to designaccess routes and protection strategies.


POLICY CE1 > comment
The Northern Hills should be formally protected and included in landscape-led solutions to provide green infrastructure and biodiversity net-gain. A Northern Reaches master plan should be developed to ensure its status as a Nature Recovery Network connecting the city’s valley parks to the Clyst Valley.


The protection of the city’s sensitive hills in the north and north-west of the city should be formally recognised and a masterplan for the Northern Reaches should be developed. All land parcels in the Aug 2022 sensitivity study designated as “high” or “medium/high” must be formally protected from built development alongside any undeveloped land >92m above sea-level and any land within 100m of a watercourse.

Providing infrastructure in a timely manner is essential, but it is also vital to prepare and schedule recompense for communities in Pinhoe which have been overlooked.


As part of ambitions for Exeter to be the most active city in the UK, active travel infrastructure should include connection to the Clyst Valley Park and the Two Counties Way across the Northern Hills, extending the range of accessible car-free locations.
The value and importance of the Northern Hills to the wellbeing of people across the city should be recognised as part of developing a formal masterplan to ensure the accessibility of and protection for a Northern Reaches park.


Providing a long lasting framework for landscape should not only take advantage of landscape features but importantly provide lasting protection for the cultural and historical heritage. These principles should be integrated within a masterplan for the Northern Reaches as a significant nature recovery network.

History & Heritage

In 1086, the Domesday Book noted Pinhoe’s 20 acres of meadows, 100 acres of pasture and 100 acres of woodland.

The network of hedgerows and hollow ways mark well travelled walking routes through the village. Oak trees in the tall Devon hedges lining these routes are likely descendants of the original oaks from Saxon times. According to renowned historical ecologist Oliver Rackham, some hedgerows are ‘older than almost any structure in England, apart from Stonehenge, and perhaps a 5th of hedgerows in the South of England have been undisturbed since Saxon times’.

Working with the team from East Devon District Council, we commissioned local illustrator Lucy Phillips to create drawings for our map connecting some of the important parts of Pinhoe’s history in a 3 mile walk from the centre to the top of the village.

Pinhoe Business Network

People often ask for local business service recommendations on our social media pages. We’re pleased to share those recommendations here > * indicates most recommended

• Can anyone recommend a HANDYMAN for a job on my shed roof

Fix-it-Phil Pinhoe: 07961139438
Ben Woodman at DEVON ROOFING LTD: 07514 924987
DLS roofing specialist, fencing, groundworks: 07866 079051
First Call Handyman
Luc Gee Property Maintenance: 07784 605600

• Recommendation for a local TILER for my kitchen

Hawke Tiling Services: 07877 825054
Ryan Wallis
First Call Handyman

Fenton Property Service
Exeter Tiles With Style: 01392 200313 / 07917 340510

• Local Pilates / Yoga Classes

Amy Blythe: YOGA at Poltimore Village Hall > Fridays 9.30am
Dance Dynamix Fitness at America Hall > Thursdays 9.30am / 07462 321776
Pilates with Precision at America Hall > Mondays 6.15pm (beginners), 7.15pm (more advanced) pilateswithprecision.co.uk@gmail.com
Wellbeing Exeter: FREE circuits class, green space at back of SaddleStone Road, Tithebarn Wed 5th October 6.15pm / register interest: natalie.baker@ecfc.co.uk

• Local Puppy Groups or Classes

LOCAL FRIENDLY DOG MEET UP: Tuesdays in Station Field at 6pm, look out for very handsome retriever Henry with owner Bernice
* Howard at Leaps and Hounds > info@leapsandhoundsdogtraining.co.uk / 07812 355496
Pawfect Pack Dog Training: 07526 772419
Tails and Trails > groups of dogs playing for an hour in a field, doggy day care etc / 07376 024824

The Poltimore Arms – in pictures

Built in 1886, the Poltimore Arms was an imposing building in the centre of Pinhoe Village.

Thanks to Chris Beer at Exeter Memories: the Poltimore Arms, likely in the 1950s
Updated to the 1990s, the Polti alongside Pearsons Supermarket
Before its demolition, at the centre of Pinhoe Village
The Poltimore Arms being demolished, 2018

Three Words About Green Spaces

Thank you so much to everyone who’s been making leaves and completing our Three Words survey. Did you find your survey in the latest edition of Pinhoe Press? Please drop your Three Words into the Little House at the top of Station Road. Or you can visit our website where you can upload a photo of your favourite place: www.givethreewords.org

Here’s our first word cloud, featuring survey results from under 15s. Our project is a truly unique way for young people to share with their community how they feel about the trees and green spaces in Pinhoe – just look at the results: FUN, HAPPY, PEACEFUL, CALM, FREE were their top 5 words

Here are a couple of our favourite leaves: