Ludwell Valley Park
Know before you go
Grazing animalsYes, April to October.
Short section of easy access cycle path. Other paths can be steep and muddy in places. Access via kissing gates into public fields (there is some private land within the park).
When to visit
Best time to visitAny time
About the reserve
Ludwell is one of six Exeter Valley Parks managed by Devon Wildlife Trust.
The park is a working farm on the edge of the busy city of Exeter. Many of the fields provide free access to people wishing to enjoy this tranquil setting.
Next to the farmland is Wonford Playing Fields where there is space to kick a ball around, jog with the dog, or take a leisurely stroll beside the Northbrook. The valley is a real wildlife haven. Harvest mice nest in the fields, whitethroats and blackcaps skulk in the hedgerows and orange-tip and painted lady butterflies feed on the wildflowers.
Getting around the park
Access is from Ludwell Lane, Topsham Road, Parkland Drive and Pynes Hill. There is a range of circular walks.
- Bus stops along Topsham Road and Rifford Road
- Car parking at Pynes Hill and on local roads
- A cycle ride or pleasant walk from the Riverside Valley Park
Caring for the park
Ludwell is valuable for the large numbers of farmland birds that live there - birds such as chaffinch, goldfinch, as well as the rarer bullfinch and meadow pipit.
Begin your exploration of all six of Exeter's Valley Parks here.
Northbrook Approach – a chance to share your views on this special place
Northbrook Approach is an important greenspace which connects Ludwell and Riverside Valley Parks. The former golf-course is a crucial corridor for wildlife and for people, following the Northbrook stream and the Green Circle walk.
Exeter City Council (which owns and manages the site) and DWT are now jointly consulting on the future of this greenspace. We have set out a vision for a ‘wild arboretum’ and community space. For more information and to take part in this consultation click this link before the end of April:
NOTICE: If you are visiting our reserves, please note that there have been instances of H5N1 Avian bird flu found in birds in Devon. There is very low risk to public health but we do ask that if you come across any unusual or unexplained bird deaths on or near our reserves please do not touch them. Call Defra on 03459 33 55 77 and report your findings. Please also report your findings to DWT by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to watch an introduction to Ludwell Valley Park
We are incredibly grateful to Viridor Credits for awarding £48,692 of funding to improve various habitats in Ludwell Valley Park.
The completed project has harrowed and re-seeded nearly nine hectares across six fields with a wildflower mix that should look spectacular in years to come.
There are now also 1,430 metres of hedgerows traditionally laid in the Devon ‘steeping’ style, seven traditional variety cherry trees planted with guards, and three traditional variety apple trees planted in the various orchards.
Contractors have also excavated a large wildlife-friendly pond in the valley, the spoil from which has been used to build a Devon hedge bank that has had native whips (small trees) planted along its length.
The final element was removal of deteriorated fencing to install 1,700 metres of new fencing around the fields seeded with native wildflowers. This will protect laid hedges, and allow vital hay meadow cutting and cattle/grazing regimes to be implemented.