The five, two-minute films have been commissioned by the Devon Wildlife Trust and feature Riverside, Ludwell, Mincinglake, Duryard & Belvidere and Barley Valley Parks. The conservation charity has managed Exeter’s Valley Parks since 2019, after taking over day-to-day responsibility for their upkeep from Exeter City Council.
The films were put together as part of the charity’s work to make the city’s Valley Parks even better known and even more accessible. Each of the films are free to enjoy and available via the Devon Wildlife Trust’s You Tube channel and website.
Anya Oliver from Devon Wildlife Trust said:
“The films capture the essence of each of the Valley Parks beautifully. The films were shot in the summer and are a wonderful reminder of golden days with blue skies and warm weather. They were also filmed at a time when we saw a big rise in the numbers of people using the Valley Parks. We think this was partly due to the great weather, but also to Covid-19. Restrictions on movement, plus the need to take daily exercise, saw people using and appreciating these great, green jewels. I hope these films will encourage even more people to get out and enjoy their local Valley Parks.”
The films were made by Exeter-based film maker Andy Thatcher. The process of recording and editing footage strengthened an already strong relationship between Andy and his home city. Andy said:
“I've lived in Exeter since 2008 and have been running through Riverside Valley Park several times a week for most of that time. The sense of space, the connection with nature and the seasons has been crucial to how I think about myself and the world. I never fail to get excited at the flash of a kingfisher, or when the mist descends. Since starting work on these films, I've got to know the other Valley Parks too. Living in an urban area can often feel oppressive, especially going days without seeing a horizon, so the Valley Parks have given me a fresh look at my home, and made me appreciate how Exeter sits within the wider geography of this gorgeous part of the UK.”