Finding Torbay’s green spaces

Places like Westerland Valley are hidden away in corners of Torbay, waiting to be discovered

Places like Westerland Valley are hidden away in corners of Torbay, waiting to be discovered - Credit: Groundwork South

There are many green spaces across Torbay that are tucked away, hidden behind rows of houses, down a winding lane or behind a hedge of scrubby trees, just out of sight of the casual passer-by. 

Over the last year, Torbay residents have been happily stumbling upon these places, their accidental find often becoming the go-to place for a dog walk, jog or Sunday stroll with the family. 

Westerland Valley is one of those places.

Located in the King’s Ash ward of Paignton, the park is tucked away in a valley that almost runs from the Kings Ash road round to Marldon and without a bit of local knowledge, finding one of the entrances to the park is no easy task.  

While the SatNav may announce confidently that you are 'arriving at your destination, on the right', this doesn’t look like the place, or at least it doesn’t look like you would expect it to. But this is about to change.  

Supported by Groundwork South, artist Stephanie Tudor has been collaborating with the community around Westerland over the last few months to design sculptural entrances and features that reflect the heritage and natural history of the site.

Work starts on the entrance to Westerland Valley, King’s Ash

Work starts on the entrance to Westerland Valley, King’s Ash - Credit: Groundwork South 

Working mostly with metal and local limestone, Stephanie’s sculptural entrance pieces will offer a ‘welcome’ to visitors, as well as helping more people to find their way to the park. 

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However, locating green spaces is just one part of putting them ‘on the map’. Groundwork South is working with communities, like the one around Westerland, to help map other aspects of Torbay’s parks, gardens and green spaces.  

From footpaths to treescapes and from butterfly populations to bat fly ways, mapping a site’s features - both human and natural - is an important way of ensuring green spaces are celebrated and cared for, safeguarding their future and making sure people continue to discover these valuable places. 

To find out more about Westerland Valley and to get involved with caring for this and other Green Spaces in Torbay, please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk