Mincinglake Valley Park
This finger of countryside extends down from Stoke Hill between Mincinglake Road and Mile Lane.
The lower valley is wooded whilst the upper part comprises meadowland rich in wild flowers, butterflies and other insects. Access is either from Calthorpe Road or from Stoke Hill.
Drakes Meadows, further up Mile Lane, are now open to the public.
The park itself has been created from the old Exeter waste tip and farmland on Stoke Hill. The valley is a mix of woodland and flower-rich meadows. It is a wonderfully relaxing place to stroll and enjoy the abundant wildlife.
Green lanes, footpaths and bridleways can be explored from the valley park which lead further into the beautiful countryside surrounding Exeter.
History of the park
Several hundred years ago the nuns of the nearby St Katharines priory built a dam across the Mincinglake stream to create a large lake. This was used to power a water mill that was located near to the existing orchard, at the southern end of the Park.
More recently, the area of the Park was the City's waste tip. It was capped and landscaped in the late 1970s. This had the effect of filling in the steeply sided valley of the Mincinglake stream and completely altering the landscape.
Since then the area has become naturalised and is now a mix of wildlife rich meadows, woodland and pathways.
Getting around the park
Most paths are surfaced, but stout footwear is advisable (steep sections shown on map in leaflet) and some are suitable for pushchair access. Feel free to wander, but do not stray into private fields. There are no toilets or wet weather shelters available.
The Mincinglake Valley Park leaflet [938kb] contains a detailed map of the area and more information about the highlights of the walk itself.
Caring for Mincinglake
Mincinglake supports some valuable wildlife and habitats.
Each year, management is undertaken to try to improve the area's wildlife and landscape value. This includes things like grazing with cattle in late summer, layering of hedges, introducing wild flower plants, scrub clearing etc'. This is summarised on the plan below: