About the Sylvania Environment and Community Project


In early 2012 and with assistance from our local councillors the residents of Sheppard Road, Mayflower Avenue, Plassey Close, Linnet Close and Falkland Close formed the Sylvania Environment and Community Project (SECP) to try to resolve the problem of lack of maintenance of public open spaces in the area.

This is how the problem arose ...


On 12th October 1989 the developers of the Sylvania estate in Exeter (Costain Homes) transferred ownership and maintenance responsibility of the open land on some areas of the estate to the Public Open Spaces Charitable Trust.


The object of the Trust is “to hold the (land) as a public open space to the intent that the (land) may at all times hereafter be available to and be used by the public at large for the purpose of recreation”. Although the Trust continues to pay for essential health and safety work, it now has insufficient funds to undertake routine maintenance on the open land on the estate.


But ...


Exeter City Council will not accept responsibility for the maintenance of the open land because it did not receive any payments from the estate developers to fund ongoing maintenance.

Catch 22!

So this is how we are organising a solution ...

A committee has been formed and a constitution adopted which sets the objectives of the SECP as being to safeguard and promote the interest of residents on matters concerning the maintenance and improvement of the environment, specifically the unadopted open spaces. Membership of the SECP is open to all residents, irrespective of tenure, in Sheppard Road, Mayflower Avenue, Plassey Close, Linnet Close and Falkland Close. Full details of membership, voting rights etc are stated in the constitution (available in the Resources Centre on this website).

Our grateful thanks go to everyone who has helped us to press ahead with the work. Grant funding has been obtained via our County Councillor and we have received a grant from Waitrose. We have received invaluable assistance from Exeter City Council parks and open spaces department, the Woodland Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust and students from Exeter University.

Conservation of the wildlife in the area is a matter of utmost concern to us - see the wildlife section of this website.

And here is how you can help us please -

Please contact the committee via sylvaniaecp@gmail.com if:

- You would like to volunteer your services to help us on our Community clear up days

- You have gardening equipment that you would be happy to loan for use on clear up days

-  You know of any sources of funds to support our project

Many thanks.