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Save The Avon Valley
Whilst I can see on the surface why people would think this might be a nice idea. If you read between the lines this would actually be incredibly detrimental to this beautiful valley. There are currently 6 endangered species that reside in that valley and increasing the footfall drastically would have a devastating effect. Not to mention the destruction of habitat in creating the trail in the first place- putting down a hard surface, widening tracks, building bridges etc.

There is a lot of misleading information in the feasibility study of where the route goes, who is in support of it etc and very little communication has taken place with the residents along the trail. Knowing there are large stretches of the route where land owners do not want it, I can’t see how safe and practical alternative routes can be used as would involve steep hills, back lanes/roads which would be dangerous and disruptive.

I was surprised to see the Primrose trail have claimed that the Loddiswell Parish Council haven’t contacted them, when only the other day I saw a copy of the reply from the Primrose trail to the Loddiswell Parish council on the Loddiswell Parish Council’s Facebook page. So they clearly have been in contact and the Primrose trail has even acknowledged it by replying!!

As far as the 50,000 calculations go. It is inaccurate to calculate it per day by that method as the majority of visitors will be during peak tourist season and there will be days when the weather would not be appropriate for people to use it so when it is in use the numbers per day would be a lot higher. And the way it was worded in the feasibility study was to ‘exceed’ that number in the first year which would lead me to believe they anticipate more than that. Plus in order to make this project feasible for funding ( over 2 million) they would need to be bringing in large volumes of people otherwise how can they afford to do it? Parking is already an issue along the route and we are already bursting at the seams in this area for tourism so how would we be able to accommodate this?!

I would love to read a report from their independent wildlife ecologists to see how they plan to increase the biodiversity. Baring in mind the valley already has landowners working with members of the Devon Wildlife Trust and Woodland Trust, they are already working to provide the right habitats for the species that reside there.

I also question how easy it would be to accommodate cyclists, walkers and horse riders all along the same path. Horses are easily spooked and would struggle having cyclists zipping past and having tried to walk along a multi use (mainly cycle) path it can be pretty hazardous.

Whilst I’m sure the people behind this are well meaning. This has not been dealt with in a sensitive manner and the information given doesn’t always seem to be accurate which unfortunately leads a lot of the general public into not knowing what they are really signing up for. I implore anyone to consider all the facts before making a decision whether they support this or not.
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