Consultation on estuary plan
15:52 18 June 2014
Local people are being given the chance to have their say about the future of the River Otter.
Public consultation events are being held on the Lower Otter Restoration Project, which could see tidal flooding reintroduced to the Otter, allowing it to burst its banks.
It is hoped the plan would help prevent the flooding of homes and farmland, and create a better habitat for wildlife, while making sure access is preserved.
The project is being led by Mike Williams, who has been assigned by the Environment Agency to work with landowner Clinton Devon Estates.
He said: “The lower River Otter is disconnected from its floodplain by an ageing embankment which runs through the centre of the historic estuary.
“This impacts adversely on the ability of the river to cope naturally with flooding.
“In recent years these flood events have also caused significant erosion of the embankments and associated land, and have threatened the integrity of existing rights of way which form part of the South West Coast Path.
“These events will likely become more common with the sea level rises and more intensive storms associated with current climate change predictions.
“We believe that the Lower Otter Restoration Project provides a great opportunity to deliver a more sustainable future for the estuary and surrounding area.
“There are technical issues to be overcome and we want local people to be involved in developing something that has real benefits for people and wildlife.
“Please come along to one of these events and let us know what you think.”
The consultation events will be held at East Budleigh Village Hall on Tuesday, July 1, between 2pm and 7pm, and Lime Kiln car park in Budleigh Salterton on Saturday, July 5, between 10am and 2pm.