Estuary wetland ‘could boost tourism’

08:00 12 May 2014

The Otter estuary.

The Otter estuary.

Archant

Plans to help reduce flooding in the Otter Valley could have the added bonus of creating a wetland habitat which would send birdwatchers flocking to Budleigh.

That’s the view of Mike Williams, who is leading the Lower Otter Restoration Project for Clinton Devon Estates, writes Sean Keywood.

Mr Williams also says that new bridges could be built to enable the popular footpath along the River Otter to pass over potential breaches in the embankment.

His comments came during a visit to Budleigh Salterton Town Council, in which he briefed them about the project.

The plan, still under consultation, is currently to reintroduce tidal flooding to the estuary, allowing it to breach protective embankments.

The Otter Estuary is already popular with wildlife spotters, however Mr Williams, who is on assignment from the Environment Agency, says if the project goes ahead, the resulting wetland would be a boon for nature, mirroring the success of the wetland project in the Axe Estuary.

He said: “There is the potential for the local economy to benefit from greater numbers of visitors. You only have to look at the Axe Estuary wetlands to see the number of people coming as a good thing.

“If the Otter is developed into something similar there is real potential there, not only for it to have its own asset, but for this part of East Devon to become even more of an attraction for people coming to visit.”

The plan to breach embankments has led to fears that access could be lost, but Mr Williams has insisted that maintaining this is a top priority.

He said: “In order to do the project we have a lot to consider. Public right of way is right at the top of that list.

“The footpath that runs up the Otter is one of the busiest in Devon. If it were to be breached that path would cease to exist in its current form. Normally, what happens is you seek a diversion but here there are no alternatives.

“We believe if that were the approach we would be likely to fail at a public enquiry, so we are looking at a scheme to maintain these rights of way by putting bridges in place.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Exmouth Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Exmouth Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Exmouth Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 10:06
The former SM Prior and Son shop in Budleigh, previously announced as the proposed site of a Tesco Express store.

Supermarket giant Tesco’s proposed Budleigh Salterton site is to go on the market, casting severe doubt on the company’s plans for a store in the town.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Strand Gardens.  Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 6664-47-10SH.

Strict new rules could affect the number of charity events held on The Strand.

Read more
Wed, 15:09
NHS logo

Healthcare commissioners did not breach regulations when deciding who should receive a £100million contract to run community services in hospitals including Exmouth, a watchdog has ruled.

Read more
Wed, 15:07

Police are investigating an arson attack which caused £500 worth of damage to public toilets in Exmouth.

Read more
Wed, 14:26

Emergency services were called out on Wednesday, September 2, after a collision involving two cars and a shop front.

Read more
Wed, 11:17

Fire crews were called out to deal with a kitchen fire at a property in Gibson Close on Wednesday, September 2.

Read more
Wed, 11:16

Are your children addicted to TV or computer games? Do they rarely stir from the sofa? Are they getting enough exercise? With the children back at school this week, it’s the perfect time for them to get fitter.

Read more
Wed, 08:27
Fleece making demonstrations at A la Ronde with the Devon Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Ref exe 7922-33-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Visitors to a National Trust site in Exmouth were getting in a spin about wool thanks to a demonstration.

Read more
Wed, 08:19
Littleham Church

Vandals trashed prayer books and a Bible when they ran riot through a church in Exmouth.

Read more
Tue, 12:30
The Matthews Hall in Topsham was packed on Sunday for the Flower and Vegetable Show. Ref ext 8406-35-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An annual horticultural photographic competition looks set to continue for another year after this year’s event was hailed as the best yet.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition


Exmouth's trusted business finder