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

Budleigh Salterton traders are looking for someone to sponsor one of two new proposed life-saving devices in the town.

Read more

A former Exmouth nurse is hoping a book of poems she has written over her lifetime will raise funds for a blood cancer charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:41

It’s ‘Flashback Friday’ and we found these pictures of Topsham station in the Exmouth Journal archives.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Mindless vandals sprayed graffiti on a live animal on a farm near Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02

Devon saw an increase in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants during December – with East Devon recording the highest increase of any district.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

A family has publicly thanked Devon Air Ambulance paramedics for saving their eight-year-old son’s life after his scooter tore his windpipe in a freak accident on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thu, 15:46

The number of recorded crimes in three out of four Exmouth neighbourhoods rose year-on-year in 2016, according to figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read more
Thu, 11:26

County planners have been asked to approve the long-awaited completion of Dinan Way at a meeting next Wednesday (January 25).

Read more
Thu, 06:30

The amount claimed in expenses by East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire during the last financial year has been revealed.

Read more
Wed, 13:52

This stunning view will become the outdoor ‘office’ for the new East Devon Pebblebed Heaths’ conservation manager

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications