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

09:00
Students for Plymouth Uni joined volunteers helping weeding and planting new blooms at the Topsham train station on Saturday. Ref ext 6713-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Volunteers from Topsham were joined by students from Plymouth University as they cleaned up the flowerbeds at the town’s railway station.

Read more
29 minutes ago
Pupils from Drake's Primary School on their visit to Parliament with East Devon MP Hugo Swire and their flag design.

Pupils from Drake’s Primary School have enjoyed a visit to Parliament to see their design as part of a national creative project.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:53
Katy Gooding outside her shop in Budleigh. Ref exb 7383-22-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A Budleigh shop owner is asking for public support after being nominated for a national award.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Sue Stoneman's culinary talents will be available for all to see as she appears on television next week. Ref exe 7722-22-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth cook will be showing off her culinary skills on a BBC cooking show next week.

Read more
Thu, 15:35
Bassetts Farm primary school headteacher Sarah Bennett is pictured with some of her children celebrating their recenty Ofsted success. Ref exe 7302-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth primary school is celebrating after it received a ‘good’ rating in a recent Ofsted report.

Read more
Thu, 11:33
Rotakids at Marpool primary school presented NSPCC Schools Organiser Roisin Turley with £2001.79 which was raised by a school hula hoop event. The event was also used to help promote the awareness of the chairty which includes Childline. Ref exe 7311-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A hula hoop event held by the Rotakids at Marpool School raised more than £2,000 for the NSPCC.

Read more
Thu, 09:51

Exmouth Community College is celebrating after being given £2.4million for new classrooms.

Read more
Thu, 09:46
Lizzie German from Budleigh will be attending the international UN climate talks in Paris in December as part of the UK youth delegation. Ref exb lizzie2 Picture: submitted

A Budleigh student is preparing to help make young people’s voices heard on the world stage, as leaders debate the planet’s response to climate change.

Read more
Thu, 09:44
The 2016 Exmouth in Bloom calendar was offically launched at the World of Country Life this week. Ref exe 7129-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

The 2016 calendar, sponsored by the leisure park, is one of Exmouth in Bloom’s biggest fundraisers and will pay for new flower displays around the town.

Read more
Wed, 18:30
Fashion show

Exmouth Players is hosting a fashion show in early June as a fundraiser to help refurbish the green room and kitchen at the Blackmore Theatre in Exmouth’s Bicton Street.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



Exmouth's trusted business finder