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Otter footpath to be raised a metre

The Lower Otter Restoration area (courtesy: PACCo/LDRS) May 2021

You'll only get your feet wet 20 times a year

Work to raise the height of a public footpath near the Lower Otter Restoration Project site has been scheduled for this summer. 
 
The 900-metre long footpath to the west of the floodplain of the River Otter, which runs from the entrance to the existing Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club on Granary Lane to South Farm Road, will be raised by up to a metre.  This will take it above the level of most tides, ensuring access is maintained in most circumstances. 

It will stop it flooding just about all year round. If the work doesn't go ahead, the path would flood around 300 times a year. Raising it a metre reduces this to around 20 times.
 
Previous planning permission by East Devon District Council had lapsed. The council has now agreed to an amendment to the Lower Otter Restoration Project (LORP) planning permission to enable the Environment Agency to carry out these improvements.  
 
The work will result in an improved surface to the footpath, making it more accessible for people with mobility difficulties and more of an all-weather/season route.

Unsightly overhead electrical cables west of the valley are to be removed and the cables located within the new raised footpath. 
 
Dan Boswell of the Environment Agency said: “The footpath improvements should result in a safer, more accessible and all-season, route and we look forward to handing this pathway back to the community so that they can enjoy the wildlife which will inevitably be drawn to the new intertidal habitat. 
 
The Lower Otter Restoration Project is primarily funded by the UK government, but also recieves funding as part of the €26 million Promoting Adaptation to Changing Coasts project, which also has a similar scheme underway in the Saâne Valley in Normandy, France.   

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