Background to the estuary
The River Otter Estuary covers an area of 33 hectares, and along with the cliffs of Otterton Point is designated a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on account of the fine saltmarsh habitat supported and adjacent Triassic sandstone rocks of considerable paleontological interest. The estuary is managed by the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust. The site is adjacent to Budleigh Salteron, with the pathway that runs along an old 1816 embankment that cuts through the floodplain one of the most popular footpaths in East Devon.
The estuary itself contains a wide range of saltmarsh communities which together with additional areas of tall herb and scrub support high numbers of breeding and overwintering bird species. Over 120 species of bird have been recorded on the site, including a number of particular conservation interest including the whimbrel and black-tailed godwit.
Management works on the site include increasing wading bird interest through the creation of scrapes on adjacent marshland habitat, the management of reedbeds, the provision of interpretation and the control of invasive species. Local conservation partners include the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Otter Valley Association and the Devon Bird watching and Preservation Society.
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