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Exhibition opens to support major Devon climate change project

An exhibition opens tonight into one of Devon’s biggest environmental schemes

The Lower Otter as it is now

Author: Andrew KayPublished 2 hours ago
Last updated 2 hours ago

A two-year exhibition opens tonight into Devon’s biggest climate change and re-wilding project in generations – which it’s hoped will boost local wildlife.

This time next year, an existing wildlife refuge will be extended when the Lower Otter at Budleigh is allowed to flood more land.

It’s to help prevent homes being flooded and better manage the local flood risk going forward as sea levels rise – something expected to happen.

Budleigh Salterton’s Fairlynch Museum will host the exhibition which is funded by the Environment Agency, the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Communities Project Fund and Lord Clinton’s Charitable Trust.

The exhibition features a specially commissioned video which will play out on a large screen, plus information boards on the project covering the history, flooding, wildlife and archaeology of the estuary, the aims of the project, its funding, climate change and looks at objections to the scheme.

Chair of the Fairlynch Museum, Trevor Waddington OBE, said: “Without doubt the Lower Otter Restoration Project is the most significant event in the River Otter estuary for over 200 years. 

“The work is planned to complete in 2023 and Budleigh Salterton’s Fairlynch Museum exhibition for the next two years will present the many aspects of the project in an imaginative way.  Education is a primary purpose of the museum and we are delighted that a programme of visits by children from local schools has already been planned.”

Mike Williams of the Environment Agency, who has been working on the project for a number of years, said: “Everyone working on the project is very proud of the fact that it is to be highlighted in the town’s museum in this way. It will provide a record of the work for future generations.”

Manager of the East Devon AONB Partnership, Chris Woodruff, added: “Landscapes never stand still. They are constantly evolving and from time to time, mankind occasionally accelerates that process.

“The landscape changes happening as a result of the mitigation works in the Lower Otter Restoration Project are significant and far reaching and have not been without their challenges. This exhibition will help to explain the history of landscape change through the ages in the lower Otter and the modern-day influences which are driving the current changes. It has brought together a wide range of audio-visual and archive materials to help to explain global warming, rising sea levels and how these impact on people in east Devon, reaching out to new audiences.”

For more about the scheme click here

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