Two-year exhibition on Lower Otter Restoration Project opens in Budleigh Salterton

A two-year-long exhibition that shines the spotlight on the Lower Otter Restoration Project is set to open in Budleigh Salterton.

The town’s Fairlynch Museum, in Fore Street, Budleigh, will host the exhibition, after it is opened by Lord Clinton on Thursday evening (April 14).

The exhibition will cover the history of the project and provide a permanent record of the work carried out.

The Lower Otter Restoration Project, with a finish date in 2023, is working to ‘adapt and enhance’ the downstream part of the River Otter, its estuary, and its immediate surroundings for future generations ‘in the face of a rapidly changing climate’.

Chris Woodruff, East Devon AONB Partnership manager, said: “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.”

Trevor Waddington, chair of the Fairlynch Museum, 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, from the Environment Agency, 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.”

The project has been funded by the Environment Agency, the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Communities Project Fund and Lord Clinton’s Charitable Trust.

The exhibition will be opened by Lord Clinton at 7pm on April 14.

It features a specially commissioned video, information boards on the project – covering the history, flooding, wildlife and archaeology of the estuary, plus the aims of the project, its funding, climate change – and objections to the scheme.

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