East Devon schemes to reduce flash-flood risk from rivers Otter and Sid get £1.4million funding boost

A pair of East Devon flood management schemes have been handed a total of more than £1.4million in government cash.

The separate projects aim to reduce risk faced by towns and villages along the River Otter and River Sid including Ottery St Mary, Newton Poppleford, Harpford, Sidbury, Sidford and Sidmouth.

Calls for extra funding were made after communities were hit by flash-flooding in May 2023.

Two East Devon projects have been named among 40 across the country which will benefit from a £25million pot of Natural Flood Management programme funding.

The Environment Agency’s Climate Resilient Otter Catchment (CROC) scheme has been handed £1,184,800. The initiative involves eight projects around the River Otter with a focus on land and soil management, as well as local farming practices.

Sidbury Manor Estate’s River Sid catchment scheme has been given £240,000. It involves four projects including targeted tree planting to slow surface water and river restoration.

The government programme boosts projects which will use natural processes such as planting trees and creating wetlands to reduce the risk of flooding.

East Devon MP Simon Jupp says has been working with government to ‘secure extra investment’ into flood management schemes.

Floods Minister Robbie Moore recently visited the district.

MP Simon Jupp meeting with Floods Minister, Robbie Moore in East Devon. Image: contributed

MP Simon Jupp meeting with Floods Minister Robbie Moore in East Devon. Image: contributed

Mr Jupp said; “I’m really chuffed to welcome this million-pound government investment into flood management schemes around the River Otter and River Sid.

“After last May’s major flooding, I met with many impacted local residents and campaigned hard on their behalf to secure extra funding to improve East Devon’s flood resilience.

“I’m delighted the Flooding Minister has listened to my calls. I will continue working with the Government, Environment Agency and Devon County Council to ensure work begins as quickly as possible.”

Environment Agency chair Alan Lovell said: “It’s exciting to see such appetite for Natural Flood Management, recognising its value in providing not only benefits against flood risk but also wider support for nature recovery.

“I’m proud of the role the Environment Agency is playing in leading this pioneering programme. We look forward to working with partners to help natural techniques become a mainstream option for flood protection and help create more climate resilient places.

The Floods Minister added: “It’s vital we use nature as an ally in our work to become ready for climate change, helping to restore the natural environment and protecting homes and businesses. That’s why we’re funding the biggest-ever investment in natural flood management – and it’s great to see the huge demand.

“These schemes will complement traditional bricks-and-mortar defences, all funded by our £5.2 billion flood programme. This programme is one more part of our plan to bolster flood resilience and shield communities – all whilst boosting biodiversity, restoring habitats and protecting the environment for future generations.”

PHOTOS and VIDEOS: Flash flooding turns roads to rivers across East Devon, leaving ‘devastated’ residents counting the cost of the clear-up

About Author