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Otterton – river and coastal walk – Devon Group – Wednesday 13th July ’22

It was a very warm day when we assembled on the village green and welcomed visiting members from Dorset and Solent groups. We set off along the river bank towards the sea.

The estuary here is currently undergoing a major rewilding project to expand the tidal salt marsh and provide new habitats. Much birdlife was to be seen in the nature reserve but no won the prize for spotting an otter.

The lunch stop was taken behind the shingle beach at Budleigh Salterton with proper picnic benches and nearby toilet facilities on the promenade. Someone enjoyed an ice cream.

After lunch we crossed the river and climbed up through a stand of pine woods to meet the coast where we paused to enjoy fine views  of the estuary and red sandstone cliffs behind the town.

We were debating if it was possible to ford the river at low tide where it runs across the shingle bar into the sea. Just then the issue was settled when a dog walker paddled across without even pausing to pick up and carry her dog.

Continuing along  the undulating coast path we saw remains of military installations  from the second world war at Brandy Head. Spectacular views opened up towards Sidmouth and on the horizon could be glimpsed Portland Bill.

Turning away from the coast we returned to the village and much needed refreshments in the shady courtyard cafe at the excellent Otterton Mill.

Mike

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