River Otter health-check begins

A year-long health check of the River Otter has begun, checking water quality wildlife diversity and human impact

Devon Wildlife Trust is embarking on a new project in partnership with the Environment Agency, to help improve the health of Devon’s river catchments.

It will focus first on the River Otter and its tributaries and will assess the overall health of the river system and help to coordinate existing and develop new conservation projects and activities there.

Scott West from Devon Wildlife Trust, who is spearheading the project, is looking for wildlife, conservation and heritage groups in the Ottery St Mary area to contribute.

He said: “If we can improve this treasured environment there are many positive knock-on benefits to other habitats and wildlife.”

For the first few months the priority will be to work out what conservation work is already happening, and from this work what future action on the ground needs to be taken.

One of the key areas will be to look at barriers to fish passage throughout the river as well as ‘excessive nutrient input’, such as effluent.

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Mr West added: “Considering current drought conditions, the health of our rivers is even more important at this time.

“The work we will be doing over the coming months will help create a robust and sustainable catchment able to cope with future weather extremes and pressures.”

To get involved with the project call 01392 279244.

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