River Otter themed walks in partnership with Otterton Mill
From February to August, these guided walks, led by local experts, will take participants through the beautiful East Devon countryside alongside the river to provide an insight on ecology, local history or how the Otter Valley is managed. Each excursion ends at Otterton Mill where walkers have the chance to enjoy a coffee or lunch in the Mill’s award-winning café-restaurant.
The first walk took place on Thursday 16 February and focussed on River Otter Birds. It took walkers through the marshes to see winter birds, before heading up-river to Otterton Mill. Led by Doug Cullen, volunteer bird warden for the River Otter, this walk was attended by avid bird-watchers keen to find out more about the breeds that are found on the River Otter Estuary, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
On Tuesday 7 March, walkers can join Dr Sam Bridgewater, Head of Wildlife and Conservation for Clinton Devon Estates, to find out more about the Lower Otter Restoration Project. This walk will look at the history of management of the Lower Otter Valley and discuss how current management might need to adapt in response to sea level rise and climate change. The walk will begin in Lyme Kiln Car Park at 10:30am and end at Otterton Mill at approximately 12:30pm.
Join Kate Ponting, Countryside Learning Officer for Clinton Devon Estates, on Wednesday 5 April for a walk on Otterton’s Beavers. Kate will lead the group upstream from Otterton to look at some of the signs and sites of recent beaver activity and give an update on the work by Devon Wildlife Trust on the River Otter Beaver Trial to date. This is a circular walk from Otterton Mill, 11am-1pm.
The next walk in the series will take place on Saturday 13 May and look at the Feathered Migrants of the River Otter. Doug Cullen, volunteer bird warden for the River Otter will lead walkers through the Site of Special Scientific Interest and through the marshes to, hopefully, witness the birdlife first-hand. This walk will start at 10am from White Bridge on South Farm Road and take approximately 2.5 - 3 hours, finishing at Otterton Mill.
If you have an interest in bats, Friday 7 July is Bat and Pizza Night at Otterton Mill, where Licenced bat worker, Sarah Butcher, will be on hand with detectors enabling you to ‘hear’ the calls the animals are making and showing you the pipistrelle bats which might emerge from the historic building at dusk. Homemade pizza will be available in the Mill courtyard. Join us from 6:30pm onwards.
On Thursday 3 August, Countryside Learning Officer, Kate Ponting will be leading another River Otter Beaver Walk. Join Kate from 11am to approximately 1pm for a stroll along the river for an update on the beavers’ activity. This walk will start and end at Otterton Mill.
All walks are free and there is no need to book in advance.
For more information please contact Otterton Mill on 01395 568521 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, you can contact Kate Ponting at Clinton Devon Estates on 01395 446918 or email [email protected].