Anybody who has ever learn my blogs earlier than will know I really like otters! So the place higher to (probably) spot them however on the River Otter itself!
While staying at Sweetcombe Cottages’ Rosemary Cottage, I used to be wanting up walks within the native space that had been comparatively accessible with a buggy, and I then remembered studying a couple of stroll alongside the River Otter earlier than.
This was a stroll that I’d all the time needed to do however hadn’t had the chance. To me, the River Otter is further particular in that it’s residence to breeding beavers so not solely is there the possibility you may see an otter or two but in addition in case you are tremendous fortunate, a beaver!
The beginning of the stroll
We parked up at Lime Kiln automotive park, which sits on the sting of the coastal city of Budleigh Salterton. Right here, you may see the Otter’s estuary and the footpath fringes the sting of the river alongside the way in which.
The parking expenses change between the summer time and winter months however had been fairly cheap. Plus, you may pay for parking by card to avoid wasting scrabbling round for cash.
At the beginning of the stroll, there have been a few chook hides and viewing areas.
This space is extraordinarily well-liked with birders searching for wetland species of chook corresponding to Brent geese and shelducks. With fairly in depth reed beds, there’s additionally the chance to identify reed bunting or Cetti’s warblers.
We chatted to a number of the birders there and had been in a position to see shelducks, little egret, Canadian geese and swans at this level. Additional alongside the stroll, we additionally noticed a number of swallows and home martins who had been feeding off the midges.
Among the space is presently being developed as a part of flood prevention schemes and in addition to extend the wildlife habitat.
For our stroll, we determined to move alongside the river till Otterton Mill – a handy spot for lunch that meant we’d be strolling for simply shy of three miles every approach.
For us, strolling alongside a protracted stretch of river is one thing of a novelty. Positive, Hampshire is residence to the Take a look at Means, of which I’ve walked a number of stretches, nevertheless there aren’t enormous quantities of locations to observe straight alongside the river which might be native to us.
For almost all of the stroll, the route was properly signposted and straightforward to observe. It does get boggy in locations, which isn’t a shock given it’s beside a river, so this did make it a tad difficult with a buggy at occasions.
When you fancy it, then you may go off this route at a few the bridges, permitting you to increase your stroll or making a round stroll into the broader Devon countryside.
Wildlife alongside the way in which
I’ve touched upon the birds that we noticed however for us, the spotlight would positively be seeing beavers or otters. Sadly, this wasn’t going to be the day however, in some methods, I wasn’t stunned given it was on a busy financial institution vacation weekend and we had been strolling in the course of the day.
Your probability of viewing both species is elevated at daybreak and nightfall and in addition in all probability once you don’t have a loud 2-year-old in tow!
Nonetheless, we did see loads of proof of beaver exercise alongside the route. Gnawed tree routes dotted a number of areas of riverbank, with some that appeared very contemporary.
There was additionally the making of a dam and what appeared like a beaver den too. Superb!
Each beavers and otters will be controversial. Beavers are seen to destroy timber and habitats (nevertheless they’re helpful for flood prevention) and otters eat a variety of fish. Nonetheless, the incidence of each species does point out the signal of a wholesome river.
A pit cease at Otterton Mill
We had deliberate for our stroll to be a ‘there and again’ form, with a pit cease at Otterton Mill. This stunning mill is residence to a café, farm store, gallery and nonetheless operates as a grain mill making flour for the home made bread.
We each opted for a ploughman’s and had been mightily impressed by them. Nearly all of the meals on the menu, whether or not you fancied one thing extra formal or a lighter lunch, was regionally sourced. I loved some native cheeses and all of us cherished the home made bread. It’s clearly a preferred place with each locals and guests and I can see why.
The gallery featured a number of native artists and I may simply spend so much right here each when it comes to money and time! If you’re in search of one thing a bit totally different as your Devon memento, then remember to pop in.
Returning to Budleigh Salterton
After our well-earned break, we began the stroll again to Budleigh Salterton. The tide was starting to come back in a bit extra now in order we approached the ultimate stretches of the stroll, you possibly can see the estuarial panorama altering.
Notice: If you’re all in favour of figuring out extra in regards to the beaver trial that’s been finished right here, Devon Wildlife Belief has a number of info.
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