Kier Otter project declared new national nature reserve

Lower Otter Restoration Project
The River Otter is home to otters and to England’s first population of native wild-living beavers (Image: Lukas Blazek via

Kier has completed works on the Lower Otter Restoration Project, enabling the 55ha wetland habitat to be declared a new national nature reserve.

The coastal engineering project is a partnership initiative between landowners Clinton Devon Estates and the Environment Agency to restore the historic floodplain of the Otter Estuary near Budleigh Salterton, East Devon.

It is one of the biggest coastal climate adaptation and habitat creation projects in England.

The £27m project included installing a 70m footbridge and removing 70m of embankment to allow tides to reach a large part of the Otter estuary for the first time in more than 200 years. 3.3km of footpaths were improved to make them more resilient to flooding as sea levels rise.

2.5km of overhead power lines that once ran through the site were buried on both sides of the Otter Valley.

The design of the project was led by Jacobs.

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