Sparkling views on the River Otter

The River Otter downsream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1656. Picture: Terry Ife

The River Otter downsream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1656. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Rivers are a real asset in the countryside, both for wildlife and in providing a tranquil rural scene. Photographer Terry Ife took the chance to see what could be found along the Otter’s upper reaches.

Bluebells along side the River Otter. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1707. Picture: Terry Ife

Bluebells along side the River Otter. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1707. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The River Otter flows through parts of East Devon and passers-by can enjoy glimpses of the watercourse as it meanders through the landscape.

Rising in Somerset, at Otterford, in the Blackdown Hills, it flows in a south-westerly direction passing Honiton, Ottery St Mary and flowing out to sea at Budleigh Salterton.

Large parts of the river are of environmental importance, with a Site of Special Scientific Interest established at its estuary, with its tidal mudflats and saltmarsh.

The river flows through a predominantly rural area - with small cattle, sheep and dairy farms along - its banks and for much of its length and flows through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – the Blackdown Hills AONB and the East Devon AONB.

The River Otter at Langford bridge. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1694. Picture: Terry Ife

The River Otter at Langford bridge. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1694. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant


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In days gone by, it was the driving force of many watermills – as many as 50 – along its length, and some still exist.

Public access to the river is limited to certain sections, with much of it running through private land, but if you get the chance, you can enjoy the views as you look out across the River Otter.

The River Otter downsream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1660. Picture: Terry Ife

The River Otter downsream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1660. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The River Otter downsream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1664. Picture: Terry Ife

The River Otter downsream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1664. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The River Otter upstream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1633. Picture: Terry Ife

The River Otter upstream from Clapper Lane. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1633. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Downstream from the road bridge at Weston. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1629. Picture: Terry Ife

Downstream from the road bridge at Weston. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1629. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Downstream from the road bridge at Weston. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1625. Picture: Terry Ife

Downstream from the road bridge at Weston. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1625. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Looking upstream from the Otter Inn at Weston. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1622. Picture: Terry Ife

Looking upstream from the Otter Inn at Weston. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1622. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The River Otter looking upstream. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1610. Picture: Terry Ife

The River Otter looking upstream. Ref mhr 16 17TI 1610. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

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