The Budleigh Lower Otter Restoration Project’s  (LORP) aim is to bring the natural floodplain of the Lower Otter Valley in Devon back to life. The project aims to boost biodiversity, reduce flood risks, and tackle climate change. Plus, it’s set to offer some great recreational and educational perks. The main goals are to reconnect the river with its floodplain, create habitats like salt marshes and mudflats, support rare species, and improve water quality. The project also plans to make the area more accessible to the public, preserve its cultural heritage, and get the community involved. To do all this, they’ll be breaching embankments, realigning footpaths, and building a new footbridge.

A number of different WH Bond teams have been required to carry out the varied works on this scheme. We first started back in the Autumn of 2022 for our client, Kier Natural Resources, Nuclear & Networks, with our seeding team which needed to cultivate, stone bury & sow specialist grass seeds to the perimeter of the areas which were proposed to be tidal. Once the larger machinery had finished their work the hand works commenced adjoining the pathways & highways. The total area seeded was approximately 100,000m2

As the winter approached the landscaping team came to site to take on the task of planting 26,000 trees & shrubs throughout the scheme. It is fair to say they battled through some tough conditions throughout the winter of 2022/2023.

As the areas became available the construction side of the business came into build a car park, which was finished in a plastic grid system which allowed the parking spaces to be grass seeded, giving an aesthetically pleasing surface. The footpaths leading to the car park were also part of our works package as were sections of ducting & drainage.

The next section of works was to form approximately 500 linear metres of pathway through the old landfill. As the ground conditions were extremely poor & made worse by constant rain, tracked dumpers were used to import the make up to form the paths. The path edges were made with hardwood timber, sourced through Bond Timber, & held into position with timber pegs.

The final part of work, which was in addition to our original contract, was to carry out the Section 278 works to the cricket club where a new bellmouth had to be formed leading onto the main highway.

Now the scheme is completed the landscaping team have been returning to site on numerous occasions to carry out a 2 year maintenance programme to the trees, shrubs & grassed areas.