The Otter Estuary is a nature reserve and Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty and part of the South West Coast Path managed by
the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust. The estuary
was formed by the pebble bank separating it from the sea.
The path running along the top of the pebble bank has been
constructed for wheelchairs. It runs northwards from Lime Kiln car
park to White Bridge with viewing platforms to give wheelchair
users uninterrupted views over the saltmarsh.
Little egrets are sometimes found on the estuary south of
Otterton, along with shelduck, which breed in small numbers.
The meadows adjoining the lower reaches of the River Otter
provide nest sites for lapwings, while curlew and other wader
Budleigh Salterton’s coastline is part of England’s first
natural World Heritage Site. A vast primeval river flowed
across this part, laying down the great pebble beds that
form our splendid pebble beach and the rich red sandy
soils were of ancient deserts.
species breed on the wet heaths and moors of East Devon and
The Otter is especially important for kingfishers, with breeding
recorded along the whole length. Sand martins, which nest in
holes in riverbanks are present on both the lower and middle
reaches of the Otter. Grey wagtails and dippers are also abundant.
For birdwatchers a bird hide facility stands on both sides of
the river. Birds can be seen all year round. These also include
Cormorants, Oystercatchers, and Terns to name but a few.
In recent years Budleigh Salterton has seen quite a few rare birds
including Iceland, glaucous and American herring gulls.