The opening of the Queen Elizabeth Bridge marks a major step in a £27M project to combat climate change in Devon.
Today marks a significant achievement in the fight against climate change with the opening of the new Queen Elizabeth Bridge in Budleigh Salterton, Devon. This bridge is a pivotal component of the £27 million Lower Otter Restoration Project, a bold initiative aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change.
The project, led by Clinton Devon Estates and the Environment Agency, has been instrumental in creating 55 hectares (136 acres) of mudflats, saltmarsh, and other habitats along the Otter Estuary. These new habitats are expected to play a crucial role in bolstering the region's environmental resilience.
Runners and walkers will be the first to traverse the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, which now forms part of the renowned South West Coast Path. This opening is a momentous occasion for the community and a symbol of progress in environmental conservation.
Environmental groups are optimistic about the long-term benefits of this expanded inter-tidal wetland habitat. Rick Lockwood from the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust, a part of Clinton Devon Estates, anticipates a significant increase in bird populations, including species like the curlew, which are currently declining in the UK.
Kate Ponting, involved in the project since its inception, expressed her excitement about the transformative nature of the project. "It's just absolutely incredible to see the change, the pace of change, and delivering all the things that we need it to," she said. Ponting highlighted the project's multifaceted impact, from enhancing climate resilience to creating valuable habitats for wildlife and offering new spaces for community recreation.
The Queen Elizabeth Bridge not only represents a remarkable engineering feat but also symbolizes a steadfast commitment to addressing climate change and preserving natural habitats for future generations. This project stands as a testament to the power of collaborative efforts in achieving sustainable environmental solutions.
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