Otter Cycleway / Footway, (Coleridge Bridge) Ottery St. Mary

Clarkson & Woods worked with East Devon District Council, Sustrans to assist in the design and implementation of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the river Otter in Ottery St Mary, East Devon.

Surveys identified frequent use of the river by otters and foraging bats, along with nesting sites for sand martins within the river bank. The non-native invasive plant Himalayan balsam was also recorded growing along the stretch of the bridge footprint.

Measures were put in place to prevent sand martins nesting along the short section of river bank within the bridge footprint to ensure that no offences or disturbance occurred to nesting birds during construction. EDDC and Sustrans consulted with Clarkson & Woods regarding the bridge design, with the final design constructed as a modern, free span, unlit bridge over the river to minimise effects on these species once operational but maintaining a functional structure.

Working with the contractors, Dyer and Butler Clarkson & Woods prepared a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which was approved by statutory bodies and relayed to the project team on commencement of works. The plan included a range of environmental protection measures for protected species and ecological features and in particular considered prevention of the spread of Himalayan balsam. Several bat boxes were installed on the trees along the river bank to enhance roosting habitat within the area for bats.

The project was nominated for the South West small civil engineering project of 2012.