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River Clyst, Clyst Honiton

River restoration at Clyst Honiton

From around 1896 to 1968, several sections of the River Clyst were straightened and adjoining fields were drained. This has sped up water flow in the river, and resulted in deeply cut channels disconnected from the floodplain, except in major flood events. This has led to degraded conditions for wildlife.

At Clyst Honiton, there is an opportunity to reverse some of this damage; the landowners on both sides of the river are supportive. 

East Devon District Council and the Environment Agency have commissioned studies from consultants AECOM. The work is being led by Dr Neil Williams, a graduate of Exeter University. Initially, this identified a number of restoration options which we discussed with the landowners, statutory organisations and stakeholders. Their feedback helped us to select a preferred option, which is to raise the bed of the river just south of the railway line. This would push water out into a newly created channel on the east side of the river.

Topographical surveys have now been completed and a funding strategy is being drawn up.