Fairlynch’s new exhibition on the Lower Otter Restoration Project was opened by our patron Lord Clinton last week as the museum opened its doors for 2022.
The LORP exhibition features a video with stunning aerial photography. Various speakers outline aspects of the plan and its projected consequences, starting with the recognition that pre-emptive work was needed to return the river to its historic floodplain in a controlled way, before that option was swept away by rising sea-levels, storms and frequent flooding events. The 200-year-old embankments will now be breached deliberately and new bridges and viewing platforms introduced to carry the South West Coast Path and accommodate visitors interested in the wildlife. Alongside the video are display panels with further information and some beautiful artwork by John Washington, who has been recording the engineers at work in the valley since the project began.
The LORP exhibition is expected to run for two or three years and will be updated as the landscape changes from water meadow to salt marsh and mudflat.
This year we also have an exhibition marking the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, with artefacts and images from past royal jubilees celebrated in and around Budleigh; a collection of work by Cecil Isobel Elgee; frocks of the 1950s and lace from the Priscilla Hull collection.
Covid restrictions have lifted so the local and family history research collections are accessible again and upstairs in the Joy Gawne Room the rocking horse makes a welcome reappearance for visiting children.
All Friends of Fairlynch are welcome to the 2022 AGM at 11am on Wednesday 4th May in the Peter Hall, Budleigh Salterton. When the business of the meeting is concluded there will be coffee and tea at around 11.30am, followed by a talk by local naturalist and photographer David White at 12pm.
David’s talk, entitled “The Otter Estuary and its Changing Wildlife Habitat” will consider what birds and animals might be visiting or living in and around the floodplain in years to come, as the Lower Otter Restoration Project reaches maturity. Will we be seeing more glossy ibis and cattle egrets? Will the beavers have upped sticks and migrated upstream to fresher water? David will draw on his own and others’ expertise and observations at nearby wetland habitats to make some tentative predictions for the future.
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