The process of assessing and managing the salient factors affecting the South Devon coastal shoreline up to the tidal limit (i.e. VennWeir on the Avon) is summarised in the following link – www.sdadcag.org.uk . Members of the ACA committee have attended most if not all of the SDADCAG meetings and have provided feedback to Teignbridge DC, the managing body. Based on the results of our Avon Estuary Siltation Research Project (see summaries on this website) , we have concluded that the estuary is slowly filling up and there is a strong economic argument (based on the importance of tourism and recreation to the area – Bigbury on Sea/ Bantham) for trying to slow that process down over the longer term in an environmentally acceptable way. We have even investigated the possibility of the restoration of the groynes on Cockleridge to slow down the movement of sand into the estuary but there seems little enthusiasm or funds amongst those responsible to support or manage such a project. SMP2 recommends no active intervention on this part of the coast. Perhaps we shall have to wait for Bantham to become completely inaccessible from the sea for people to wake up.
In a related initiative, the Environment Agency (EA) is considering a plan to both manage flood risk on the river and to increase biodiversity by flooding South Efford marsh, downstream of the bridge at Aveton Gifford. The ACA has provided data from our Siltation Research Project to help assess the hydrodynamics of the river and decide whether the plan is viable. The results of the EA’s assessment are awaited.