OVA Update – September 2023

Date posted: 
19th Sep 2023

Welcome to this special news update from the Otter Valley Association.  

1.    Changes to the publication dates of our printed newsletter.
2.    Instructions on how to join our “all-new” Facebook group.
3.    Introduction to our new OVA newsletter editor – Chris Boorman.
4.    Our October & November schedule of OVA walks.

Changes to the publication dates of our printed newsletter.

Over the years, we have found it increasingly difficult to collate information in December for the delivery of our January newsletter.  As a result, we have decided to move the publication date back one month.  Our new schedule of newsletters is now:

•    Issue 1: November, December & January.
•    Issue 2: February, March & April.
•    Issue 3: May, June & July.
•    Issue 4: August, September & October.

Please join our new Facebook Group:

As part of our ongoing communication approach, we have created a new Facebook group for the Otter Valley Association.  If you use Facebook, we would be delighted for you to join the group.  You do this by logging into Facebook and then searching for “Otter Valley Association”.  You should find it.  Alternatively, if you are viewing this on your computer, you can click on the link here.
We will be using this to share information, in addition to updating our website and sending our emails.

Introducing our new editor – Dr Chris Boorman

We are delighted to welcome Chris as our new OVA newsletter editor.  With a background in marketing, we are hoping for big things from Chris.  He has already setup our Facebook group, and also created a new Whatsapp group for the walking teams.  

You can contact Chris by either by emailing the standard OVA editor email of [email protected], or calling Chris on 07517-137050. Chris lives in Budleigh Salterton.

Upcoming Walk Programme:

Given the change in schedule for the printed newsletter, we wanted to immediately share with you the next two months of walks – these can also be seen on our website and Facebook group.  

We are delighted the new Otter Estuary Ranger will be leading a bird watching walk assisted by Colin Randall – many thanks to them both. If you have a copy of ‘Twelve walks in the Otter Valley’ dig it out as Iain and Dee are leading a selection of walks all starting from Otterton Green.  We have also included two walks around the Sid Valley Ring plus a lovely selection of local walks from our great walk leaders.

Come along and try one out, we always welcome new faces and you can find out where that footpath leads – you will not be disappointed.

1.    ‘Ghost Train’ on Friday 6 October – 4.00pm – 4.5 miles. 2.3 hours.
Meet: Tipton St John old Level Crossing (OS 115, SY 091 917) a roadside bench between the Golden Lion Inn and the Playing Fields memorial clock.  Car parking in the playing fields car park (donation) or at the pub if staying on for the meal.
An illustrated (old photos) walk to mark the 60th anniversary of the demise of steam trains in the Otter Valley.  Across the fields to look at the 5-arch bridge and Tipton Mill, then footpath, road and track following the Sidmouth branch route as far as the Knapps Lane bridge, Harpford.  Across the Otter to look at the site of Newton Poppleford station and the camping coaches siding, then follow the Budleigh branch route back along the river to Tipton St John Junction.
Finishing by 6.30pm by ‘whetting your whistle’ at the pub with another look at the photos or stay on for an evening meal together – book your own place(s) by ringing the Golden Lion 01404 812881 (ask to join Haylor)
Walk Leader: Haylor Lass 01395 568786

2.    “Otter & Orchards” on Wednesday 18 October – 10.00am – 5.5 miles. 3 hours.
Meet: Newton Poppleford Recreation Ground CP, Back Lane, Newton Poppleford (OS 115, SY 088 899) (What3Words wisely.amazed.configure)
A walk northwards from Newton Poppleford taking in hamlets west of the Otter as far as Fluxton, as well as the river bank. An easy to moderate walk, although a short section can be very wet underfoot (or even flooded) after heavy rain.  There will be a coffee stop part way round (so bring a flask).
Walk Leader: Ross Hussey [email protected] or 01395 227991
Mobile for contact on the day only 07902 255915

3.    “Classic coastal path and Otter exploration” on Saturday 21 October – 10.00am 6.5 miles. About 2.5 hours. 
Meet: new car park, South Farm Road (£ applies) EX9 7AZ
This walk combines stunning views along the coast, a stroll through a delightful village and a chance to appreciate the restoration of the lower Otter Valley.
Walk Leader: Steve Hagger 01395 442631 / 07901 517948

4.    “Here’s one for Eeyore” on Wednesday 1 November – 10.00am - 4.6 miles. 2.5 hours.  
Meet: Donkey Sanctuary car park.

One strenuous and one moderate climb (1,013ft of ascent). Lots of gates; 2 stiles.  Starting from the Donkey Sanctuary car park, we head for Weston and down into Weston Combe.  From there a stiff climb brings us to Dunscombe Cliff, where we will stop for coffee.  Following the coast path, we head down to Salcombe Mouth and then a steady climb up to Salcombe Regis, where we can stop for a restful few moments in Salcombe’s tranquil churchyard.  Then it is back to the Donkey Sanctuary where those that wish can avail themselves of the café for a bite of lunch.
Walk Leaders: David and Rose Conner. 07831 406959

5.    “Around the Commons” on Friday 3 November – 10.00am – 5.8 miles.
Meet: Wheathill car park (OS 115, SY 041 847))
We will head out from Wheathill and go to Dalditch, Squabmoor Reservoir and Bystock Ponds with a stop for coffee.
Walk Leader: Sarah Westacott 0770 6078143

6.    “Sid Valley Ring West” on Friday 10 November - 10.15am – about 7 miles. About 3.5 hours.
Meet: Sidbury Church (OS 115, SY 129 917) Park in the car park behind the village hall (OS 115, SY 128 919) or take Stagecoach bus 9 from Sidmouth arriving 10.04am
We will walk the western half of the Sid Valley Ring which uses quiet lanes and footpaths to take us from the lovely village of Sidbury westwards and then down to the seafront at Sidmouth.  Bring a flask for a coffee break.  We should arrive in time for a picnic lunch on the seafront or you can find something at one of the many eateries in Sidmouth.  Buses return hourly to Sidbury for those who left a car there.
If you plan to arrive by bus, please let walk leaders Penny and Paul Kurowski know, and we will wait for the bus! 01395 742942 or 07792 619748 or [email protected]

7.    “Walk 1: Twelve walks in the Otter Valley” on Tuesday 14 November – 10.00am – 6.5 miles. About 4 hours.
Meet: Otterton Green (OS 115, SY 081 852)
Monks Walk, Otter Head, White Bridge, Lime Kiln, Clamour Bridge, Colliver Cross.  Bring packed lunch
Walk Leader: Iain Ure and Dee Woods 01395 568822 / 07597 921007

8.    “Bird Watching around the Otter Estuary” on Tuesday 21 November – 10.00am – 2 / 2.5 hours.
Meet: Lime Kiln CP, Budleigh Salterton, by the new bridge.
Led by the Otter Estuary Ranger, Rick Lockwood and assisted by Colin Randall, local resident, and Devon Birds member.
Binoculars useful if you have them, but definitely not necessary.
Warm clothing as lots of stopping.  Finish 12 – 12.30pm.