A NEW footbridge, created as part of the River Tamar Walkway and Wetland Project in Calstock, is now open, enabling the local community and visitors to enjoy the wildlife that is flocking to the recently flooded wetland area.

The footbridge is the final piece of the jigsaw in the £3.1 million flood defence scheme in Calstock.

It has been delivered by a partnership between the Environment Agency, Tamar Community Trust, Calstock Parish Council, Calstock Footpath Society and Tamar Valley AONB.

The bridge has been designed and constructed to span the breach through the old flood embankment (now redundant as a flood defence) and to maintain the much-valued permissive footpath. This was a condition imposed by Cornwall Council on the Environment Agency’s planning application for the wider flood defence and habitat creation scheme.

The community’s new footbridge is an integral part of the works, maintaining the 1.2km stretch — described as a jewel in the crown — of the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail that extends some 35 miles from the north to the south of the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walkers can safely use the bridge now, and it will be officially opened on Tuesday, June 14 at 4.30pm.

Jane Kiely, chair of Tamar Community Trust, is delighted that the project is now complete: ‘Tamar Community Trust is delighted to see the bridge open, enabling people to once again enjoy this fabulous stretch of the river and the new wetland habitat.

‘It’s great to see the increasing abundance of wildlife beginning to use the wetlands, too, include sedge and reed warblers, Canada geese, shelducks, moorhens, heron, little egret and even an otter! Thanks to all our partners on this scheme for the hard work and determination in getting to this stage.’

The best way to keep up to date with the wildlife that has been spotted on the wetlands is by joining the Calstock Wetlands Bird Watchers Group (Facebook).