A FLOOD defence wall damaged by the storms at the start of the year has been repaired.

Exeter City Council has funded the repairs to the wall at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham.

Contractors working for the City Council began work on 28 April and have now finished on schedule.

A large section of the coastal defence alongside the River Clyst frontage was severely damaged during the high tides and storm damage in January and February.

This resulted in a breach which allowed the high tides to overtop and flow into the protected land and inland road behind it.

These raised defences provide protection to the RSPB reserve at Bowling Green Marsh and a number of nearby properties and businesses.

The City Council owns the land that the defences stand on and leases the land at Bowling Green Marsh to the RSPB. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and has European status as a freshwater marshes habitat.

Cllr Rachel Sutton, Deputy Leader of Exeter City Council, said: "It's great that these works have finished. Although we're heading into the summer now, you never know what is around the corner in terms of the weather and I'm sure that those living nearby and visiting the site will be relieved to know that the defences are back in place.”

Tony Whitehead, speaking for the RSPB in Devon said: “I'm delighted that the works have gone to schedule and been carried out with the minimum of fuss and disruption. In fact we've even had some rare overseas visitors to the reserve during the work, like a purple heron, a Ross's gull and a spoonbill.

"The reserve is nationally important for a wide range of estuary birds, particularly in winter, and is enjoyed by tens of thousands of people that visit every year.”

Rob Sanders, who lives next to Bowling Green Marsh, said he was pleased with the way the works had been carried out. He added: "I would like to take my hat off to the contractors and the City Council for the way the that the repairs have been undertaken. There's been minimal disruption and we can now sleep soundly at night knowing that these crucial defences have been mended."