Otter Trail

has received a lot of support, as their webite Otter Trail | Otter Shared Use Path shows...

Proposed Cycle Route – Feniton to Ottery St Mary

Pupils at The King’s School, Ottery St Mary are proposing a new shared use cycleway which follows the old railway track starting at Feniton through to Ottery St Mary. This will eventually link up with a continuation through Tipton St John and onto Sidmouth.

Support: Otter Trail | Otter Shared Use Path

Some of our supporters …

Jo Elliott

jo_elliotJo Elliott (a keen cyclist) and a teacher at the school is really keen to involve students to campaign for change for worthwhile causes. Part of the draw for moving to a rural area is to make the most of the Devon Countryside and she hopes the local community will back the campaign.

Members of the Steering group and students from The King’s School held a meeting in 2012 to see if there was any support for the idea first muted by a Year 8 student in a politics lesson. The support for the cycle path was overwhelming so the group has been looking at ways to campaign for this pathway ever since. Students think a cycle path would be really beneficial for them to travel to school in a safe way decreasing their carbon foot prints. Presently they have to catch buses or rely on parents to travel to school which is something they want to change for future students to our school too.

Ottery Tourist Information Centre

ottery_tourist_informationPhyllis Baxter and friend Anne Tombs at the Ottery Tourist information centre support the campaign.

They think it would be good for various different groups in the local area and it could be beneficial for the tourist industry. Phyllis said she loves to see people out and about on their bikes and as a walker herself she is keen to promote the path.

Ottery is also a part of “Walkers are Welcome” campaign and the multi use path could help boost visits to our area.

Carole Grimsley

carole_grimsleyCarole Grimsley thinks a cycle path would be a great way for all age groups to explore their local area.

Carole is on the Otter Trail Steering group and helps the campaign asking for donations and looking after our funds. THANKS Carole!

Nick Row

nick_rowLocal resident and kitchen fitter Nick Row thinks a cycle path in Ottery and the surrounding area would be an excellent idea as he would use it regularly to cycle with his young family.

He could train them how to cycle on softer ground rather than travelling to other places to do this.

Sustainable Ottery

sustainable_otteryMembers of the local group Sustainable Ottery are really keen to promote an eco friendly and healthy lifestyle and fully support the campaign to get a cycle path established in this area.

You can catch up with their curent activities and initiatives on their website at

Patrick and Rafe

patrick_and_rafeTwo local primary school students Patrick and Rafe think a cycle path in East Devon would be a great idea as they are keen to get around on their bikes but sometimes the roads are too busy and dangerous.

Jane Adams (from the United States!)

jane_adamsAmerican tourist Jane Adams and her two children travel round Devon every year on their customised bike.

Jane would really benefit from a cycle path from Feniton to Ottery as she uses the train to travel around too and some of the roads are difficult to negotiate.

Jason Wood

jason_woodJason Wood thinks a cycle path would be an excellent addition to the local community.

Jason campaigns to raise awareness of disabilities and hopes the cycle path would enable some wheelchair uses access to some of Devon’s beautiful countryside.

Jason hopes to build up links with The King’s school (pictured here) to work on joint projects with the youngsters at school.

Ottery St Mary Scout Group

John Green, Group Scout Leader writes

ottery_scout_group_cycling“Ottery St Mary Scout Group are delighted to support the project to create a cycle path from Feniton to Ottery St Mary and ultimately onto Sidmouth. As an organisation with membership of over 120 young people aged 6 – 18, we promote the self development of young people by offering an opportunity to take part in a range of activities many of them adventurous and especially those with an outdoor focus. Many of our members come from Feniton and other villages and it would be ideal to provide a safe cycle route for them to get to and from the weekly meetings and not have to rely upon parent transport.”
“As a Scout Group we organise activities for the older groups involving bikes and it would be ideal to have a cycle path linking key towns and villages that we can use to access other parts of the area without navigating on small, narrow lanes which are not always ideal when taking 20 – 30 young people out and about.”

Teachers at King’s School


Mr Elliott and Mr Gray who both teach at the local school are keen cyclists and would welcome a cycle path in our local area.

It would be a great way to introduce more young people to the roads as they can be really dangerous in this part of Devon. It is unusual to see them both in a serious pose!


Laurence Wayne (King’s School)

Laurence_WayneLaurence writes …

“I think having a cycle path is a great idea as it will provide a safe passage for other cyclists. It is also good as there (hopefully) won’t be any potholes along the route so that will be one less thing to worry about as we go along.”

“We will be safe from cars, kerbs and a few other issues that may come up. This is why I am campaigning for it.”

Roger Giles (Councillor Ottery St Mary Town)

roger_giles Councillor Giles has said …

“The idea of a cycleway on the old railway line was first raised around 15 years ago and the County Council subsequently supported in principal the conversion of some of the disused railway lines identifying the Feniton to Sidmouth line as suitable.”

“Over the years I’ve lobbied for it from time to time to push things forward.”

“We want to get people to sign up to developing the project further, for example through campaigning to get it delivered sooner rather than later.”

“I hope people will also come forward to form a Committee to get the project off the ground.”

“The project could well cost several million over a number of years but the benefits are already proven with the success of other cycleways such as the Exe Estuary Cycle Trail and the Tarka Trail in North Devon.”

“The boost to tourism would be huge, and it would provide an attractive opportunity to cycle and a link between communities.”

Ken Mylne (Tipton Resident)

Ken writes:-

“I support the proposal, especially the southern part from Ottery through Tipton to Sidmouth. This would make a lovely tourist route, but also a safe route for kids from Tipton to the Kings School and for anyone from Tipton to Ottery for shopping etc.”

Claire Wright (Councillor Ottery St Mary Rural)

claire_wrightClaire Wright also actively supports the Trail …

“More work needs to be done tclaire_wrighthough and we are setting up a committee to find what what blocks there are and work out how we can resolve them.”

“This is a long-term project and funding is an issue and I don’t think anyone is under the impression it will be created overnight, but to achieve the project I do think it needs a bit of community enthusiasm and an active working committee to try and get around the blocks.  If we don’t do that it may never happen.”

“We hope that by forming an active committee the cycleway (particularly the Ottery end, which is what we are focusing on) will become a reality sooner than it might otherwise have done.”

Claire Wright also works with youngsters at the school to help them develop skills to campaign for local issues.

Emily Redman (King’s School)

Emily says …

“I am a student at the King’s School and I think that the cycle path will be a good idea because it will be safer for people to ride their bikes. Also it may encourage people to ride their bikes more and exercise more.”

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton

neil_parrish_mpNeil writes …

“I write in full support of the project to create a cycleway on the disused railway line from Feniton to Sidmouth. I believe that this will create an excellent cycle route and will be extremely good for local people and visitors to the area.”

George Kimber (King’s School)

georg_kimberGeorge writes …

“I am a very keen cyclist and enjoy cycling. This path would benefit me as I live 2 miles from Feniton and i would use it regulary.”


George modestly doesn’t mention that he accompanied his Dad cycling the last 200 miles of an End to End in 3 days.

A Mum from Payhembury

“I think this is a great idea. I keep meeting people who say they would cycle if the roads were safer.”

“Paths like this to places we use all the time (e.g. school, Ottery for shopping etc) might encourage people to start cycling. Best of luck!”


John Rowland (CTC Exeter)

John Rowland says …
“I write on behalf of CTC Exeter (Cycle Touring Club) about the proposal for a cycle trail from Feniton to Sidmouth using the route of the original railway line. Our club, over 100 strong, meets mainly twice a week having many retired members plus other gainfully employed enthusiasts. Based in Exeter our rides cover much of East Devon, Central Devon and the Dartmoor area. In addition we often travel further afield to explore North Devon, Somerset and Dorset.”

“Quite often our riding groups number from 15 to 20 cyclists and we often visit Sidmouth from Exmouth or Exeter then ride north towards Feniton or Honiton. Or indeed visa versa. I tell you this to assure you that we would welcome an additional cycle track (away from traffic) in that area. In fact it would be put to fairly regular use.”

Year 7 & 8 Pupils at King’s School

Year 7 & 8 pupils at the initial meeting to kick off the Otter Trail Project. Councillor Roger Giles is on the left and Jason Wood on the right.