Palmers Dam, situated on the River Harbourne, was constructed in response to the flooding incident in 2002. This river-widening scheme, located half a mile upstream from the village, was successfully completed under the supervision of the Environment Agency, with a total cost of £2 million. The dam is named after the late Ken Palmer, a local farmer who generously provided the necessary land for its establishment. The comprehensive scheme encompasses two key components: firstly, an upstream flood storage reservoir, and secondly, flood defense works implemented throughout the village. As a result of these measures, the scheme has significantly reduced the risk of flooding to a frequency of once every 40 years.Adjacent to the construction site and floodplains, a nature reserve has been created, utilizing the surrounding lands. This area served a dual purpose during the construction phase and now showcases diverse wetland flora, shallow lakes, and the planting of various native trees. Access to the reserve is controlled by a locked gate, while a side gate leads to a small enclosed viewing bench, providing visitors with an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty.
This camera was installed and is maintained by the Environment Agency and can be viewed here.
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The Harbourne River is a notable watercourse in Devon, England. Its estuary is known as Bow Creek, where it converges with the River Dart near Stoke Gabriel. Originating from Gripper's Hill on Dean Moor in Dartmoor, the river flows predominantly southeast, passing under the A38 road, until it reaches the village of Harberton. From there, it changes course, flowing south and then east through Harbertonford, eventually reaching the hamlet of Bow near Ashprington. Below Bow, the river becomes tidal, transforming into Bow Creek, and finally merges with the Dart two miles downstream. Notably, the south bank of Bow Creek is home to the hamlet of Tuckenhay.Throughout its history, the river has been associated with milling activities. In the late 18th century, a woollen mill was established at Harbertonford and was supplied by a leat originating from a weir located upstream of the village. Until the completion of flood defense works in 2002, the river periodically caused flooding in Harbertonford. Additionally, the river has lent its name to Harbourne Blue, a goat's cheese produced in close proximity to Ashprington.