NORTH Devon Council is spending £25,000 to shore up the crumbling river bank alongside the Tarka Trail at Ashford as a short-term measure while money is sought for a £1 million repair scheme.

Without any action at all it is feared that section of the trail near Braunton could be threatened and the council has approved the interim maintenance work while it prepares a bid for funding to the Environment Agency.

District Councillor Andrea Davis, whose ward it is in, has been calling for action to repair the damaged sections of concrete embankment near the Tarka Inn.

“The deterioration has been ongoing but it has got to the state where it’s a matter of real concern,” she said.

“In the long run the water gets in behind the concrete and breaks it up – we have seen it happen on the other side of the river and once the bank is breached it could break down rapidly.”

It is hoped council contractors can begin work on the damaged sections in the first week of December and be completed before Christmas, depending on the weather.