Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Help attract otters to Worcester’s waterways

Otter photo credit Richard Walkden

As part of the annual Take Pride campaign, Worcester City Council is acting to entice one of Britain’s most appealing mammals back to local waterways.
On Sunday 20 July between 10.00am and 1.00pm, the ranger team will be at Laugherne Brook Nature Reserve (Sapphire Crescent, Worcester WR2 5PZ) and are looking for volunteers to help build an Otter Holt.
The Otter was nearly wiped out altogether during the 20th century through a combination of pesticide poisoning, persecution and habitat destruction.
Luckily, they are now on the increase again thanks to concerted efforts to clean up rivers and waterways.  Otters have been spotted locally in Gheluvelt Park, the River Severn and the Perdiswell Canal over the last year.
Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as a 'holt'.  Carefully sited and constructed artificial holts help encourage otters to recognise and breed along stretches of waterways from which they are at present absent.  They are made from logs and branches, pinned down with wire.
“Although otters haven’t been spotted at Laugherne Brook yet, the conditions and general environment would be perfect for them – we are therefore going to build the holt to help entice otters in to the Nature Reserve,” says Heather Bainbridge, Ranger at Worcester City Council.
Volunteers are welcome; no experience is required and the activity is free to join; however, booking is essential – call 01905 752969 or email greenspaceevents@worcester.gov.uk

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