Now that you’re ready to spot some otters, here’s where you should be heading…. Otters belong to the group of animals known as the Mustelids. Though still considered rare, the species is widespread in the UK and can be seen in almost every county. Yes, you don’t need to go to the countryside to have a closer look at these fascinating creatures. Despite becoming almost extinct from England and Wales otters have managed to thrive on Scotland’s rugged coastlines and wild moorlands and today otter numbers there are thought to exceed 8,000. Nature Talks & Walks. We will go to the Newport Aquarium but is there also a good chance of seeing otters in the wild? Other sea lochs along Scotland's west coast are similarly rich in otters, which can be seen foraging for food on the water's edge. The Isle of Mull’s beautiful Calgary Bay in the north-west and Salen Bay are good viewing points. Druridge Bay - The Pools along Druridge Bay are the best places to spot otters. Aughton Woods is situated near the River Lune, a well-known otter hotspot. 4. The trick is to look carefully at the trail and pay particular attention to footprints; an otter’s footprints are usually asymmetric and often show only four toes instead of the five they have. This ancient woodland on the River Lune is consider an otter hotspot. Mar 17, 2019 - Where can I visit otters: Type in your location, and the otter finder will tell you the nearest place where you can go see otters. A real treat for otter fans and lovers of nature and wildlife. 4. A UK's first - Sea Otters! Discover playful otters, majestic red deer and even lovable bottlenose dolphins right on your doorstep. Book your tickets now and enjoy up to 10% discount! If you’re here to see otters, note that you’ll most likely catch them out and about in early morning. Following a period of serious decline between the 1950s and 1970s when the species was driven to near extinction in some areas, these water-dwelling mammals have made a comeback in every county in England and beyond. Otters can be found in many different bodies of waters, from large locks and lakes to smaller rivers and streams. When to see. The growing cubs stay with the bitch otter for over a year gaining hunting skills. Otters are making themselves at home in UK cities | Natural History Museum. Photograph: Environment Agency/PA Aughton Woods, Lancashire. Nowadays, these freshwater lakes support nature conservation features and are home to rare animals like otters, wildfowl, and over 20 species of dragonflies, and plants including curled pondweed, white water lilies, and stonewort. For the best chance of spotting an otter, head to Scotland, the west coast of Wales, East Anglia and South-West Endland. One of the most rewarding wildlife experiences in Britain, an otter is a magical sight and a conservation success. However, as with all mammals, otters are a notoriously skittish bunch. Thetford, Norfolk: Otters. Few animals among Britain’s native wildlife are as endearing as otters. The islands are one of the best places to see them, and otters have evolved here to be at home with the salt-water coastal environment and the long hours of summer daylight. Bosherston Lakes, or Lily Ponds as they’re also known, were initially created in the 18th century as a landscape feature. Now that you’re ready to spot some otters, here’s where you should be heading… 1. What wildlife can I see? Otters have returned to every county in England in a turnaround of their fortunes which once saw them on the brink of extinction. Visit the Kylerhea Otter Hide for a great chance to see an otter. 2. Isle of Mull. Also, be sure not to try and get too close to otters, or any wildlife for that matter, as you may disturb them. Awaken slowly on your high fibreglass kayak (or on a stand-up paddle board, if you prefer) to the morning mew of the playful otters near the calm, kelpy waters. This group includes weasels, stoats, mink, skunks and badgers. The world’s smallest marine mammal can live on both land and water and are found in most English counties due to their clean rivers. Parts of Ditchford Lakes are surrounded by mature scrub like willow, which provides perfect shelter for various wildlife species, including breeding and wintering birds and, of course, otters. Meet ZSL London Zoo's oriental short-clawed otters, Pip and Matilda. © FLPA/ Alamy Stock Photo. Meet ZSL London Zoo's oriental short-clawed otters, Pip and Matilda. Contact Paul Wilkinson at [email protected] Where to see; Things to think about; Related species; Active and breeding throughout the year, a female otter with cubs is often more visible than male, or dog, otters who are usually bigger and more solitary. Following the UK Government’s announcement of a national lockdown, ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos will be closed from Tuesday 5 January until further notice. This is the original and best "Otter Experience" that visitors have been ejoying for over 15 years. And these 5-foot-long, 70-pound sea-dwelling creatures eat about 25 to 30 percent of their body weight each day. Where Can You Find Otters in the UK? Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. Loch Sunart on either side of the loch, including Ardnatang Bay, are well known for otter sightings. The Mull otter is the Spotting one chomping on a meal is very memorable indeed. In addition to otters and minks, this woodland wonder provides ample opportunity for wildlife spotters – you can also spot badgers, sandpipers, and oystercatchers along the way. "Our four-year-old son was absolutely thrilled to see an otter," she said. The sinuous otter is an excellent swimmer and can be seen hunting in wetlands, rivers and along the coast - try the west coast of Scotland, West Wales, … Otters have the densest fur of any animal—as many as a million hairs per square inch in places. You just have to look harder! The British Wildlife Centre Unique opportunities to … We do not want to see otters persecuted because people feel they have no other avenue, and we do not want to see beautiful fishing waters closed down when there is help available. Guided Nature Tours in Greater Manchester, Merseyside & Lancashire Website Built & Supported By: WebCentric360.com. The best time to see otters is either at dawn or dusk. Their favourite habitats include wetlands, rivers and coastlines. They are important sites for birds and other wildlife. Seeing the signs of otters is far easier than seeing the animals themselves. Blandford Forum (often known as just "Blandford") is a nice little market town in Dorset, England. Aughton Woods is situated near the River Lune, a well-known otter hotspot. Perhaps the most foolproof location for otters is the Isle of Mull. West Coast Expeditions, located on Vancouver Island offers a 5-day kayaking expedition with sea otters tour. "He has never seen one before and I personally have never seen one in the Kent before." If you’re determined to catch a glimpse of otters and not afraid to brave the cold, try visiting from October and December, when the otters turn up at the waterfalls to take advantage of the leaping salmon. Tracks/footprints: Otter prints can be found at the edge of river banks, in gravel, sand, and mud, and on tarmac if they have just left the river. There are several places in the UK where you might be able to spot otters. Look for track marks by the water’s edge and see if you can find any holts (otter dens) along the bank. Among mammals, otters have the thickest fur: In one square inch of an otter’s body, around one million hairs are covering it. Some of them are listed below: Aughton Woods. Eurasian Otter. Back in every English county since 2011 and seen even on urban rivers, the otter is at last reclaiming lowland wetlands far beyond its Scottish and Welsh strongholds. Yes, about every mile of Mull’s coastline could be home to otters, yet spotting them can be tricky because their seaweed-coloured coats blend in so well with the seaweed-covered rocks and their little heads can so easily be mistaken for rocks sticking out from the water when they’re taking a curious peep above the surface. We first… It’s not uncommon to see a sea otter swimming on its back, using a rock as a tool to pry open mussels, clams, or abalone. Keep reading to find some of the best places in the UK where you can witness some otter action – but first, you need to know…, You can increase your chances of seeing otters by…. An otter ( Lutra lutra) at a river in Thetford town centre, Norfolk, UK. The trick is to look carefully at the trail and pay particular attention to footprints; an otter’s footprints are usually … Northumberland. The otter’s droppings are known as spraint and otters use them to mark their territories How to recognise In the UK otters can only really be confused with the introduced American mink, but otters are much larger (95-130cm in length, including tail), with a distinctive white throat. That would really make our trip. Corrin Mason, from Kendal, also managed to capture a mischievous pair. Spraints: In other words, otter droppings. Otters! Answer 1 of 13: We are visting Newport for a couple of nights (and Astoria for a couple more) in July. Cricklepit Mill (Devon Wildlife Trust) An urban site with easy access and regular otter sightings, often during the day. Scotland is the best place in the UK to see them and particularly on the coast, where they are generally more active during the day. Two rescued Alaskan sea otters have become residents in our new £multi-million marine rescue facility as part of a pioneering education and conservation project. Perhaps the most foolproof location for otter-spotting is the Isle of Mull, where you can find these mammals just about everywhere! This is as close as you can get to swimming with otters in Canada, for those that dream of swimming with otters. If you look hard enough you may be able to spot their footprints in the wet mud – a telltale sign of their presence. You need to hike if you wish to get a glimpse of these shy creatures. There’s also the chance to see birds such as kingfisher, little egret and dipper. rbrown10 / Shutterstock. We are unable to confirm exact number of otters, but we can give simple advice to enable both species to co-exist. Although not the first time she had seen an otter in the Kent, she said it was nice to see them again. NWT manages five reserves along Druridge Bay: Cresswell Shore and Cresswell Pond, Druridge Pools, East Chevington and Hauxley. Did you know that you could see otters at Blue Reef Portsmouth? I grew up with books like Tarka the Otter and Ring of Bright Water and despite spending a lot of time nature-spotting in the UK, I had never been lucky enough to see … Spend a morning with the keeper at the Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary Buckfastleigh and gain an exclusive insight into the secret world of the otter and the work of the sanctuary. Jan – Dec. Facts. The best places in the UK to see otters are Lodge Park and Sherbourne Estate, Gilfach Farm, Portrack Marsh, Winnall Moors, Aughton Woods and Knapdale Forest. These are 2 – 7cm long, will contain fish bones and scales, be tarry and black but turn grey when old, and naturally, will smell very strongly of fish! A 400-acre farmland, Gilfach Farm is a nature reserve in the heart of Wales. Did you know that Shetland has the highest density of otters in Europe, possibly the world? The mustelid is active by day or night, though generally more nocturnal on fresh waters. Thanks. Also, be sure not to try and get too close to otters, or any wildlife for that matter, as you may disturb them. May 11, 2013 - Find where to see otters around the UK. Although the town itself is nice enough, the real treat here is the stretch of the river Stour that runs roughly parallel to the main high street known as East Street. Otters are familiar animals in books, films and television programmes and are found almost everywhere in the world except the large oceanic islands of Madagascar and Australasia and the frozen ice caps. Otters live along many of Scotland’s waterways, but head for the west coast and the islands for the best chance of spotting them.Choose Kylerhea otter hide near They find their prey mostly in the sea, but they are not sea otters, a different species found on the Pacific coast. In fact, sea otters are the only non-primate mammal to use tools. The iconic mammals are becoming a more common sight in many towns and cities. There’s also an interpretation area where visitors can watch footage of otters visiting the Mill. Oftentimes, they are found by the River Lune. Their contact call is a clear “peep” whistle. Your email address will not be published. Along riverbanks and waterways, look for five-toed footprints (about 6-7cm long) and droppings or ‘spraints’. But don't mistakenly call these beasts 'sea otters' – they are still our native otter, and not the different North … Junior Aquarist and VIP Behind the Scenes Experience, Researching the otter habitat before visiting – there must be clean waterways, abundant prey stocks, and vegetated banks, Visiting the habitat at dawn – otters are mainly nocturnal, though you may find some that are active during the day in remote areas that are free of human disturbance, Looking out for signs – such as their distinctive webbed toe prints in soft riverbank mud, their droppings, and/or their aroma. That said, otters are very shy animals! Buckfast Butterflies & Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary North Americans, Eurasians and Asian Short-Claws at a fine otter good places park. This wonderful Welsh setting makes for a beautiful backdrop for bird-watching thanks to its variety of species of birds, but those with patience or a bit of luck can see otters too. It is also called European Otter and Eurasian River Otter. Next, take a deep whiff of your freshly brewed mornin… They also have five toes – a distinctive sign that it’s an otter print. Otters also have particularly stinky poop, which even has its own name: spraints. So the real trick to otter-spotting is patience, with a healthy dose of luck thrown in. After their epic journey from Alaska to Birmingham, the pair have been settling into their new home under the watchful eye of our Otter Care Team. Just don’t confuse otter footprints with mink prints, which are much smaller. All rights reserved. Shore and Cresswell Pond, Druridge Pools, East Anglia and South-West.. Loch Sunart on either side of the most rewarding wildlife experiences in Britain, an otter print in. Either at dawn or dusk it ’ s native wildlife are as endearing as otters: aughton Woods never. Short-Claws at a fine otter good places park the Isle of Mull, where you should be 1! 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