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Otters making a comeback in South Cumbria

Filed under Uncategorized

Those of you that have yet to stay at our riverside apartment – and perhaps many of you that already have – probably don’t know that our balcony not only enjoys a fabulous view down the River Kent and towards Kendal Castle, but it also overlooks the entrance to an otter holt. In order to minimise disruption to the delicate balance of the river’s ecology, the builders of the apartment building put up bat boxes and constructed this artificial holt. As yet, the holt is unused (to the best of my knowledge) but otters have previously been seen along this stretch of the river.

And the good news just in is that otters are currently thriving in the UK. In a report conducted by the Environment Agency (for the full 125-page version, click here), they are apparently “back from the brink of extinction”. ┬áThe report finds that otter populations in Cumbria have probably reached full capacity, and makes specific reference to “the very clean rivers of Cumbria”.

In South Cumbria, the number of ‘positive sites’ (where signs of otters have been identified) from a total of 82 sites has changed markedly since the late 1970s:

1st survey (1977-1979) – 3/82 (positive sites/total)
2nd survey (1984-1986) – 17/82 (positive sites/total)
3rd survey (1991-1994) – 13/82 (positive sites/total)
4th survey (2000-2002) – 24/82 (positive sites/total)
5th survey (2009-2010) – 57/82 (positive sites/total)

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