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Title of the project

Establish the current distribution of otters (Lutra lutra) in the Cheshire region

Description

To contribute towards the objectives set out under the Cheshire LBAP to “Establish the current distribution of otters (Lutra lutra) in the Cheshire region and restore otters to all catchments where they have been recorded since 1960”.

The sightings and recorded signs of otter presence have been used as a guide to the construction of artificial otter holts to help the species expand its range in Cheshire. Most of the otter holts have been built on BASC Green Shoots members lands and equipped with cameras or sand trap to monitor activity. Constant monitoring of shoots in the county with riparian habitat would highlight any other sites which would benefit from an artificial otter holt being provided.
An otter training day was conducted in February 2009 for BASC members and other local landowners. The day was designed to give the participants a better understanding of otter ecology and to provide them with the skills to construct an artificial otter holt.

Results

Unfortunately no evidence of the holts being used was found. However, in May 2010 video footage of an otter near one of the artificial holts was captured by a volunteer from Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It is very encouraging to see evidence of otters in the area and it is believed it will only be a matter of time before they will start to inhabit the holts.

Location

Country United Kingdom
Level Regional
Site River Gowy, Shropshire Union Canal, Tarporley
Region Cheshire County

Starting date

2007

Habitat Types

Wetland, Coastal

Species

Species Caracteristics Protected species, Threatened species
Species Type Mammals
Name(s) of main species Otter (Lutra lutra)

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities), Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data)

Partners

Leading partners . BASC The British Association for Shooting and Conservation?
Other partners Cheshire Wildlife Trust (http://www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/)Environment Agency (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency)Macclesfield Borough Council (http://www.macclesfield-tc.gov.uk/)

Estimation of the budget (total or annual)

A funding bid submitted to Chester Zoo in August of 2009, for the running of an otter holt training day, was successful and £370 has been granted towards the cost of running the day in February 2010. A further funding bid to Shell UK for £200 towards the cost of materials used in the construction of two holts was also successful.

Publication(s)

Green Shoots in Cheshire Annual ReportsBen Gregory Cheshire Biodiversity Project Officer2008-2009-2010

Weblinks

https://basc.org.uk/conservation/green-shoots/green-shoots-in-cheshire/