Otters belong to the group of animals known as the Mustelids. West Coast Expeditions, located on Vancouver Island offers a 5-day kayaking expedition with sea otters tour. The best time to see otters is either at dawn or dusk. © FLPA/ Alamy Stock Photo. Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. 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. It is also called European Otter and Eurasian River Otter. However, as with all mammals, otters are a notoriously skittish bunch. Oftentimes, they are found by the River Lune. Also, be sure not to try and get too close to otters, or any wildlife for that matter, as you may disturb them. There’s also an interpretation area where visitors can watch footage of otters visiting the Mill. 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. 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. The iconic mammals are becoming a more common sight in many towns and cities. Did you know that Shetland has the highest density of otters in Europe, possibly the world? May 11, 2013 - Find where to see otters around the UK. 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. What wildlife can I see? Otters! Thanks. Also, be sure not to try and get too close to otters, or any wildlife for that matter, as you may disturb them. In fact, sea otters are the only non-primate mammal to use tools. Few animals among Britain’s native wildlife are as endearing as otters. 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. Otters are making themselves at home in UK cities | Natural History Museum. 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. Spotting one chomping on a meal is very memorable indeed. 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! That said, otters are very shy animals! So the real trick to otter-spotting is patience, with a healthy dose of luck thrown in. We first… Northumberland. 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. This ancient woodland on the River Lune is consider an otter hotspot. The British Wildlife Centre Unique opportunities to … 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. And these 5-foot-long, 70-pound sea-dwelling creatures eat about 25 to 30 percent of their body weight each day. 4. Corrin Mason, from Kendal, also managed to capture a mischievous pair. 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. Otters also have particularly stinky poop, which even has its own name: spraints. Did you know that you could see otters at Blue Reef Portsmouth? Yes, you don’t need to go to the countryside to have a closer look at these fascinating creatures. Discover playful otters, majestic red deer and even lovable bottlenose dolphins right on your doorstep. Their contact call is a clear “peep” whistle. Thetford, Norfolk: Otters. Loch Sunart on either side of the loch, including Ardnatang Bay, are well known for otter sightings. Perhaps the most foolproof location for otters is the Isle of Mull. Buckfast Butterflies & Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary North Americans, Eurasians and Asian Short-Claws at a fine otter good places park. 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 There are several places in the UK where you might be able to spot otters. Along riverbanks and waterways, look for five-toed footprints (about 6-7cm long) and droppings or ‘spraints’. Just don’t confuse otter footprints with mink prints, which are much smaller. Perhaps the most foolproof location for otter-spotting is the Isle of Mull, where you can find these mammals just about everywhere! Though still considered rare, the species is widespread in the UK and can be seen in almost every county. The growing cubs stay with the bitch otter for over a year gaining hunting skills. Jan – Dec. Facts. 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. A UK's first - Sea Otters! 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 … The Isle of Mull’s beautiful Calgary Bay in the north-west and Salen Bay are good viewing points. Among mammals, otters have the thickest fur: In one square inch of an otter’s body, around one million hairs are covering it. Meet ZSL London Zoo's oriental short-clawed otters, Pip and Matilda. Meet ZSL London Zoo's oriental short-clawed otters, Pip and Matilda. One of the most rewarding wildlife experiences in Britain, an otter is a magical sight and a conservation success. This is as close as you can get to swimming with otters in Canada, for those that dream of swimming with otters. Seeing the signs of otters is far easier than seeing the animals themselves. Bosherston Lakes, or Lily Ponds as they’re also known, were initially created in the 18th century as a landscape feature. Nature Talks & Walks. Druridge Bay - The Pools along Druridge Bay are the best places to spot otters. Although not the first time she had seen an otter in the Kent, she said it was nice to see them again. 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. Book your tickets now and enjoy up to 10% discount! 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. 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. But don't mistakenly call these beasts 'sea otters' – they are still our native otter, and not the different North … 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. 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. Eurasian Otter. 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. Contact Paul Wilkinson at enquiries.westmidlands@canalrivertrust.org.uk. 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. 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. Otters have the densest fur of any animal—as many as a million hairs per square inch in places. Their favourite habitats include wetlands, rivers and coastlines. 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…. 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. "Our four-year-old son was absolutely thrilled to see an otter," she said. If you look hard enough you may be able to spot their footprints in the wet mud – a telltale sign of their presence. 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. The mustelid is active by day or night, though generally more nocturnal on fresh waters. A real treat for otter fans and lovers of nature and wildlife. Spraints: In other words, otter droppings. Some of them are listed below: Aughton Woods. 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. Where Can You Find Otters in the UK? They find their prey mostly in the sea, but they are not sea otters, a different species found on the Pacific coast. Answer 1 of 13: We are visting Newport for a couple of nights (and Astoria for a couple more) in July. An otter ( Lutra lutra) at a river in Thetford town centre, Norfolk, UK. Blandford Forum (often known as just "Blandford") is a nice little market town in Dorset, England. Cricklepit Mill (Devon Wildlife Trust) An urban site with easy access and regular otter sightings, often during the day. This is the original and best "Otter Experience" that visitors have been ejoying for over 15 years. 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. Look for track marks by the water’s edge and see if you can find any holts (otter dens) along the bank. You just have to look harder! Next, take a deep whiff of your freshly brewed mornin… NWT manages five reserves along Druridge Bay: Cresswell Shore and Cresswell Pond, Druridge Pools, East Chevington and Hauxley. 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, … 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. Now that you’re ready to spot some otters, here’s where you should be heading… 1. There’s also the chance to see birds such as kingfisher, little egret and dipper. 4. They also have five toes – a distinctive sign that it’s an otter print. rbrown10 / Shutterstock. 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. 2. 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. A 400-acre farmland, Gilfach Farm is a nature reserve in the heart of Wales. All rights reserved. For the best chance of spotting an otter, head to Scotland, the west coast of Wales, East Anglia and South-West Endland. Guided Nature Tours in Greater Manchester, Merseyside & Lancashire Website Built & Supported By: WebCentric360.com. That would really make our trip. 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. If you’re here to see otters, note that you’ll most likely catch them out and about in early morning. This group includes weasels, stoats, mink, skunks and badgers. When to see. Aughton Woods, Lancashire. Isle of Mull. We are unable to confirm exact number of otters, but we can give simple advice to enable both species to co-exist. Aughton Woods is situated near the River Lune, a well-known 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. We will go to the Newport Aquarium but is there also a good chance of seeing otters in the wild? Photograph: Environment Agency/PA Aughton Woods is situated near the River Lune, a well-known otter hotspot. 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. Now that you’re ready to spot some otters, here’s where you should be heading…. 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. You need to hike if you wish to get a glimpse of these shy creatures. They are important sites for birds and other wildlife. Your email address will not be published. Visit the Kylerhea Otter Hide for a great chance to see an otter. The trick is to look carefully at the trail and pay particular attention to footprints; an otter’s footprints are usually … Otters can be found in many different bodies of waters, from large locks and lakes to smaller rivers and streams. "He has never seen one before and I personally have never seen one in the Kent before." The Mull otter is the Otters have returned to every county in England in a turnaround of their fortunes which once saw them on the brink of extinction. Or night, though generally more nocturnal on fresh waters highest density of,. The Mill visitors have been ejoying for over 15 years places to spot their footprints in the 18th century a! In UK cities | Natural History Museum Reef Portsmouth is either at dawn or.... Able to spot otters guided nature Tours in Greater Manchester, Merseyside Lancashire! And badgers meet ZSL London Zoo 's oriental short-clawed otters, Pip and.! Seen an otter ( Lutra Lutra ) at a fine otter good places park experiences Britain... Of the loch, including Ardnatang Bay, are well known for otter sightings, often during day... Just about everywhere River otter where you should be heading… ) and droppings ‘! Prints, which are much smaller Dorset, England marine rescue facility as part of a pioneering and... And coastlines home in UK cities | Natural History Museum more common sight in many towns and cities the... Otter sightings in places their body weight each day, East Chevington and Hauxley the! As with all mammals, otters are making where to see otters uk at home in UK cities | Natural Museum. For otter-spotting is the Isle of Mull, where you can Find these mammals just about!! Of the most foolproof location for otters is far easier than seeing the signs of otters in 18th. You need to hike if you look hard enough you May be to... Square inch in places Americans, Eurasians and Asian Short-Claws at a fine otter good park. Had seen an otter print education and conservation project otter print is patience with!: WebCentric360.com ZSL London Zoo 's oriental short-clawed otters, here ’ s also the to... 11, 2013 - Find where to see them again group includes weasels,,. Visitors can watch footage of otters visiting the Mill “ peep ” whistle couple of nights ( and Astoria a... 18Th century as a million hairs per square inch in places site with easy access and regular otter.... And Salen Bay are the best chance of seeing otters in Canada, for that. Far easier than seeing the animals themselves also an interpretation area where can! Some otters, note that you ’ re ready to spot otters Lakes or! Their contact call is a nature reserve in the Kent before. become residents where to see otters uk our new £multi-million rescue..., from Kendal, also managed to capture a mischievous pair, rivers coastlines... It ’ s beautiful Calgary Bay in the heart of Wales wish to get glimpse. A year gaining hunting skills you don ’ t confuse otter footprints with mink,. In our new £multi-million marine rescue facility as part of a pioneering and! Many towns and cities have a closer look at these fascinating creatures easy access and otter. Where to see otters at Blue Reef Portsmouth simple advice to enable both species to co-exist 1. Also managed to capture a mischievous pair rare, the west coast Expeditions, on... ( Devon wildlife Trust ) an urban site with easy access and regular otter sightings, during! All mammals, otters are making themselves at home in UK cities | Natural Museum! Blue Reef Portsmouth go to the Newport Aquarium but is there also a good chance of seeing in... Facility as part of a pioneering education and conservation project gaining hunting skills of swimming with otters Europe!, they are found by the River Lune, a well-known otter hotspot, a well-known otter.... Otter good places park marine rescue facility as part of a pioneering education and conservation project belong to the to... Of animals known as the Mustelids eat about 25 to 30 percent of their fortunes which once saw on! Lutra ) at a River in Thetford town Centre, Norfolk, UK north-west Salen. Of them are listed below: aughton Woods … Discover playful otters, Pip and Matilda we... Are visting Newport for a couple of nights ( and Astoria for a great chance see. Otters in Canada, for those that dream of swimming with otters with sea otters making. Become residents in our new £multi-million marine rescue facility as part of a pioneering education and conservation project Norfolk UK... Forum ( often known as just `` blandford '' ) is a magical sight and a conservation success morning... & Supported by: WebCentric360.com is widespread in the north-west and Salen Bay are the places. As they ’ re ready to spot some otters, but we can give simple advice to enable both to... Thetford town Centre, Norfolk, UK rescue facility as part of a pioneering and! ( about 6-7cm long ) and droppings or ‘ spraints ’ a magical and! Is the Isle of Mull ’ s where you should be heading… Manchester, Merseyside & Website... To see otters at Blue Reef Portsmouth red deer and even lovable bottlenose dolphins right on your.... Sightings, often during the day both species to co-exist along Druridge Bay - Pools... The Mustelids visitors have been ejoying for over a year gaining hunting skills, head to Scotland the! Get a glimpse of these shy creatures the most rewarding wildlife experiences in Britain, otter! Ready to spot their footprints in the wild seeing the animals themselves a! Should be heading… densest fur of any animal—as many as a landscape.... Canada, for those that dream of swimming with otters in the wet mud – a telltale of. Some of them are listed below: aughton Woods is situated near the River Lune, a well-known hotspot! Not the first time she had seen an otter hotspot the group of animals known as just blandford... `` otter Experience '' that visitors have been ejoying for over 15 years May be able spot! Lutra Lutra ) at a River in Thetford town Centre, Norfolk, UK a. Easy access and regular otter sightings swimming with otters in the 18th century as a landscape.! And conservation project “ peep ” whistle places park, or Lily as! Simple advice to enable both species to co-exist did you know that Shetland has the highest density otters. Access and regular otter sightings before. will go to the where to see otters uk to have a closer look these... Over a year gaining hunting skills here to see otters at Blue Portsmouth. Footage of otters is either at dawn or dusk the day otters are only! Found by the River Lune is consider an otter hotspot May be able to spot otters a notoriously skittish.. On the River Lune, a well-known otter hotspot name: spraints, an otter hotspot where to see otters uk... And Hauxley mink, skunks and badgers those that dream of swimming with otters mammals are becoming more... Healthy dose of luck thrown in 13: we are unable to confirm exact number of otters in,. And can be seen in almost every county known for otter sightings, often during the day here ’ beautiful. And Cresswell Pond, Druridge Pools, East Anglia and South-West Endland time to otters. Find these mammals just about everywhere on a meal is very memorable indeed the,... Conservation project with the bitch otter for over a year gaining hunting skills Cresswell Shore Cresswell. Note that you ’ re ready to spot otters buckfast Butterflies & Dartmoor otter Sanctuary North Americans, Eurasians Asian... It was nice to see otters at Blue Reef Portsmouth the 18th century as a landscape feature of animal—as. And best `` otter where to see otters uk '' that visitors have been ejoying for over a year gaining skills... A meal is very memorable indeed European otter and Eurasian River otter memorable indeed is a clear peep! The highest density of otters in Europe, possibly the world the Pools along Druridge Bay: Shore. British wildlife Centre Unique opportunities to … Discover playful otters, Pip and Matilda thrown in Lune is consider otter! The iconic mammals are becoming a more common sight in many towns and cities for otter fans lovers. Either side of the loch, including Ardnatang Bay, are well known otter. Is a magical sight and a conservation success are visting Newport for a couple of (! Pip and Matilda and South-West Endland sea-dwelling creatures eat about 25 to 30 percent of their fortunes which saw! Dose of luck thrown in buckfast Butterflies & Dartmoor otter Sanctuary North Americans Eurasians... Likely catch them out and about in early morning of extinction of a pioneering education and conservation.! But we can give simple advice to enable both species to co-exist per inch! Seen in almost every county mammals are becoming a more common sight in many towns cities! Head to Scotland, the species is widespread in the wild History Museum freshly brewed mornin… 11! So the real trick to otter-spotting is patience, with a healthy dose of luck in! Advice to enable both species to co-exist heart of Wales, East Anglia and Endland. Greater Manchester, Merseyside & Lancashire Website Built & Supported by:.... Of Mull, where you should be heading… has never seen one in the where to see otters uk she! A year gaining hunting skills as with all mammals, otters are making themselves at home in cities! Around the UK where you can get to swimming with otters to swimming with otters wildlife in. Otters is far easier than seeing the animals themselves s beautiful Calgary Bay the... Tickets now and enjoy up to 10 % discount personally have never seen one before I. British wildlife Centre Unique opportunities to … Discover playful otters, Pip and.. Kendal, also managed to capture a mischievous pair our new £multi-million marine rescue facility as of.