Work towards otter welfare in the UK, and assist with species conservation – both alone and in collaboration with other groups.
Engage with, support, advise, negotiate with, and maintain stable relationships with fishery owners and anglers.
Promote responsible otter watching to minimise and prevent any unnecessary disturbance to otters and their shelters.
Work with other otter groups and angling bodies to research and improve our understanding of otter biology and ecology.
Stay aware of current and future changes that may affect the otter, and to be prepared to lobby for change.
Raise awareness of the species and its habitats via talks, walks, printed literature, and other outreach initiatives.
Dave has been a wildlife conservationist for over 40 years, with a keen interest in wildlife photography and a specialism in deer species and otters. He sits on the board of the otter welfare advisory group, is a senior board member and fishery advisor for the otter predation & advisory group, and is a full member of the IUCN otter specialist group. He has written a book, appeared on TV, and featured on Countryfile in connection with the recent humane trapping licence issued from Natural England: a ground-breaking step forward that will change the face of otter conservation as we know it, and one that Dave played a hugely important role in securing. His passion is unrivalled – and this is obvious in the many presentations he does about otters!
Dan, an animal geographer who explores the cultural significance of animals around the world, is a Teaching Fellow at Keele University, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, and television presenter. Dan helped us secure the first Natural England initiative ‘class licence’ to live capture and relocate otters trapped inside fenced fisheries. His press releases have generated national media coverage.
Colin has a wealth of financial experience, and is perfect for the crucial role of UKWOT finance officer. He has a keen interest in walking, nature, and all things wildlife, and assists with presentations and events when required. Colin volunteers his time to help others with financial aspects of their charities, and is a core member of the team.
Lyn looks after the day-to-day running of our centre, checking, feeding and managing the husbandry aspects involved in the rehabilitation process from the moment tiny cubs arrive until their eventual release. Lyn owns the land housing our centre, and personally paid for a large enclosure that houses our permanent residents Maxwell and Reggie. Lyn has always had a keen interest in all wildlife — otters especially, after she began seeing them on a small stream cutting across her land in Devon. Lyn contacted us after seeing a plea for assistance in feeding one of our original captive-bred otters, Squeak. We then formed a working partnership when Lyn very kindly offered us the use of some of her land. Lyn also arranges volunteer work when we need an influx of labour and, in addition to otters, looks after Golden Guernsey goats, chickens, a very aggressive cockerel, ducks, and her four beloved black labs, so her hands are always full!
Joss joins us with a practical, common-sense approach to otter conservation and fishery management. Working in the training sector, he also owns a non-profit-making historical estate lake in Northamptonshire, and has previously worked with the predation action group. Joss currently holds the position of fishery advisor to the Trust, and brings a wealth of practical experience to the team.
Ian is well-known in North Wales for his presentations on otters and kingfishers. A keen wildlife photographer, he spends much time on the Isles of Mull, Skye, and Shetland tracking otters. Ian was featured in a 2017 Channel 5 TV program on canals and kingfishers, and his images are a regular feature on BBC weather programs.
Nicky is an experienced science writer, editor and author with a love of British wildlife, especially otters! She has worked with various animal and conservation charities alongside UKWOT including the IUCN, WCN, and FFI, taken courses in wildlife rescue, rehab, casualty assessment, and first aid, and has a PgDip in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health. Nicky deals with our online, social media, email and comms content – please direct media/comms/collaboration queries to Nicky.
Colin has worked with wildlife casualties for over 35 years, and has designed and managed some of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centres in the UK. He has a particular interest in the Eurasian otter both in the wild and in captivity, and has directly worked with and rehabilitated over 150 Eurasian otters throughout the UK. He is a full member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group and advises wildlife rescue centres both nationally and internationally on all issues relating to otters (particularly their welfare, rearing, rehabilitation and release back to the wild).
Well-known in the wildlife world and with a wealth of valuable conservation knowledge and experience, Paul joins us as Conservation Officer. Paul’s interest in otters started 7 or 8 years ago when he began photographing them on the River Stour, and has continued ever since.
Mark joins the team as fishery advisor and, along with Dave and Joss, played a key role in securing the Natural England CL36 licence to humanely trap otters – an achievement that took over two years to secure. He owns and runs the famous Ashmead lake in deepest Somerset, making him well-versed on otter predation and fishery management, and a key member of the team.
No members of the Trust are paid: we rely on the generosity and dedication of our volunteers. You can see our volunteer strategy here. If you’re interested in helping us out, we’d love to hear from you!
The UK Wild Otter Trust is a fully accepted and recognised charity in the United Kingdom: charity number 1167746. We have a dedicated finance officer and are happy to supply financial details/an income and expenditure statement to anyone wishing to see our accounts.
International Otter Survival Fund: We’re extremely pleased to have gained valuable support from the IOSF, a fund based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Both Paul and Grace have worked very hard to ensure that our otters are properly represented and cared for. One of the recipients from the UKWOT 2015 calendar sales, we look forward to working alongside them for many years to come. You can find out more about the IOSF’s valuable conservation work here: www.otter.org.
Wildlife Watching Supplies: We are very pleased to be working alongside Wildlife Watching Supplies of Tiverton, Devon, who sent us some photography items to test. These will come in very useful when working with otters, and we’re thrilled to have them as another of our partners.
The River Otter Ecology Project: We’re pleased to have partnered with The River Otter Ecology Project (based in Inverness, California, USA). The Project is a leading voice in otter ecology. We’re looking forward to a long and professional partnership with the team there, and are sure that this partnership will benefit both our Trust and wild otters.
We work with and support many different organisations in order to maintain excellent standards of otter conservation and awareness. A few of these organisations are shown below.
Our founder and Chair, Dave Webb, is a full member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group (IUCN–OSG). The IUCN–OSG was founded in 1974, and is part of the World Conservation (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SCC). There are 13 different species of otter globally – and information on all of these can be found by visiting the IUCN OSG website. This site is an excellent reference and packed full of information. We do not speak on behalf of IUCN–OSG, and do not infer that the OSG supports our views.