About the UK Wild Otter Trust

Dave Webb founded UK Wild Otter Trust in 1998 and we become a UK registered charity (1167746) in 2016, our core activity is rescuing, rehabilitating & releasing back into the wild, orphaned & injured Eurasian otters. We’re dedicated to promoting a positive understanding of otters. You can find our charity timeline, aims, approach and campaigns below.

Click here to read about our otter rehabilitation centre

Our Aims

We’re dedicated to promoting a positive understanding of otter conservation, and raising awareness of the species through education, involvement, and engagement. We aim to:

Work towards otter welfare in the UK, and assist with species conservation – both alone and in collaboration with other groups.

Work with other otter groups and angling bodies to research and improve our understanding of otter biology and ecology.

Engage with, support, advise, negotiate with, and maintain stable relationships with fishery owners and anglers.

Stay aware of current and future changes that may affect the otter, and to be prepared to lobby for change.

Promote responsible otter watching to minimise and prevent any unnecessary disturbance to otters and their shelters.

Raise awareness of the species and its habitats via talks, walks, printed literature, and other outreach initiatives.

Our Approach

No members of the Trust are paid: we rely on the generosity and dedication of our volunteers. If you’re interested in helping us out, we’d love to hear from you! Find out more on our volunteers page.
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.

Our Campaigns

We strongly oppose calls for an otter cull

We’re concerned by the current ‘cull everything’ attitude adopted by the government—this is something that we constantly monitor by working alongside other well-respected otter groups and, should a cull ever be announced, we’re ready to fight it. Having an otter group able to focus on lobbying against such things will prove to be invaluable in future public debates concerning otter conservation in both the UK and around the world. There are growing calls for a cull from a minority of the angling fraternity, and we shall remain focused on any future developments and work hard to change the minority’s perception of the otter by educating, raising awareness, networking, and working with those affected to find a suitable solution that will benefit both otter conservation AND angling.

We want to see tunnels to help reduce otter traffic fatalities

We want to see tunnels and bridge platforms installed under river bridges that cross main roads to enable otters to continue their journeys unhindered and in the safest way possible. This will help reduce the number of otters killed on our roads each year.

We believe that water companies must be held accountable for the impact they have on our waterways

River pollution is a big issue for otters in the UK, with water companies being a huge factor in this. The amount of waste that is dumped into out riverss and oceans is appalling and water companies have been allowed to get away with it for way too long.

We support river cleans and campaign for plastic reduction

This is especially important to UKWOT, as all plastics and litter is very harmful to otters and other wildlife. We actively support river cleans where possible and always strive to produce plastic-free merchandise. We also offer reusable mugs and tote bags in our shop.

We use ethically sourced materials whenever possible

We strive to create good, clean and safe habitat for all wildlife wherever possible, and try our very best to only use ethically sourced materials when putting together all of our enclosure buildings. We also engage with many angling organisations and impress upon them the importance of maintaining good riparian habitats that will benefit the environment, and will always supply letters of support where required.

We strongly believe that otters should NOT be kept as pets

Otters are wild animals and should be treated as such. Eurasian otters and other otter species are greatly impacted by the otter pet trade, with otter cubs being taken away from their mothers and their mother’s killed. The cubs are then sold in the pet trade and many face the same fate as their mother. Social media has had a big impact on the illegal trade of many wild animals, including otters, with photos and videos being shared that show otters as good pets. Many perceive otters to be cute and cuddly, but they are wild animals that have specific needs and pack a painful bite.