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.
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 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.
One of our main areas of concentration is to campaign for the installation of road warning signs for otters crossing roads. At present, three or four otters are killed weekly by traffic collisions. While we appreciate that having warning signs in place may not stop all of the road casualties, we’re certain that it will make a difference and the numbers killed will reduce by using a combination of both signs and otter ledges. In addition to this, we also 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 combination of warning signs and tunnels/platforms will help reduce the number of otters killed on our roads each year.