Hoping for a whole lotta otter in Trent Vale 28 March 2012

As part of Trent Vale, students on the BTCV NVQ course installed a des-res for otters near Cromwell.

Man made otter holt being put together by BTCV Trent Vale students.

As part of Trent Vale's commitment to encourage key species such as otter, partners are constructing new otter holts throughout the area.

Otters can range up to 40km, and while there are no records of otter using the Trent locally, signs have been found on the River Devon, and further north. As sites to sleep and lay-up, Otter favour holes in river banks, such as under a large tree roots. Where these features are absent, artificial holts, such as the prefabricated 'flat-pack' design used here can provide alternative sites.

The work was part of British Waterways improvements to boat moorings at Cromwell Lock so it will improve facilities for boaters too. This particular site was chosen to be discrete, away from disturbance, and after consultation with Ashfield Angling Club. The holt took just over a day for the 10 students to assemble and install.

Along with the habitat works elsewhere within Trent Vale, it is hoped that otter will make use of the pre-fabricated artificial home, and become a more frequent visitor to Trent Vale.