Video footage of otters in the River Meon released


- Credit: Archant

Up until a decade ago otters were thought to be extinct in Hampshire. But a volunteer ranger, Dave Strutt, from Horndean, has captured a video of a mother otter and two cubs on the River Meon

"We have a few of these wildlife cameras dotted around the Meon Valley and we sometimes see foxes, badgers, deer and hare," he says.

"To see an otter is incredibly rare - let alone a mum and her two cubs. After watching hours and hours of waving leaves and reeds, it was a delightful moment to see this otter family appear on the screen. It's a rare treat for any nature lover!"

The Meon Valley Partnership, which includes the South Downs National Park Authority, has worked with 56 landowners to help restore river banks and improve the health of the river. Lead ranger for the Western Downs Elaina Whittaker-Slark says: "The otter was once very widespread across Britain and was as much a part of the native fauna as badgers and hares. The footage of a mother and her two cubs underlines the tremendous work that has been done over the past decade by landowners and the partnership."

It's believed there are now three breeding females of the otters on the River Meon.

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