Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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Otter Watch

Members of the Dean Green Team undertook an Otter Watch in the Forest of Dean during the months of September, October and November 2006. Click here to see the findings

A further Otter Watch is being run during 2011 and 2012 and some of the Dean Green Team took part in a new Otter Holt construction















Instructions are being received on the main construction of the base of the Otter Holt which is made up of large timbers supported by stakes. Timbers are put inside the holt to create compartments for the otters and there are three access holes leading into the holt.



The base is then covered up with brush to allow for shelter although this will eventually rot down. This new holt was built fairly near to the holts built in 2006 at the edge of the stream where there has been signs of otter spraint. There were signs of otter activity within the old holts which is encouraging.















The team are proud to display the results of all their hard work!


Otter find 13 December 2011

This is a dead otter which was killed on the main Gloucester to Newent road the previous night. He was a dog otter, 8.8kg in weight and well over a metre in length. There were no obvious signs of the injury he received and he will be examined by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for any information they can collect.





Update - 8 December 2011

Otter spraint - very fresh, (the stones were frosted and the spraint on top had thawed a patch!) - Cannop Brook near Parkend on 'in channel' rocks downstream of bridge. It is believed that this is where there was a road casualty around 3 weeks ago, so that animal was obviously not the only one in the area.

Otter Spraint - Also fresh at Cannop ponds, 2 locations - One near the dam and also in the marshy reserve area.

Note to all otter surveyors, spraint in the Forest at the moment often contains fish eggs, and can appear a more muddy colour than the usual black. Remember the best way to tell is to give it a sniff!!!

Also report of another possible road casualty near Lydney, awaiting confirmation or more details.


Update - December 2011

Spraint recent  - River Lyd near Co-op in Lydney!
Spraint recent - Westbury Brook - Flaxley
Spraint recent - Soudley Brook and Soudley Ponds
Spraint  ( during the summer) - Cannop Ponds


Otters in Soudley

Otters have returned to the Forest over the past 10 years, with signs being found on most waterways in the district. The Soudley Brook has been showing signs of otter use for some time, however current signs indicate more regular use. The undisturbed nature of the brook itself and the excellent habitat at Soudley Ponds provides plentiful food, cover and potential breeding locations.

However it is not all good news, the outflow from the ponds passes under the road near the entrance to the Heritage Museum, where it flows into the Soudley Brook. The water flows under the road and down a steep drop to join the brook, making it impossible for an otter to use. Recent investigation of this area found clear signs that otter (s?) are regularly leaving the safety of the water and crossing over the road to get from the ponds to the brook.

Whilst it is possible to install an ‘underpass’ under the road for otters and other mammals to use, in the current financial climate this is prohibitively expensive. The county highways department and county ecologist are aware of the need for this and it is possible that something can be done next time there are road works in the area.

However in the meantime if you drive past the Heritage museum between dawn and dusk, Please remember you might not be the only creature on the road!


Update - November 2011

During the summer, three otters were seen at Cannop Ponds. This is near to where we had previously built some otter holts so we hope they are being used. Unfortunately, a dead otter was found on the road not far from Parkend which is just south of Cannop.