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Jeni Bell’s Wild Britain – Otter survey training

Otter survey training

words and picture by Jeni Bell

The continued adventures Of Jeni , Bill and Millie……..

A couple of weeks ago I found myself arguing with the sat nav in the middle of Dorchester. OK, so that doesn’t sound very wild, (even though keeping up with the sat nav trying to deal with road closures can feel pretty wild at times) but I was on my way to learn about something very wild indeed.



You may have recognised from previous blog posts  that I am rather fond of these illustrious mammals. During our time in Scotland last summer, we were lucky enough to catch our first ever glimpses of them in the wild. That first fleeting glimpse in the gloaming soon turned into more frequent views of them hunting, chomping on fish, and lolling, care-free, amongst sun-dried seaweed. By the end of our time working on the campsite, we were well and truly spoilt with otter sightings, in fact most mornings whilst replying to numerous emails and booking enquiries, I could watch an otter or two diving into the Loch right outside the office window, where they would stay for a good hour or so.

I’d gotten pretty proficient at otter spotting in Scotland, I could even make out their low-slung shape in the water, nostrils just raised slightly above the surface, as we drove past in the van. But I knew it would be an altogether different game back down south: here otters dwell in the thick cover of rivers as opposed to exposed sea lochs. Here they become more elusive, secretive and well-hidden and I was desperate to improve my otter spotting skills and increase my chances of seeing them closer to home.

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