‘Amazing’ rise in otter sightings delights volunteers

Otters are not something we see everyday here in Wales.

Despite healthy population numbers, they’re shy animals that stay in rural areas near rivers.

They’re also nocturnal, making them particularly tricky creatures to spot.

Recently, though, this hasn’t been the case in the Vale of Glamorgan.

After a number of reports of otters appearing in the area over the last few months, has led to the creation of Project Otter, which will track sightings to get a better picture of the local population.

Melanie Stewart, a site ranger at Porthkerry Park and one of the founders of the project, says she’s delighted with the response.

“”It’s amazing. I’ve had maybe 25 to 30 people contact me in the last two days, local people from around the Vale, saying they’ve seen otters here, there, in all different places,” she said.

It’s not just organisers who are excited by the recent otter spotting.

Alison Palmer, of Porthkerry Wildlife Group, says the project is fantastic news for wildlife lovers like her.

“A few years ago we wouldn’t even have thought it would be possible to think about otters in the Vale of Glamorgan regularly, so it’s very exciting,” she said.

The project will track otter sightings for the next nine months to better understand where they are in the Vale of Glamorgan, and understand how local otter habitats can be improved.

To find out more and volunteer in the project, email MJStewart@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk