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I saw an Otter in the orchard!
Something really nice happened this evening here!
I went in the orchard for a little walk, and to gather a small bag of sticks to add to the kindling pile.
I went to the far side of the orchard and down into a shady area where there is a little stream. The stream is tiny.
Suddenly I saw a 2ft long brown shape of a creature swimming in the water! Then it got to a small pile of sticks half submerged, and turned around, stared right at me -and it was an Otter! It gazed at me a little while -maybe seconds but it felt like minutes.....then disappeared.
I have never seen an Otter here in 35 years I have lived here.
They are starting to return and re-populate, but it's still an extremely rare sight. And this one was so close up. Only about 6ft away.
I feel quite blessed by Nature on such a lovely summer evening under the full moon.....
That is so wonderful and exciting. It is wonderful that the otters are returning to your area. Maybe it is a sign that the environment is healthier. It is exciting that you got to see the otter so close up. They are so beautiful. If he lives in your area you will surely see him again. It would be great if there were more otters. Is your stream big enough for them?
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What a delightful thing to happen, Tobi! Maybe he will return?
I am guessing  the Otter had come upstream. That tiny stream has no fish. Probably Otters can manage to eat water boatmen and stuff, but they really need fish.

Now....where he/she came from is a bit of a mystery. There is a pond in the grounds of the orchard house which is nearby, but I checked on Somerset Wildlife and there is no mention of Otters being in residence there. However, the people (if they had them) may not have reported it.

So, after that, the only possible place would be the river which is quite a few miles away.

I did report the sighting to Somerset Wildlife, and to the Dept. of the Environment, with grid references. That could be imporant in the future and could possibly prevent human disturbance of the location.

Smiley4  I don't know if I'll see him/her again. My guess is that the weather might possibly have something to do with it...but how, I don't know (very very dry weather for quite some time, for the second year.)

If he/she came upstream so far, then why, I don't know.
So your otter is a mystery guest. You don't know where he is from, you don't know why he came and you don't know if he will return. How delightful. That will make future sightings even more fun. You will not know why he returned.

I did not know you could report an otter sighting. It is good that they are tracking the otters and  watching what they do.
I do hope your otter is planning to settle in your area. It would be so  good to see an otter now and then.

Keep us posted.
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With a lot of shrieking and anger from a new-ish orchard manager who was patrolling apparently, I have now been told I cannot go in that orchard any more, and the gates have been wrapped in barbed wire loops, and deer-gaps in hedges filled with many blackthorns (as if that would stop me anyway. I am adept with barbed wire and thorns. And the Blackthorns, I opened up to make passageways again so they wouldn't hurt the deer.)
However, I was calm and polite with that man.
I kept it to myself that I have walked there freely and openly for 35 years, because a plan occurred to me. I am now applying for a legal right, via a law in Britain called an "easement by prescription".
I have a strong case. We will see what happens.

It is possible that my reporting the Otter sighting has "ruffled their fur". If so....I find myself questioning -why?
Interesting developments. Anything they could legally build would not stop you.

I looked up easement by prescription on Wikipedia.

I think you have a good case. You have been using the land for many years. They cannot justify keeping you out now. You must be well know in your area. The new man will need to learn who you are and respect your presence.

If otters are protected or at least reported they would not want you making the otter known to the government. Now if anything happens to the otter, someone will want to know why.

Good for you opening deer paths. The animals certainly have the right to pass across someone's property.
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I can't imagine any building  development ever may happen or be planned in that particular area. But Otters are protected, and because of that, there may be various things which would automatically be forbidden.

...The use of certain pesticides/fungicides/herbicides, for instance. Or other restrictions which may not suit those people? For instance -hunting. And I know they do that. "Hare coursing" may possibly be restricted?. I really have no idea of the full ramifications of an Otter sighting and report.

Those are also the people who put the Larsen traps down years ago.
Quote:Those are also the people who put the Larsen traps down years ago.
This tells us what the people are like. If they put out Larsen traps then they would have no use for an otter.  The otter is protected so reporting him puts them on notice. They better not let harm come to the otter.

If they push it  and try to ban you, it might backfire and you and anyone else will be able to walk on the land forever.

I like the idea of easements. It is friendly to let your neighbours cut across your land.
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