GALLERY: As otters and voles mount a recovery in the Fens, special courses laid on to help wildlife lovers spot them

Otter and water vole tracking.Cliff Carson Middle level commissioners Enviromental officer..Picture:

Otter and water vole tracking.Cliff Carson Middle level commissioners Enviromental officer..Picture:Steve Williams - Credit: Archant

Otters and water voles are mounting a recovery in the Fens – and special courses are being organised to help wildlife lovers spot them in Fenland waterways.

Both have a place in our hearts through the story of The Wind in the Willows. So fans of the classic book will be delighted the creatures are making a comeback.

Cliff Carson, an environmental officer with the Middle Level Commissioners based in March is organising courses which will reveal the clues to spotting them in the wild.

He said: “Water voles and otters are both fascinating creatures and present on many Fenland waterways.

“Catching a glimpse of them is a matter of luck, but people can improve their chances by learning how to spot them. Now is the start of the breeding season and the signs of how to spot the water vole and otter will be covered in the course.”


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Otters have been recorded at more than half the 68 bridges checked in the Middle Level catchment area. Water voles are said to be present at more than 70 per cent of ditches in Curf Fen, near Chatteris.

The two-session course is free. An evening presentation will introduce participants to the animals and share images of their tracks, trails and feeding signs. A field trip will provide an opportunity to observe otters and water voles at locations across the Fens.

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Spaces are available on a course on Wednesday, April 15 from 7pm and Saturday, April 18 from 10am at the Middle Level Commissioners offices in March. Call Mr Carson or Deb Watts on 01354 653232.

Have you spotted an otter or water vole? Send your photos to john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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