About us

Mission and Vision

Mission Statement

The UK Wild Otter Trust is dedicated to promoting a positive understanding of the Otter & Otter conservation in all areas to as many people as possible and to raise the awareness through education, involvement & information.

Financial Standing

The UK Wild Otter Trust are a fully accepted and recognised charity in the United Kingdom charity number 1167746. The UK Wild Otter Trust has a full, legal bank account (details of which can be supplied by contacting the Trust) and have a dedicated finance officer. An income & expenditure statement can be supplied to persons who so wish to see our accounts.

Our Aims

  • To educate all sections of the general public, visitors & residents of all areas and to promote responsible otter watching in an effort to minimise or prevent any unnecessary disturbance to the otter or its place of safety or shelter.
  • To promote (and work towards) the welfare of Otters including assisting with the conservation needs of this animal throughout the United Kingdom by networking with other Otter groups and alone.
  • To be involved with the promotion of raising awareness of the Otter and its habitats through the delivery of talks, walks, printed literature and website use.
  • To work with other Otter groups & angling bodies/groups to carry out research and investigations into and to further our future understandings of the biology and ecology of the Otter.
  • To engage with and work towards stable relationships with Fishery owners & Anglers alike by means of negotiation and by delivering support and advice if required. This may involve awarding small grants to such Fisheries that may be affected by Otter predation and no other source of support is forthcoming.
  • To be aware of current and future changes that may affect the Otter and to be prepared to lobby the relevant departments for change providing the lobbying in question will benefit the Otter population by networking with other established Otter groups and alone.

Who we are

Dave Webb - Founder & Chair

Dave has been a wildlife conservationist for over 40 years with a keen interest in wildlife photography and he specialises in all deer species and otters. He sits on the board of the otter welfare advisory group, is a senior board member and fishery advisor for the otter predation & advisory group as well as being a full member of the IUCN otter specialist group. He has written a book, appeared on TV, more recently been featured on Countryfile in connection with the recent humane trapping licence issued from Natural England and naturally, played an important role is securing this ground breaking step forward that will change the face of otter conservation as we know it. His passion is unrivalled and this is obvious in the many presentations he does about otters.

Dr Daniel Allen - Media & Policy Advisor

Dr Daniel Allen is an animal geographer who explores the cultural significance of animals around the world. His childhood otter obsession led to a doctorate on ‘The cultural and historical geographies of otter hunting in Britain’ (Nottingham Univeristy, 2006), first book ‘Otter’ (Reaktion Books, 2010), ongoing academic and journalistic writings about otters, and television appearances.

As Media and Policy Advisor, Daniel helped the UK Wild Otter Trust (UKWOT) secure the first Natural England initiative ’class licence’ to live capture and relocate otters trapped inside fenced fisheries. His press releases have generated national media coverage which has been highlighted on BBC1’s Countryfile (January 2017) and in the March 2017 issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Daniel is also a Teaching Fellow at Keele University, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and television presenter. Online, his Twitter account @Dr_Dan_1 was ranked number 27 in the world for “Top Influencers in Animal Welfare on Twitter” by Onalytica in August 2016.

Darren Harries - Vice Chair

Darren is a well known wildlife safety campaigner in his local area of west wales. Specialising in birds of prey and otters his work in the local communities are widely acclaimed. Keen on otter monitoring and drone filming  Darren has worked with Iolo Williams and other TV companies and is well qualified to sit as our vice chairman and owns his own, birds of prey experience company.

Ian Humphreys - Educational Officer

Ian is well known in North Wales for his presentations on otters and kingfishers. A keen wildlife photographer he spends much time on the Isle of Mull, Skye and Shetland following otters. Ian has been featured in channel 5’s TV program on canals & kingfishers in 2017 and his images are a regular feature on BBC weather programs.

Joss Faulkner - Fishery Advisor

Joss joins us with a common sense, practical approach to otter conservation and fishery management. Working in the training sector he also owns his own. non profit making historical estate lake in Northamptonshire. He has in the past, worked with the predation action group and currently holds the position of fishery advisor to UKWOT bringing a wealth of practical experience to the team & is a key member of such.

Mark Walsingham - Fishery Advisor

Mark joins the team as fishery advisor and has played a key role along with Dave & Joss in securing the CL36 licence to humanely trap otters from natural England which took over 2 years to secure. Owning and running the famous Ashmead lake in deepest Somerset, he is well versed on otter predation and fishery management and has been a key member within UKWOT.

Lesley Wright - Trapping Coordinator

Lesley works in IT supporting energy research.

She has training and experience in animal behavioural assessments and volunteers for several animal charities. Lesley is also a key member of the IUCN otter specialist group, sitting a vice chair and is a supporter of the International Otter Survival Fund based on the Isle of Skye.

Lesley Kahney - Sightings & Database Coordinator

Lesley is a retired senior educational psychologist with a keen interest in nature.

Now retired, she spends much of her time on the Isle of Skye volunteering at the Gavin Maxwell centre famous for his book & film “Ring of Brightwater”. Volunteering for UKWOT gets her involved with practical aspects of otter conservation and of course her role is an important one that keeps her very busy!

Colin Anderson - Finance Officer

Colin has a wealth of financial experience and is well suited to the very important role of UKWOT finance officer. Having a keen interest in walking and nature and all things wildlife he assists in the presentations and work parties when required. Colin volunteers his time to help others with financial aspects of their charities and is a welcome and important addition to the team.

Sue Stephenson Martin - Lead Membership Officer

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Sue is a membership development officer for the RSPB. She saw her very first otter at just 10 years of age and has been hooked ever since. Sue also volunteers for owl & hawk trust and at university studied politics but found that her true love was wildlife so diverted her attentions and has since written articles on wildlife.

Kevin Murphy - Lead Membership Officer

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A farmers son, Kevin studied animal care and is a marine mammal medic for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue. Kevin started the Norfolk Wildlife Rescue in 1997 and regularly writes wildlife articles for local magazines. He once interviewed the famous Terry Nutkins who is famous for working with otters.

Supporters

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We are extremely pleased to have gained valuable support from the IOSF based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Both Paul & Grace have worked very hard to ensure that our Otters have been properly represented and cared for. One of the recipients from the UKWOT 2015 calendar sales, we are sure that they will grow in support and we look forward to working alongside them for many years to come. You will find out more about the valuable conservation work that IOSF carry out by visiting the website at www.otter.org

David-cowdry

The UK Wild Otter Trust is pleased to announce the very welcome support of David Cowdry who is a well known & talented Artist. David lives just outside of the pretty little market town of Llandeilo on Carmarthenshire, Wales which is an excellent base to follow his love of the natural world and nature and this is where he takes his inspirations from.

He also has a fascination with Otters, which makes him an ideal addition to our supporters page and we look forward to a long and lasting partnership with David and we thank him for his valued support.

Click here to see more of Davids work!

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We have been sent some photography items to test and these will come in very useful when working with the Otters and therefore we are very pleased to be working alongside Wildlife Watching Supplies of Tiverton, Devon and have them as another of our partners.

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We are pleased to have agreed a partnership with The River Otter Ecology Project which are based in Inverness, California, USA. A leading voice in Otter ecology, we are looking forward to a long and professional partnership with the team there and are sure that this partnership will benefit our Trust and the Wild Otters.

IUCN – OTTER SPECIALIST GROUP

Dave Webb, Founder of the UK Wild Otter Trust & Chair is a full member of the IUCN OSG (Otter Specialist Group). The IUCN Otter Specialist Group (OSG) was founded in 1974 and is part of the World Conservation (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SCC). There are 13 different species of Otters throughout the world and information on all of these can be found by visiting the IUCN OSG website which may be found at www.otterspecialistgroup.org

Please visit the website as it is an excellent reference facility and packed full of information.

(please note that the UK wild otter trust does not speak on behalf of IUCN – OSG and we do not infer that the OSG supports any of our views. The link is purely for interest and a useful source of information)

Who we work with

The UK Wild Otter Trust work with and support many different organisations in order to maintain excellent standards of essential Otter conservation & awareness programs. You will find a few of these organisations below.