Patrons to the Trust

Richard & Anne Williamson

The UK Wild Otter Trust are very pleased and indeed honoured to have Richard & Anne Williamson join the team as Patrons. Richard is the Son of Henry Williamson who wrote the novel Tarka the Otter, a firm favourite to everyone and indeed the very nature novel that has inspired many otter specialists in the past and will continue to do so in the future. It is fitting that they are joining us as we are based in the very County that Henry Williamson wrote the book and we still continue to monitor the otter population at the same area today. This is a historic partnership and will bring new ideas to the Trust and we shall work together to benefit all otter conservation

The Henry Williamson Society Website can be found at

Image from The Exeter Daily

Sophie Neville

The UK Wild Otter Trust is pleased to also welcome Sophie Neville to our Patron team.

Sophie is an award winning Author whose books include “The Making of Swallows & Amazons” & “Funnily Enough”. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in Anthropology she had a career in television working on dramas such as “Doctor Who”, “Eastenders”, My Family & Other Animals” and the Vet series “One by One” before directing educational programmes for BBC schools. After producing the “INSET” series she emigrated to South Africa where she worked freelance for the BBC Natural History Unit whilst working as a safari guide.

Disaster struck when she fell off a horse breaking her pelvis but she used her time on crutches to turn professional as a wildlife artist and has since exhibited all over the UK & South Africa where she lived for 12 years. Sophie now lives on the Lymington River in Hampshire where Otters are often spotted. Having been brought up with Asian short – clawed Otters owned by her mother Daphne Neville who is also a Patron to the UK Wild Otter Trust, Sophie has given many Otter conservation talks that have grabbed the attention of the press.

Bringing Sophie on board compliments our existing team of Patrons perfectly and we all look forward to a great association in the coming years. You can see more of Sophie’s work by visiting


Richard Taylor Jones

The UK Wild Otter Trust is very pleased to be able to welcome Richard Taylor Jones to our already impressive list of Patrons.

Richard is well known amongst wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world and is a respected contributor to Springwatch & Autumnwatch and has just completed filming for BBC1’s Big Blue UK. During his career, Richard has made well in excess of 150 short films for the BBC Natural History Unit. He also holds a degree in Zoology with Biological Imaging from Nottingham University. Richard says “I believe the natural world includes human kind in every possible way. I do the job because I love it. If people viewing my work feel or learn something from it, if they choose to try and make a difference afterwards, no matter how small then I have achieved well beyond what I could have ever hoped for”.

A very positive & encouraging attitude and we are very excited about Richard joining us. We look forward to a long and educational working relationship with him.

Richards website can be found at

Lindsey Chapman

The UK Wild Otter Trust is very pleased to welcome Lindsey Chapman to our impressive list of Patrons.

Lindsey is a well known & respected Television presenter and has recently fronted Big Blue UK on BBC1. Filming for the programme took her all over the UK in search of great British wildlife on our seashores and in our seas; from Shark spotting in Tiree to tagging Gannets on Alderney. Lindsey is in her element outdoors and loves exploring the ways in which we all connect to the natural world.

As lead presenter on BBC Springwatch Extra and roving reporter on BBC Autumnwatch & Winterwatch Unsprung, Lindsey is fascinated by British wildlife. She loves seeing Otters in the wild and can often be found watching the Springwatch underwater cameras in the hope of catching a glimpse
Lindsey will be a huge asset to the UK Wild Otter Trust and we all look forward to a long and happy working partnership in the future

Lindsey’s website is

Daphne Neville

Daphne Neville trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and for over 8 years she was a presenter and announcer which were closely followed by TV acting roles. Her films include The Feast of July – The Old Curiosity Shop as well as playing the role of Nora in The Archers for BBC Radio 4.

An accomplished Actress, Author, Speaker & Television Presenter, Daphne has cared for Otters at the family home in Gloucestershire for over 20 years. Daphne talks on Otters around the world on average once a week including talking about her very own Asian Short Clawed Otters, Belinda & Rudi. She was one of two UK representatives to attend the 8th IUCN Otter Colloquium that was held in Chile in 2001.

Daphne brings a huge passion and knowledge to the UK Wild Otter Trust and of course we thank her for becoming a Patron and we look forward to a long and exciting partnership in the future education & conservation of Otters.

Daphne’s website is

Peter Talbot

The UK Wild Otter Trust is pleased to announce the support of Peter Talbot, author of Tarka and Me (Amazon). Peter was the principal Otter handler on David Cobhams 1979 film version of Henry Williamsons “Tarka The Otter” filmed over a 2 year period with his tame Otter “Spade” on the River Torridge in North Devon.

Peter trained under Philip Wayre at the Otter Trust in Norfolk and also worked with Bill Travers who starred in Ring of Bright Water. He has also worked with Ron & Rose Eastman and Steve Downer (Natural History Film Makers). Peter commented “North Devon became a second home to my Otter Spade & I and we often swam together in the River Torridge” Peter was very interested to learn that the UK Wild Otter Trust is monitoring the very same area today.

We are grateful for Peters enthusiastic interest in our project and feel that his past experiences & love of Otters will be of great benefit to the Trust. We look forward to meeting him in the very near future and working alongside him.