Working in conjunction with Hanson Aggregates Ltd and the RSPB, BSG Ecology staff have created an otter holt at a gravel pit in Oxfordshire. The site has been chosen by the RSPB as a Nature After Minerals case study site, and is in the process of restoration.
The majority of our Oxford team took half a day out of normal work hours in February 2013 in order to help build the holt. This was a wooden structure which incorporated two internal chambers, two exits and which was subject to water-proofing using brash wood.
The next step will be to plant blackthorn and/or willow saplings around the holt to conceal it and ensure there is minimum disturbance.
Large stones have been placed at the water’s edge near the entrance in the hope that otter will take the opportunity to use them as sprainting sites (spots where they mark their territory using faecal deposits). This will give us an indication as to whether the holt is being used by otter. We also intend to deploy a motion activated infra-red camera as reported in April 2012 to monitor otter use.
For more information about Nature After Minerals (an RSPB/Natural England partnership), please click on the following link: http://afterminerals.com/index.aspx