Third otter holt at Coldham estate

cliff carson and the new Co-operative otter holt
cliff carson and the new Co-operative otter holt

The Co-operative has constructed a third artificial otter holt on its Coldham farm after increased activity of otters on the site. Co-operative Farms, which runs a ground-breaking scheme to protect otters on the estate called Habitat Heroes, is working with the Middle Level Commissioners to help preserve the protected mammals in Fenland waterways.

The holt was designed and built into the banks by Cliff Carson (pictured), environmental officer for the MLC and features an infra-red ‘otter-cam’ to view the animals without disturbing them. Built to last more than 20 years it is constructed of breeze blocks and paving slabs with two entrance pipes at the water’s edge, which are the only parts visible on completion. It is one of a network of 73 holts installed throughout the Middle Level, a drainage area managed by the Middle Level Commissioners.

Mr Carson said: “We have monitored otter activity at the Coldham site since we installed the first holt in 2011 as part of the Habitat Heroes project and we are thrilled with the results so far. We have captured some great footage in the holts, which have been visited by both males and also females with their young. The holts are being used, so there is definitely a need for them, and there are positive signs that there is an increase in otters in the area.”