Rare otter spotted in Buckingham


There have been several sightings of an otter on the River Great Ouse at Buckingham.

Officers from the biodiversity team at Aylesbury Vale District Council believe the creature, which is elusive and rare in urban areas, may have taken up residency under a large pile of logs on the river bank near the town centre.

It’s thought the high water levels and cold weather has increased the length of time the otter needs to feed. The animal has been spotted during the early morning and late afternoon in Bourton Park.

Paul Holton, AVDC biodiversity officer, said: “Our otter spotters have established the presence of otter activity in Buckingham and I have received calls from dog walkers confirming it. Otters have almost certainly been in the town for a while as their territory can range up to 25 miles of water course. Typically they move and feed at night and it is probable the large numbers of signal crayfish in the Ouse is helping to sustain them. This could be another reason why people are seeing the animal for the first time in the town.”

Otters almost disappeared from England in the 1970s, but have since recovered in recent years due to a ban on harmful pesticides, legal protection and an improvement in water quality bringing fish back to rivers.

Howard Mordue, councillor for leisure and member for Buckingham South, said: “It’s fantastic news that creatures such as this are living right here on our doorsteps. They are a welcome return to the district’s wildlife diversity and show our work to improve the Vale’s environment is paying off.”

To find out more about otters in the Vale, visit www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/environment or call 01296 585297.

>Have you seen the Buckingham otter? Let us know at editorial@buckinghamadvertiser.co.uk.