Wildlife lovers are being urged to back an appeal to raise £20,000 following the discovery of otters living along river banks in Sheffield.
Otters have been spotted along the River Don, between Middlewood, near to Meadowhall and out towards Rotherham.
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has now launched its ‘Otterly Amazing!’ appeal in a bid to raise £20,000 to restore the otters’ watery habitat and record their daily activity.
Cathy Slater, head of development at the Trust, said: “Records on the activities of the Sheffield otters are slim and work to improve our knowledge of their daily life is vital to our understanding of these well-loved creatures and our ability to protect them and encourage their return.”
Though rarely seen, tell-tale signs that otters are in the vicinity include their distinctive footprints, the runs they take to the water’s edge, and their droppings.
The money that the Trust hopes to raise will go towards a number of initiatives aimed at improving wildlife habitats in and around Sheffield and Rotherham.
It build on the Trust’s ‘Living Landscape’ project, aimed at establishing a network of connected green spaces along Sheffield and Rotherham’s river corridors.
Cameras will also be bought to record the comings and goings of the shy creatures, building up a picture of where they live and how they use the river.
To find out more about the appeal visit www.wildsheffield.com or send a cheque to Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Victoria Hall, 37 Stafford Road, Sheffield.
Cheques should be made payable to Sheffield Wildlife Trust, with ‘Otter appeal’ written on the back.