Otter perfection at Tophill Low Nature Reserve

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The Tophill Low Nature Reserve is now home to a dwelling full of wild otters, and with Yorkshire’s first infra red camera technology, it is now possible to view the otters close up.

It’s the first time this technology has been used in Yorkshire and offers nature lovers a rare glimpse into the domestic life of the British otter.

Residents in the Beverley area will now be able to sneak a peek at the popular mammals using the newly installed cameras, which broadcast a view from inside the cosy holt back to the nearby visitor hide.

Richard Hampshire, the warden at Tophill Low, said:“The new otter home that we have in place is about as good as it gets for these animals and hopefully our visitors will be able to enjoy even more sightings from the hide and on our new screen.”

The bespoke dwelling was constructed by 15 volunteers, who dedicated 600 hours to the project this winter. It boasts under-floor drainage to help the otters dry off, insulation to keep them warm, a ventilation shaft, and their own private entrance lobby.

Mr Hampshire added: “The River Hull otter population is really important genetically as they never died out on the water course, unlike the majority of English Rivers.”

Tophill Low reared three cubs from two females last year and it’s hoped Yorkshire’s most exclusive riverside address will find a tenant soon.

A series of guided evenings are being run through the summer to try and glimpse the animals, with bookings available through the reserve near Watton.

Tophill Low is currently undergoing an £8 million investment by Yorkshire Water in a treatment plant which will remove nitrates from the raw river water which supplies the site.

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