Conservation Thread

primmiemoo

Member
Location
Devon
From bird activity, I'd say that there's a pair of swallows doing up an old nest - last used three years ago - in the same tallet that has a barn owl box in it. The box has been there since the nice Barn Owl Trust bods put it there 20-odd years ago, and it's been occupied most years since. I've seen the owl regularly, so the two species must be tolerant of each other.
 
it's called nature and it finds a balance - we seem to manage it.
But there’s nothing natural about the British landscape. The mass release /reintroduction of Otters has caused massive damage to the aquatic environment. How utterly thoughtless to do this at a time when eels (their favourite prey) have suffered such a catastrophic decline in numbers. And the cost to fishing interests has been astronomical. It’s akin to the reintroduction of wolves. Yes, nature will find a balance, but at what cost to those trying to make a living in the countryside.
 
Location
East Mids
But there’s nothing natural about the British landscape. The mass release /reintroduction of Otters has caused massive damage to the aquatic environment. How utterly thoughtless to do this at a time when eels (their favourite prey) have suffered such a catastrophic decline in numbers. And the cost to fishing interests has been astronomical. It’s akin to the reintroduction of wolves. Yes, nature will find a balance, but at what cost to those trying to make a living in the countryside.
Otters used to be widespread on our river 50 years ago, until the pesticides affected their ecology and it's nice to welcome them back. But we still have plenty of everything else. I do think they should be allowed to be controlled near fish farms etc and I am aware that some rivers have been adversely affected by their re-introduction, but that is not happening everywhere. I have been involved in conservation management work for decades and worked closely with gamekeepers and other land managers, so know that it's all DUE to management, but going back to my original point, planting a waterside site with a pollen / nectar mix that can go on any old cultivable land is a wasted opportunity for a decent riverside habitat.
 
Otters will be the next badger. They will do very well and there will be far to many of them for the good of everything else and even to the detriment of themselves when they start running out of food. But no one will be allowed to do anything about it because they will be very heavily protected. Just like badgers now look at what they are doing to hedgehogs, ground nesting birds and bumble bees. Let alone the mess of TB (which is as bad for the badgers as the cattle) otters might not get TB but they will wipe out the wildlife on the rivers if there are too many of them. Neither of them are meant to be top predators in their respective ecosystems they need controlling if it gets out of hand. I doubt we are there yet with otters though.
 

Pan mixer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Near Colchester
We have many nightingales.

I took a friend to hear them the other night, one was in a bush 60 yards away going for it.

I played a nightingale call on my phone, at first he shouted louder, then he stopped. Distressed that I had frightened him away I turned off the recording.

Next thing he starts rattling away again but this time in the bush barely a yard from us going for it with even more gusto.

Harmless country fun but fun nevertheless.
 
That’s interesting. Do you think it’s because there just isn’t enough cover for mink?
Partly down to disturbance of mink and partly to habitat. The main cause of their loss, by far, has been the mink released by animal rights activists in the 1970's and 1980's. I know of one piece of local river where over 100 mink were killed from 1 trap in 12 months.

In urban areas there are lots of people about, lots of dogs and some mink get killed on roads.
 
Otters will be the next badger. They will do very well and there will be far to many of them for the good of everything else and even to the detriment of themselves when they start running out of food. But no one will be allowed to do anything about it because they will be very heavily protected. Just like badgers now look at what they are doing to hedgehogs, ground nesting birds and bumble bees. Let alone the mess of TB (which is as bad for the badgers as the cattle) otters might not get TB but they will wipe out the wildlife on the rivers if there are too many of them. Neither of them are meant to be top predators in their respective ecosystems they need controlling if it gets out of hand. I doubt we are there yet with otters though.
Absolutely; there’s no reverse gear with these things, that’s the problem. Otters were hunted up till quite recently, for good reason. It’s all well and good releasing beavers, wolves etc, but there needs to be a plan for when things go wrong and people’s livelihoods are being damaged.
 
Otters will be the next badger. They will do very well and there will be far to many of them for the good of everything else and even to the detriment of themselves when they start running out of food. But no one will be allowed to do anything about it because they will be very heavily protected. Just like badgers now look at what they are doing to hedgehogs, ground nesting birds and bumble bees. Let alone the mess of TB (which is as bad for the badgers as the cattle) otters might not get TB but they will wipe out the wildlife on the rivers if there are too many of them. Neither of them are meant to be top predators in their respective ecosystems they need controlling if it gets out of hand. I doubt we are there yet with otters though.
I have no personal experience of Otters (they died out in Hertfordshire in 1977) but I was repeatedly told by specialists when I worked for the EA that Otters are quite territorial. Apparently a it would take around 5 miles of a healthy river for one otter family. In a poorly stocked river the territory could be 25 miles or more.

Beavers and Mink on the other hand......
 

Danllan

Member
Location
Sir Gar / Carms
We have many nightingales.

I took a friend to hear them the other night, one was in a bush 60 yards away going for it.

I played a nightingale call on my phone, at first he shouted louder, then he stopped. Distressed that I had frightened him away I turned off the recording.

Next thing he starts rattling away again but this time in the bush barely a yard from us going for it with even more gusto.

Harmless country fun but fun nevertheless.
I confess to doing the same thing with Chiff Chaffs and Blackcaps here. :sneaky: No nightingales here, although we had them in Herts, now and then.

I have no personal experience of Otters (they died out in Hertfordshire in 1977) but I was repeatedly told by specialists when I worked for the EA that Otters are quite territorial. Apparently a it would take around 5 miles of a healthy river for one otter family. In a poorly stocked river the territory could be 25 miles or more.

Beavers and Mink on the other hand......
Otters were definitely back in Hertfordshire by the late 1990s, and I knew of several holts on widely separate rivers at the start of the current decade.
 

Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
Otters did re appear in this area briefly for a few months couple of years ago.
Cleaned out a number of fishing pools then disappeared overnight back to the river I suspect.
 
I have no personal experience of Otters (they died out in Hertfordshire in 1977) but I was repeatedly told by specialists when I worked for the EA that Otters are quite territorial. Apparently a it would take around 5 miles of a healthy river for one otter family. In a poorly stocked river the territory could be 25 miles or more.

Beavers and Mink on the other hand......
But when there is too many of them to fit in every stretch of river what happens then? I'm not sure what an otters natural predator would be... Bears maybe?
I have no issues with otters being released and reintroduced on any and every river if it's healthy enough to support them but eventually they will cause problems somewhere for someone or something and no one will be able to do anything about it.
I bet no one expected badgers to be such a problem when they were given protection all those years ago.
You really need some otters down in Hertfordshire apparently they are really good for killing mink (y)
They would probably eat beaver cubs too :whistle:
 

MX7

Member
Location
cotswolds
Excuse me hi jacking this thread.
I would very much like your replies to my thread "Developers using netting to prevent birds nesting".
So many of you are doing a lot for wildlife but developers seem to be doing very little ,EXCEPT FOR THEIR OWN CONVENIENCE" (as little as possible /non at all , just lets do as little as pos to look keep the money rolling in ):rolleyes::rolleyes:
 
I have no personal experience of Otters (they died out in Hertfordshire in 1977) but I was repeatedly told by specialists when I worked for the EA that Otters are quite territorial. Apparently a it would take around 5 miles of a healthy river for one otter family. In a poorly stocked river the territory could be 25 miles or more.

Beavers and Mink on the other hand......
Otters are no different to any other predator, in that they like an easy meal. Well stocked still waters with specimen size carp are highly vulnerable, and such fish can be worth hundreds of £’s each. It’s not nice finding such fish laid on the bank dead, or dying, with just a few chunks of flesh taken out. To the best of my knowledge, there was no prior consultation with fishing interests before these things were released. The only answer for some fisheries is total enclosure, but an otter-proof fence is quite an undertaking, in both a practical and a financial sense, and at 6ft high, can be visually obtrusive.

A chap I know of had otters released close to his fish farm: most considerate! I heard the story of his flooding experience back in 2007. Desperate for some help from the Authorities, he was pleased to see two official looking ladies turn up at his property. It turned out they were from the EA, and were carrying out research into how flooding effects otters:whistle:

Of course it’s a sad thing if we can’t find space for a few large predators, and there are still areas of the country that aren’t so intensively managed, where their adverse impacts are tolerable. However, some of the advocates of re-wilding have totally unrealistic ideas of how far the clock can be wound back, and frankly, I don’t think they give a damn about the interests of those trying to make a living in the countryside.
 

Brisel

Member
Location
Dorset
D3BB14D3-6653-428D-AB4A-851C3B6357A7.jpeg

I was standing on a beetle bank looking across the farm. From left to right;

  • A flea beetle ravaged osr crop!
  • Winter cover strip of perennials including chicory, sweet clover, sainfoin and Lucerne. Designed as shelter for birds from predation over winter. The only reason it is short is because we sprayed out the grasses migrating out from the beetle bank recently.
  • Beetle bank formed a few years ago with the plough and sown with cocksfoot & timothy. A bit of fescue left. Great nesting habitat for grey partridge amongst others.Harvest mice in there too
  • Conservation headland of low seed rate home saved spring barley. It is a weedy cover designed for the greys to forage for small insects with a thin overhead canopy for protection. The feeder is also to help the adult birds & has a mesh cage around it to keep pigeons & pheasants out, leaving more for smaller birds
  • Winter wheat crop grown "normally" hopefully not requiring insecticides
Only the conservation headland is funded by Countryside Stewardship option AB14. There is also an AB8 6m floristically enhanced grass strip on the far headland of the field. We gapped the hedgerow up about 4 years ago.
 
Last edited:
But when there is too many of them to fit in every stretch of river what happens then? I'm not sure what an otters natural predator would be... Bears maybe?
I have no issues with otters being released and reintroduced on any and every river if it's healthy enough to support them but eventually they will cause problems somewhere for someone or something and no one will be able to do anything about it.
I bet no one expected badgers to be such a problem when they were given protection all those years ago.
You really need some otters down in Hertfordshire apparently they are really good for killing mink (y)
They would probably eat beaver cubs too :whistle:
I think that the otters are eating the water voles here.
You're probably correct. Otters are Mink on steroids!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
162,878
Messages
3,719,813
Members
40,995
Latest member
ford2019

China pig recovery drives Genus growth

  • 212
  • 0


Written by Jamie Day

A trading update from animal genetics business Genus says trading in the first four months of the current year, to October 31st 2019, has seen volumes, revenues and adjusted profit grow across its PIC and ABS pig and cattle divisions. The global pig business is benefitting from rising pigmeat prices in China, following the African […]

The post...
Top