Do we publise or hide our wildlife – Windermere Otters

Following the reported death of one of the Otters on Windermere after the Westmorland Gazette had advertised the location of where the public could watch the animals a correspondent claimed the newspaper was to blame for this death.

Knowing that thousands of visitors actually went out of their way to come and watch these magnificent and charismatic animals the newspaper not only increased tourism to Cumbria but gave the opportunity for people to gaze on a rare event in the animal kingdom. Most people have to travel as far as the Scottish Highlands to watch such a unique sight and with modern-day costs of travelling going through the roof what a great job was done by this newspaper.

With the potential wildlife tourism in Cumbria estimated to be worth up to £20 million a year, it is time Cumbria finally protects its wildlife and replaces the species which have disappeared due to man’s greed and total ignorance. Iconic species lost from the Lake District like White tailed Eagle, Wild Cat, Beaver, Pine Marten and only one Golden eagle left in the skies of Cumbria tells a sorry story of Cumbria’s  intolerant past.

Recent returns of Osprey and Red Kites have also had their problems with birds being shot in Cumbria. Let’s hope papers like the Westmorland Gazette continue to advertise the great wildlife the county does have for the benefit of its readers and all visiting tourists.

John Miles, Cumbria

1 comment to Do we publise or hide our wildlife – Windermere Otters

  • Erica Sarney

    When we discovered Otters on the Lune we had the same concerns, but were eventually driven to advertise their existence due to an unsuitable planning application within 25m of an active natal holt. Since then the Otters have in reality become community Otters, many people have had the wonderful experience of Otter watching from bridge vantage points so they are not disturbed. We get regular reports of sightings along the river from dog walkers and anglers. RTA are now reported and the corpse can be sent off for a post Mortem – we recieve the results helping us to keep an eye on health, disease of the population etc. Not only has this been a very positive experience for the many people who have been able to observe the otters, it has resulted in the Otters being much better protected.