Where to find otters in Carlisle

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year with family and friends.

I have been a bit quiet over this festive period as this one has been a little different, after 2 and a half years travelling around Australia it was time to visit home. It has been lovely to reunite and spend quality time with loved ones, with plenty more still to see over the next few months before our next adventure – I wonder where we will be going next.

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Rickerby Park

Wreay Wood

What to do if you see an otter

If you have been following both George and myself on our adventures you will know that we love to go out and look for wildlife. Across all states of Australia there is an abundance of animals to look for, we have been spoilt for choice. Returning back to the UK we were unsure on how, where and when was the best time to look for the local wildlife. A different climate and lifestyle, is this something we are going to be able to do?

Over the years I have always read about how Otters live in multiple rivers across Cumbria, but have never been lucky enough to see one. Even my Grandad would tell me stories about where he has seen them on his walks over the years.

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust says that the River Eden and the River Petteril are known homes to these cute little critters.

A little otter popping its head above the surface of the water.

Rickerby Park

Since returning back to Cumbria the rain has been relentless, it is called the Lake District for a reason!

Blue skies and sunshine meant we had to get out for a walk, Rickerby Park is right in the centre of town so was an easy choice to explore. The River Eden runs through the centre of Carlisle and has been running high after all the rainfall. I wasn’t expecting to see much wildlife, as I haven’t for many years before.

George crouching on the edge of the river bank pointing his camera towards the small otter swimming down the river.

You can only imagine our excitement when a lovely lady told us she had recently seen an otter along the river and we should keep an eye out!

Just down the path from the car park, there was the otter just sitting on the river bank looking right at us.

A brown otter standing on the river bank looking back at us.

We watched him for over half an hour as he swam in circles fishing through the fast flowing water. Trying to figure out where he was going to pop his head up next was fun but he always came back to the river bank to get a good look at us.

Otter swimming along the surface of the water.

Good luck on your search for these cute little water babies.

Wreay Woods

We actually started the day heading for Wreay Woods, which is known to be a hotspot for red squirrels and otters along the river Petteril. Unfortunately the path was closed due to the recent weather, but it is a spot we will be returning to in the future and we will let you know what we find!

What to do if you see an Otter?

The European otter is a near threatened species and protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. They are listed as a near threatened species as numbers declined drastically in the 1950s from hunting and habitat loss.

It is still rare to spot an otter in the wild but if you are one of the lucky ones make sure to respect their space, we don’t want to scare them away!

  • Stand and observe from afar
  • Don’t talk loudly as this may scare them
  • Don’t feed them as we want them to rely on their own hunting and not humans
  • If you are walking your dog, keep them on a lead.

Please remember that they are still wild animals, respect their space and you will have an incredible wildlife encounter!

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