#Animal Welfare
United Kingdom

The ‘Weaver Valley Management Board’ (WVMB) has issued a document which promises to turn the River Weaver into “A home for Tarka and Ratty”.

It states that a “a proposed Otter Park will run along the Weaver between Winsford and Northwich forming an attractive green space rich in wildlife.”
The document goes on to say that:

“The Environment Agency’s Otter habitat survey found that Otters move freely in the River Weaver as far as Winsford and signs have also been found at Northwich. New habitat will be created for these popular animals, creating a stimulus to improve water quality for people and wildlife, and improve fish populations. The key action points are:

1. Create the ‘Weaver Otter Park” between Winsford and Northwich, including backwaters for fish breeding, fish passes from meanders to main river, wetland habitat creation and interpretation.

2. Identify further sites in the lower Weaver Valley.

The proposed ‘Otter Park’ appears to have been made without any regard for anglers, even though the WVMB has promised to “take into account all waterway users” and has acknowledged that “angling is very popular in the Weaver Valley area”.

We have to question some of the claimed advantages which WVMB says otters will bring. In particular, the notion that otters “will improve water quality for people and wildlife”; which simply doesn’t make sense. Also, the claim that otters will “improve fish populations”. Surely they will have the opposite effect?


We, the undersigned, call on the Weaver Valley Management Board’ to abolish plans for an Otter Park alongside the River Weaver.

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The ‘Otter Park’ proposal: a serious threat to fisheries in Cheshire petition to Angling was written by Mark Leathwood and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.