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Are you an otter spotter or a Kingfisher Counter?

British Waterways – guardian of the nation’s canals and rivers - is inviting nature lovers of all ages to visit their local canal, river, reservoir or dock and tell us what creatures they see there. This year’s survey will focus on the splendid regent of the waterways – the kingfisher, whose numbers are expected to have fallen due to the recent harsh winter.

otterMark Robinson, British Waterways’ national ecology manager, explains: “We have had a hard winter this year and although nature is pretty resilient, we think many species will have suffered. The good news is that our waterways act as green corridors connecting towns, cities and farmland, and providing vital shelter and a winter larder for wildlife struggling to survive and recover.

“However, some species will have been particularly hard hit. Frozen water and plummeting temperatures may have significantly reduced kingfisher populations, with the possibility that many lost the battle against the cold. It is therefore particularly important for us to monitor what species will need our support over the coming year and we’re asking the public to help us do that. Now the weather has warmed up kingfishers are starting to nest and so now is a great time to see them.”
With spring firmly here, the annual waterways wildlife survey is a perfect family activity and will continue throughout the year until the autumn. British Waterways wants nature novices and seasoned spotters to record sightings of all wildlife they see on the waterways at