LAST week wildlife crime officers attended Stour Meadows following reports of otters being potentially disturbed by a photographer.

Whilst at the scene, Dorset Police Rural Crime officers engaged with a number of locals and wildlife photographers who stated that otters were being disturbed by someone trying to capture photographs of them and gain a better view of the mammals on the River Stour.

Although many people know that it’s an offence to kill, capture or injure an otter, the Rural Crime team have stressed it is also an offence to disturb one.

At Stour Meadows, information boards are in place detailing the above.

Otters are strictly protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations and have additional protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Going forward, the officers will be looking to continue to work with The UK Wild Otter Trust to protect Dorset’s Otters.

If you see a wildlife crime in progress call 999 or for a non emergency, call 101.

Reports can also be made by emailing: