Garden centre has otter for lunch

The success of a conservation programme to save the previously-threatened otter in Dorset took an interesting turn on Monday, October 18, when an otter calmly wandered into the coffee shop at Golden Acres garden centre at West Parley.

Staff at the Dorset centre spotted the otter walking through the external areas of the centre until it sat in the coffee shop entrance for a few moments before moving on.

Staff member Chris Woods, who filmed the otter on his mobile phone camera and video, said: "We are about a kilometre from the River Stour and there are no other real streams nearby, so it travelled quite a way – maybe it was because we had tuna mayo jacket potatoes on the menu that day."

Otters, which are viewed as a barometer of river health, did not completely disappeared from Dorset rivers as they did from other UK areas, and after years of decline, their numbers are now significantly increasing.

An Environment Agency survey of 3,327 rivers has found otters have increased 10-fold between 1980 and 2010.

Better water quality and a hunting ban are behind the increase.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



The range of colours and flowering times makes for cheerful and economic displays, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Why are supplier shows and meet-the-buyers events gaining popularity?

Why are supplier shows and meet-the-buyers events gaining popularity?

Retailer shows are becoming more popular as garden centres seek to strengthen bonds with suppliers at these behind-closed-doors events.

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

Growers are waking up to the push towards cutting plastic use and are increasingly looking for substitutes and alternative methods.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy