South East Wales

Blaenau Gwent otters get helping hand to cross road

Otter ledge, Abertillery Image copyright Gwent Wildlife Trust
Image caption It is hoped the ledge in Abertillery will help cut otter road deaths

Otters using a stretch of river in Blaenau Gwent are being helped to cross a busy road with a new ledge built especially for them.

The project in Abertillery is part of a bid to cut the number being killed by cars in south Wales.

Co-ordinated by the Gwent Wildlife Trust, the new ledge at Pant Du is part of a wider scheme to identify areas where otter deaths can be reduced.

About 700 otters have been killed in south Wales in recent years.

"Otters travel widely throughout Gwent but they prefer to run along the riverbank rather than swim," explained the trust's conservation officer Sorrel Jones.

With cleaner rivers and growing fish stocks in the once polluted waters of former industrial Welsh valleys, the car is now one of the biggest threats to the mammals - especially at night when otters are most active.

"Ledges like this give them a safe alternative route, away from traffic," added Mr Jones.

Image copyright Andy Karran
Image caption Otter numbers across former industrial Wales are on the rise

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