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Otter tunnel at Commissioner's Bridge

Date: 8th March 2023


A pipe under a busy road in Carmarthenshire has been installed to help the local otter population travel safely.


The A484 at Commissioners’ Bridge just outside Kidwelly has been identified as a blackspot for otter road casualties for some years. Otters are prevented from travelling upstream along the Gwendraeth river by the tidal flaps at the bridge and forced to leave the river and cross the road to continue their journey.


Deaths of otters caused by road traffic collisions have long thought to be a concern for otters in Wales. Otter populations across Britain have been gradually recovering from significant declines in the 1970s. However, the last Welsh National Survey for Otters in 2021 showed a slight decline in population so action to support this protected species is important.


With the help of funding from National Grid and Welsh Government and working with Kidwelly Town Council, Carmarthenshire County Council recently installed a pipe under the road at Commissioners’ bridge, which along with the fencing to guide the animals into the pipe will allow otters safe passage under the road to re-join the river upstream.


David Scott, Senior Land Officer at National Grid, said: ‘Minimising our environmental impact and supporting wildlife and habitats on or around our infrastructure is a crucial element of our approach here at National Grid. We are delighted to work with a number of partners to help part fund this tunnel for the protection of otters in Carmarthenshire and hope to see it make a positive impact on the overall otter population.’


Becky Clews-Roberts Specialist Advisor - Terrestrial Mammals for NRW said:


‘Otter road deaths can have a significant impact on local populations, especially if it is a female otter with dependant cubs that succumbs.’


‘We welcome the completion of this work which should benefit the local otter population and help prevent further declines.’


The site will be monitored to how soon the otters adapt to using this safe passage under the road.


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