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Wildlife Trust finds new use for Hepworth clay pipes

A three-way partnership between drainage manufacturer Wavin, Coventry Golf Club and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has created a new breeding spot for otters by the River Sowe.

Wildlife Trust finds new use for Hepworth clay pipes

Now otters can reach their new den by travelling the five metres up the river bank inside a 300mm diameter Hepworth clay pipe.

The project had been struggling to find the right size of pipes until Coventry Golf Club’s head professional and course manager Phil Weaver spoke to Wavin area manager John Lumley, a regular player at the club, who arranged for the company to donate the pipe.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has created the new holt by adapting a disused pump house on Coventry golf course.

Tim Haselden, Wetlands Officer, at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust says: “We are creating bedrooms by installing chambers within the pump house with two entrances so that the otters can escape from any unwanted guests. One of those entrances has to be connected to the river bank.”

Otters are curious animals, so will naturally explore the pipes – but only if they are of sufficient diameter to allow them to do a U-turn inside them. Plastic netting running down the inside of the pipes provides something for the otters’ feet to grip as they climb the slope.

The team from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust used the pipes in 0.6 metre lengths, joined with polypropylene couplings to follow the contour of the river bank.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Editor-in-Chief across the BMJ portfolio.

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