Over the summer, 101 otter sculptures appeared in various locations around Dartmoor and the surrounding towns, creating the Otter Spotter trial. Those who were able to find twenty otters were then entered into a prize draw, with prizes including an afternoon tea for four at Bovey Castle and a two night stay at Harford Bridge Park.
Launched in June 2017, the Moor Otter public arts initiative aimed to raise £100,000 to support projects to conserve and enhance Dartmoor’s wildlife and landscape, improve accessibility to the moor and develop Dartmoor’s Junior Ranger programme which supports educational access and engages young people in conservation projects.
Majority of the otters were sold in an online auction which raised a staggering £59,302. A special collection of 31 ‘Golden Otters’ decorated by a range of internationally renowned artists, was auctioned by Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewoods on 30th September, which raised a further £40,610.
After realising that the auctions were just £88 short of the auction target, Otter Spotters Olivia, seven and Freddie, 5 were keen to donate extra funds.
Rosie by Mirror Ball Paul and Otis by Laura Fulner where adopted for £5000 each. The Duchy of Cornwall otter, a unique sculpture commissioned by HRH the Prince of Wales sold for £3000.
Further to the auction, several otters were ad opted for an additional £26,850.
The grand total raised by initiative was £126,850.
The otter sculptures are now going to their new homes with some travelling as far as France, USA, Canada and Australia.