Living Otter Holt Building – Part 3.

Sunrise: 08.15 Sunset: 04.19

I was fortunate to have the willing, energetic and capable help of Mike and Paul today. Another 15 man-hours have been expended on the new living otter holt (now totaling 20 man-hours). It has been a brilliant day in most respects; the weather being sunny and still, and the temperature averaging 4 degrees centigrade. Late afternoon was particularly stunning.

We changed the design of the holt: extending the entrance tunnel down to the water’s edge, which added significantly to the workload.

By the end of the day we had coppiced, cut to length, sharpened and hammered in all the staves, pegged-down the plastic entrance and exit tubes, and weaved some of the outer wall of the inlet/outlet run with birch whippies.

To finish the holt we need to roof the structure, pile a mixture of leaves, brash and earth against the outer walls to windproof them and prevent light from entering the living chamber, and build a barrier/fence from the oak tree, around the holt and down to the water’s edge. I think we might still have to work another 20 to 30 man-hours before we are done.

A crush in the outlet tunnel will allow an otter pass, but not a fox.

Hopefully a nice little bitch otter will give the new holt the once-over and put her name down for occupancy.

Since we are building a living holt, I hope to use only natural materials, most of which will take root and grow. However, I have utilised short plastic tubes at the entrance and exit.

Also read the following posts:

photo (3)11_01_2014

Paul adding a measure of scale to the structure.

photo (2)11_01_2014

I have not inadvertently caught mike (on the far right) in a compromising position, he is taking photographs.


Start of the birch whippy weaving of the outer walls.

11 Comments on “Living Otter Holt Building – Part 3.

    • Thanks, Jule. Working with nature is often hard work, but the benefits to all concerned can great and usually well worth the effort.


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