Otters make a comeback on the Norfolk Broads

Otters have made a bigger comeback in this region than almost anywhere else in the country.

A new survey by the Environment Agency shows otters are growing in significant numbers on the Broads. Sites checked in the East of England showed 56.87pc had evidence of otters between July 2009 and March.

Between 1977 and 1979 the figure for positive site records for the region was only 3.22pc and between 2000 and 2002 it was only 25.82pc.

The large rise is being put down to a ban on pesticides, legal protection for the mammals and a significant improvement in water quality.

Otter numbers have significantly increased in Broadland rivers with 48 sites out of 71 having evidence of the mammals.

Between 1977 and 1979 there were only three out of 68 sites with evidence of otters and in 2000 to 2002 there were just 26 sites out of 71. The Environment Agency report said: 'There has been a significant increase in otter range in this area since the last survey. The results show that otters are now using most of the watercourses in this area.

'The prospects are for full recovery across England probably within the next two decades or so.'