Moor Otters are set to return to Dartmoor National Park next summer and this time they’ve got company.
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Dartmoor National Park is delighted to announce that the hugely successful Moor Otters arts trail is coming back in 2020.
From May to October visitors can expect to see over 80 sculptures, each individually designed and decorated by artists and local talent, dotted across Dartmoor and surrounding areas.
This time, the otters will each be accompanied by their cub and there’ll be some special surprises and competitions too.
With the locations spread across the moor and further afield people will be able to find, learn about, and interact with the sculptures.
The otter has made a comeback on Dartmoor over the last 18 years and the Moor Otters arts trail celebrates this shy and secretive creature who loves to play in Dartmoor’s rivers.
In 2017, fans flocked to Dartmoor for the first Moor Otters. Highlights included innovative designs such as the Sherlock Holmes-inspired Elementary My Dear Otter, Wistman’s Woody and the Harry Potter-esque Potter Otter.
In 2020 people will be encouraged to explore the trails either by walking, cycling, running or using public transport. Otter spotters can share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MoorOtters
The sculptures have been specially commissioned and created by Jolly Roger Ltd in Bovey Tracey. They provide a unique canvas for creativity, fun as well as space to share bespoke messages.
Dartmoor National Park Authority Chair Pamela Woods said: “It has been fantastic to see the money raised by the first Moor Otters go back into projects that directly benefit Dartmoor and its incredibly important landscape, so we are very excited to announce that Moor Otters will be coming back in 2020.
“To celebrate all that Dartmoor offers, to encourage visitors to explore, learn and be mindful, and to raise funds to look-after and conserve Dartmoor, we are inviting artists and businesses to join us in creating Moor Otters public arts trail 2020.
Businesses and community groups are invited to sponsor an Otter or host one throughout the summer. “We are very keen to hear from artists or businesses who want to get involved. We had incredible support in 2017 and hope that we can go further again in 2020.”
Artists interested in transforming an otter and cub ‘canvas’ can download a pack by visiting the artists webpage.
In 2017 Moor Otters raised an incredible £60,000 for Dartmoor conservation and education projects. They were:
1. Junior Rangers: Gives 12-16 year-olds the opportunity to develop practical and personal skills that give them a deeper understanding and passion for Dartmoor’s environment.
2. Controlling non-native plant control: Clearing Himalayan Balsam and American Skunk Cabbage from riverbanks and the moor and improving the chances of native species flourishing.
3. Footpath repairs: Improving and restoring eroded paths, clearing gorse, fencing and signage to help make places more accessible for everyone.
As well as the returning elements, schools will be given mini sculptures to create their own artwork for display at Princetown Visitor Centre later in summer. They can then keep their mini otter or auction it to raise funds for the school.
At the end of summer all Moor Otters will be gathered back together and exhibited as a collection. Twenty will become Golden Moor Otters and will be sold at public auction to raise funds for Donate for Dartmoor.
Donate for Dartmoor supports a variety of projects across Dartmoor.
Donations of time and money are essential for us to be able to look after the heritage and wildlife of Dartmoor and to make it a place for everyone to enjoy today, tomorrow and for the future.