Tamar Valley Otter and Wildlife Centre
Visitors to the Tamar Otter & Wildlife Centre in North Petherwin, near Launceston can see British and Asian Short Clawed Otters playing and being fed close at hand. The otters are fed at 12:00pm and 3:00pm and this is accompanied by a keeper talk.
The Park opened as the Tamar Otter Sanctuary in 1986 by Ken Hill, and was operated as a branch of the Otter Trust. The Otter Trust bred and released otters back into the wild at a time when they were in severe decline in Britain, and played a large part in the success of the otter's return. The Tamar Otter Snctuary was sold off by the trust and bought by new owners in 2006. It is centred within a lush valley, the majority of the park is decidous woodland around a stream, with a maginificent quarry waterfall at the Northern end.
There are also Fallow Deer, some of which can be hand fed, in the woods; Muntjac Deer and Wallabies roam the 21 acre grounds. There are bags of feed, with which visitors are sometimes allowed to feed the fallow deer, which will eat from your hand. Scottish Wildcats, Britain's rarest mammal, are kept in a pen in the old quarry and are part of a breeding and reintroduction programme. While on the green peacocks, golden pheasants, guinea fowl and chickens roam freely.
There are nine species of Birds of Prey at the centre including Karulah (Bengal Eagle Owl), Tooky (Snowy Owl), Skylar (Harris Hawk), Jack (Kestrel) and a Buzzard who are all hand tame and can be seen out on the weathering during the day near the tea room and there are Birds of Prey talks at 11:30am and 2:30pm.
The Tamar Valley Otter and Wildlife Centre is funded entirely by the income received from visitors. Conservation activities, especially otter rehabilitation, are funded by this income.
The on site Tea Room, which has received a Gold CHEFS Award, serves hot and cold food, including quiches, jacket potatoes, ploughman's, egg and bacon pie, salads and sandwiches prepared on site using fresh local ingredients. Healthy menu options and children's portions are available.
The Tamar Otter & Wildlife Centre is situated at North Petherwin, 5 miles northwest of Launceston off the B3254 road to Bude in Cornwall.