OTTERS are back in the River Ouse near York, conservationists have announced, after several sightings of the creatures in the area.

Experts say their presence is a sign that the river’s quality is improving.

Claire Burton, of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: “It is always a real thrill to see an otter. They are such beautiful animals and it is great that they have made a comeback in our river, giving everybody a chance of an encounter. But you still need a bit of luck.”

Claire has been working as part of a countywide scheme to improve riverside habitats, removing scrub and invasive species and in places making artifical otter holts.

The trust says anyone wanting to see the otters must be prepared to sit quietly and wait by the river in the early morning or at dusk.