Monday, 9 April 2007
Last week I told you about the mystery underground workshop on the shore of Heronry North. This week we return to Heronry North for the "Mystery of the Burning Otter Holt".
On Easter Sunday night our otter holt burned down to a pile of ashes. None of the surrounding area was burned, so the fire must have started in the holt itself. Fortunately, it looks like there were no otters present as we found no fresh droppings nearby.
We immediately assumed that this was an act of vandalism, but now I'm not so sure. Most vandals do not bother to go a long way from the car park and there are much easier targets. If someone burned down the holt, they must be someone who doesn't like otters. Who would that be?
The holt, which was built by volunteers, was made entirely out of timber. After two years it has dried out to make perfect kindling. Could it have just warmed up in the sun and simply got 'otter and 'otter? (sorry)
In the last two years I have seen two of our vegetation heaps burn spontaneously on spring days. John Green, our otter expert, says that he has had two other holts go up in smoke in the past. Perhaps we should learn from the three little pigs and build the next one out of bricks?
I'm going to get the fire brigade to have a look and see what they think.