South West rural insurance company Cornish Mutual is helping to secure the future of one of the region’s most stunning locations by encouraging people to become otter spotters.
The company is involved with the Moor Otters Trail, a creative initiative with 100 artistic otter sculptures placed at various sites across Dartmoor and the surrounding area. The aim of the colourful display is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting local wildlife, support Dartmoor National Park and promote local businesses.
Cornish Mutual has sponsored an otter creation by artist and illustrator Charlie O’Sullivan. Entitled Feet on the Ground, Head in the Clouds, it can be found at its new home of Darts Farm, Clyst St George, Exeter. The award winning farm shop is a Cornish Mutual member.
An otter was chosen as the canvas for the artworks because it is an indigenous species that was once close to disappearing from Dartmoor but is now making a strong comeback.
Paula Mayes, Cornish Mutual Team Leader, said: “With our specialist Field Force team out in the community, we understand the issues that are important to our members and one of those is to preserve our landscape for future generations to work on and enjoy.
“Dartmoor is a beautiful location to live and work and we are thrilled to be able to sponsor such an eye catching artistic otter as part of this creative scheme to help protect the landscape.
“Darts Farm is the perfect location for the firm’s sponsored otter as they are extremely passionate about caring for our environment and supporting the local economy.”
Throughout the summer, visitors to Dartmoor are encouraged to become otter spotters and travel around the public art trail to find the colourful animals, which have all been sponsored by local businesses. Jotting down each location, participants could also be in with the chance of winning a host of prizes; from overnight stays at local hotels, to afternoon tea, luxury chocolates or cinema tickets.
There is even the chance to take one of the beautifully-designed sculptures home with online bidding for all 100 creations already underway. And 30 golden otters, created by established artists, are being auctioned off in September. The initiative hopes to raise £100,000 for Dartmoor National Park to conserve and enhance the Moor’s wildlife and landscape as well as improve accessibility.
Charlie O’Sullivan, one of the established golden otter artists and creator of the Cornish Mutual-sponsored artwork, said: “I am really pleased to have taken part in this art trail and to be sponsored by Cornish Mutual. My otter was inspired by the fun that can be had on Dartmoor, a place I explored with my children when they were younger.
“It is great to be able to use art to raise vital money to secure the future of Dartmoor for everyone to enjoy. It is a beautiful natural resource that needs protecting.”
Michael Dart of Darts Farm said: “Our visitors love Charlie’s otter. Many of them are keen walkers, so having it here at Darts Farm is creating a lot of interest in the trail.
“Darts Farm is surrounded by the best agriculture and the most stunning environment. We care passionately about the local community and the landscape. The Moor Otters initiative is all about celebrating and protecting Dartmoor to keep it special, so it was a no brainer for us to get involved in the Moor Otters scheme.”
To learn more about the Moor Otters scheme, visit www.moorotters.co.uk/conservation. The online auction is open now until October 4th and for more information visit https://galabid.com/auction/otters.
For more information contact:
DCA Public Relations