Alan launches Otter Trail to raise £100k for charity

Alan Cotton (pictured) with his painted otter

Alan Cotton (pictured) with his painted otter - Credit: Archant

An otter-themed charity art trail, spearheaded by Colaton Raleigh’s renowned artist Alan Cotton, has been launched.

Some 100 artists, eight of which are from East Devon, have painted their own fibre-glass figures, which will sit in Dartmoor National Park throughout the summer.

Maps of the ‘Otter Trail’ have been sent out to schools and it is hoped children can convince their parents and teachers to take them to the park.

In September, 30 of the otters will be auctioned off with money raised going to the national park. While in the park, the otters will sit on wooden plinths which have a coin slot for visitors to donate to the project.

Alan has set a fundraising target of £100,000, but is very confident the project will smash that barrier. He said: “There are lots of otters on Dartmoor – 80 per cent of the UK otter population is in Devon. The objective is simply to get more children visiting and exploring Dartmoor National Park with teachers and parents. I just want people to go onto Dartmoor.”

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Alan was contacted by Dave Southern, who ran a similar project, with hares, in Ireland.

The otters will have different themes, with one being dressed up as Sherlock Holmes and another as Darth Vader.

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Included in the 100 artists selected for the project are 20 ‘golden otters’, including Alan’s ‘An Otter for All Seasons’. Also among the 20 entries will be Jed Falby, of Budleigh, with ‘Flying Otter’, and James Lester, of Otterton, with ‘The Fisherman’. Tina Morgan, of Farringdon, has also been selected with her entry ‘Mr Chips’ and there will also be another painted otter by Penny Silverthorne from Colaton Raleigh.

These 20 entries will be joined by 10 others, selected by Alan from the remaining 80, to be auctioned at Bearnes Hampton and Littlewood auctioneers, in Exeter.

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