See our inner city otters

Close up of otter on the River Itchen

Although Winchester City Mill is in the centre of Winchester, it's a location remarkably alive with wildlife, including our famous otters.

Reintroducing otters 

In 1994, three otters were reintroduced to the River Itchen. Since then, these rare and elusive creatures have thrived. Regular sightings followed, in particular near the City Mill. In the late 1990s, a joint project between us and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust was set up to install observation equipment.

Otter watch at Winchester City Mill

The otters’ regular adventures are captured by a series of motion activated cameras that record them as they emerge from under the Mill to mark territory during hunts for food. Visitors can enjoy clips from regularly updated archive footage and view the live feed from our cameras along the river.

Otters are so often spotted at the City Mill that TV and wildlife programmes have filmed with us or featured our footage. These include Country File, Spring Watch, The One Show and Panorama.

What other wildlife can you spot at the Mill?

The crystal-clear waters of the river Itchen teem with trout and even occasional salmon. Water voles are regularly spotted, kingfishers fish off the walls outside and a family of grey wagtails feeds on abundant mayfly and other insects in the garden.

Pen and ink drawing of Winchester City Mill's island garden wildlife
Pen and ink drawing of Winchester City Mill's island garden wildlife