Conservation work to encourage otters back to the River Stour in south Suffolk is paying off.
The animals' rapid decline in the 1960s is being reversed
The Dedham Vale, Stour Valley project, which has overseen the work, said at one site near Nayland there have been frequent sightings of adults and young.
Volunteers have created artificial holts on land which has been put aside by private landowners.
The otter declined in the 1960s because of a loss of habitat, polluted water and other changes to their environment
The project has pledged to continue the work to encourage the otter to spread its range along the Stour by building artificial otter holts or refuges along the river.
These have been built using a design not dissimilar to a low slung wooden cabin.
Groups throughout the valley have been building them, including parties from local businesses, community service volunteers, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and Stour Valley Volunteers.