11th January 2018

Moor Otter settles in to new home

The artists behind a special sculpture have paid a visit to see their creation in its new home.

‘What Dartmoor means to us’ was one of 100 life-size otter sculptures painted by local artists as part of the Moor Otters public arts initiative created by Dartmoor National Park.

South West Water was the main supporter of the fundraising campaign, and adopted ‘What Dartmoor means to us’ to display at its head office in Exeter, Devon.

It was designed and painted by Bryn Tomlinson, Jonathan James, Matthew Harrigan and Nichola Chislette, with support from Alison Dahill, Bev Norton, Sarah Tall and Stevie Borda, from the Yourway Support Group, Plymouth.

Alison Dahill from Yourway Support Group said: “Our studio in Plymouth is available to people with a learning disability and people with autism. When we were asked if we would like to enter into the Moor Otter project we sat down and thought about our memories of our visits to Dartmoor. Everyone contributed their ideas and the ‘What Dartmoor means to us’ otter was born.”

Dr Stephen Bird, Managing Director of South West Water, said: “We were delighted to support this important conservation project, which educated the public about fundamental conservation efforts and created positive opportunities for an enhanced visitor experience on Dartmoor.

“About 40% of our water supply comes from Dartmoor and, given that we work with nature to help deliver high quality drinking water to our customers, adopting ‘What Dartmoor means to us’ at the end of the campaign was a natural choice.

“I also loved the vibrant colours and the iconic images of Burrator Reservoir, Dartmoor wildlife and the thriving animal life in and around the River Tamar.”

Six customers and three members of staff from Yourway visited South West Water’s headquarters and posed for photos with the otter in its new home, before enjoying a guided tour of nearby Countess Wear Sewage Treatment Works.

Bryn Tomlinson, one of the artists from Yourway, said: “I can’t believe a whole year has gone by since we started painting the otter. We drew the details first and it took about two months to complete, with everyone doing a little bit and adding to it.

“People were impressed when we unveiled the otter in Ivybridge and it’s quite amazing to see it again.”

For further information please contact:

South West Water
Published: 11 January 2018