RARE images of an otter fishing in the River Salwarpe were captured by a Droitwich resident who was 'amazed' to see the animal up close.

On Sunday, Sarah Vigurs, 29, was in the garden at her dad's house in Vines Lane when a passer-by shouted to her that he had seen an otter in the river.

She rushed out onto the bridge in Vines Park and was lucky enough to spot the elusive creature as it hunted for fish.

"It was quite amazing to see it," said the hairdresser who lives in Meadow Road.

She continued: "My dad came out with me. He knew about the otter but he has never seen it. Everyone knows there is an otter but hardly anyone has seen it. Everyone was quite amazed.

"I feel privileged for seeing it really. Everyone says it is a rare sight."

Steven Bloomfield, a conservation officer at the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said the otter sighting was a sign of improved water quality of rivers and streams in Worcestershire.

He said: "The return of otters to water courses in Worcestershire is a fantastic conservation success. Improved water quality and improved feeding has allowed them to colonise water courses across the county.

"It is great that they have managed to re-colonise water courses. It is fantastic that people get to see them.

"It indicates good health of our rivers. They are top predators they eat fish, and in order for them to be utilising our watercourses there has to be fish living in them. There is still a long way to go and habitats can still be improved.

"They are still rarely seen. Although they are on pretty much every river and stream in the county there are still quite small numbers of them."

Mr Bloomfield encouraged anyone who spots an otter to report it to the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre at wbrc.org.uk

For more information about the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust visit wildlifetrusts.org