WINCHESTER will be thanking its key workers with a free trail later this year.

The city's Business Improvement District (BID) has announced it will host a Covid-safe Otter Trail.

Every participating shop and business will display a 'key worker otter' in its window and a brightly coloured sticker showing a QR code.

Participants can download a map from the BID's website from Friday May 21 2021 to use to help them explore the city centre.

Sarah Davis, Business Improvement District Manager at the BID said: "We are so pleased and proud to be able to deliver this trail that celebrates the extraordinary lengths that key workers have gone to over the past year as well as raising funds for such an important new local charity."

There will be 30 otters in total located around the city, each with their own identity from a variety of different key worker roles including doctors, nurses, teachers, police, military and many more.

The event will run from Saturday May 22 to Wednesday June 30 2021.

Participants, businesses and the wider local community will be able to bid to buy an individual Otter via an online auction, accessed through the Winchester Hospice website.

The funds raised will be equally split between hospice appeal and the events company.

Nick Vaughan, chair of Winchester Hospice Fundraising Charity, said: “Thank you to our friends at Winchester BID for supporting Winchester Hospice through the Key Worker Otter Trail. This is a brilliant idea, and it is a great tribute to the key workers who have made such a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Thank you to all the Winchester businesses who support The Otter Trail, and we look forward to raising vital funds for the Hospice when we auction off the otters at the end of the event.

"The conversion of Burrell House into Winchester Hospice is going well, as is the fundraising campaign, and we are looking forward to being able to open the doors of Winchester Hospice in the summer.”