National Tree Week - from 23rd November to 1st December – is the UK's largest annual tree celebration, and marks the start of the winter tree planting season. One locally-based conservation charity is using the occasion to shine a spotlight on some of the many trees in its care.
Wild Planet Trust is the conservation charity behind Paignton Zoo. The zoo is more famous for animals than trees, although it is pleasantly-wooded. Often overlooked are the Clennon local nature reserve adjoining the zoo and the Primley public open space across the road, both managed by the Trust.
Two vets from Indonesia are the first to benefit from a unique new scholarship programme run by a Cornish vet charity. OVAID – Orang utan Veterinary Aid – is run by Nigel and Sara Hicks, based in Launceston. They help hard-pressed orang utan rescue centres and sanctuaries with veterinary support and donations of equipment.
The new OVAID Bronwyn Scholarship meant that two South East Asian vets were able to make the 12,000 kilometre (7,500 mile) journey to the UK to exchange techniques and information on the care and welfare of orang utans.
Three new animal experts have boosted the team at Paignton Zoo this summer.
Dr Kirsten Pullen, the new Director of Conservation and Education, started in June.
Curator of Mammals Lisa Britton took up her post in July. And Jay Redbond, Assistant Curator, Lower Vertebrates & Invertebrates, arrived in August. Together they bring nearly 60 years of professional experience to the charity.
England’s chances in the Rugby World Cup would be greatly improved if they had this chap in the line-up.
Male Western lowland gorilla Pertinax lives at Paignton Zoo in Devon. He‘s around 6 feet from head to toe – modest for a professional rugby player these days, but he weighs in at a hefty 190 kilos - and it’s pretty much all muscle. At 37 he’s a bit of a senior now, but even the All Blacks might think twice about tackling him…
Swimming trunks, a fishing rod and part of a car exhaust system were among the surprising items found on the latest beach clean organised by staff at Living Coasts.
The charity zoo’s Events Coordinator Hayley Gibson said: “We had 72 volunteers on the day, which was fantastic, and we collected 4 large bin bags full of litter. Goodrington is a fairly well-kept beach, but if you look beneath the surface you will find lots of rubbish!
There are baby red ruffed lemurs at Paignton Zoo – and just look at them!
The charity zoo is a professional science and conservation body working internationally to help save these Critically Endangered primates – but sometimes all the serious stuff is pushed to one side by incredibly cute baby animals.
Head Keeper of Mammals Owen Taylor said: “When we were sure she was close to giving birth, we put some ropes up at the indoor viewing area to give her some additional privacy and the best opportunity of raising her offspring.”
People with learning disabilities are tackling obesity by making YouTube cooking videos as part of a pioneering new project from the disability charity United Response.
CookABILITY, which launched in Paignton, Devon, aims to encourage people with learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome and autism to cook for themselves and eat healthy food.
Research* shows disabled people are more likely to have poor diets and not exercise enough. In fact, over 80% of adults with learning disabilities fail to meet official minimum recommended levels for physical activity.
Staff and volunteers at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park have been left shocked by the sudden death of male giraffe Yoda. The 14-year-old northern giraffe was found collapsed in the giraffe house early this morning.
Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “This has come as a huge shock. He was a noble animal, one of the best-known and best-loved characters in the Zoo. There was no warning. People are in tears.