New wildlife gardening guide shows big potential of small spaces in Devon

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Fri, 08/28/2020 - 2:49pm

A new guide published today by the RSPB and Barratt Developments, which is currently building brand-new communities across Devon, shows how to turn balconies and small gardens into sanctuaries for wildlife.

The RSPB's ‘Welcome Wildlife into Your World' guide gives top tips and advice for bringing nature to your home, especially for people with a small amount of outdoor space such as a balcony or courtyard.

The leading housebuilder is building new homes at Tarka Ridge near Barnstaple, Embden Grange , Tavistock, Braid Park, Tiverton (from Barratt Homes and David Wilson...

How to tell if your great ape is pregnant...

How to tell if your great ape is pregnant...

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Sat, 03/21/2020 - 11:02am

The world’s number one selling brand in home pregnancy and fertility tests has donated pregnancy kits – for orang utans.

The Clearblue brand helps over 20 million women every year – and now, a couple of broody female Bornean orang utans… Keepers at Paignton Zoo in Devon approached Clearblue because they hope their orang utans will breed this year.

Senior Head Keeper of Mammals Rob Rouse said: “We now have a male who is old enough to breed. As part of the European Endangered species Programme for Bornean orang utans, we’d like them to be trying for babies, but we need to...

Charity zoos: business as usual

Charity zoos: business as usual

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Thu, 03/19/2020 - 11:06am

The three South West zoos run by regional conservation charity Wild Planet Trust have a defiant message for coronavirus: “It’s business as usual”.

Staff and volunteers are prepared for the impact of coronavirus, but at this time the charity zoos remain open. Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “We’re monitoring the situation closely and will naturally continue to follow the advice of Public Health England and the Government. We will close if directed or if we no longer have the people to operate safely, but right now WE ARE OPEN!

“Our three zoos, Paignton Zoo, Living...

What-what is a ne-ne?

What-what is a ne-ne?

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Sun, 03/15/2020 - 12:16pm

Two ne-ne have hatched at Paignton Zoo in Devon. But what-what is a ne-ne?

It’s a species of goose - one of the rarest in the world. Found on the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawaiian goose or ne-ne is named after its call, a soft neh-neh sound.

It’s officially classed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Paignton Zoo is home to eight adult ne-ne as well as these two goslings.

It’s believed that it was once common, but human activity put paid to that. The ne-ne is the official bird of the state of Hawaii.

Doh! Homer’s keepers are seeing double…

Doh! Homer’s keepers are seeing double…

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Thu, 03/05/2020 - 11:00am

Keepers at Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo, had to do a double-take recently when they discovered that European common lobster Homer had moulted for the first time in two years.

Aquarist Sam Worthington was particularly pleased, as it was the first time he’d moulted in her time at the charity zoo: “This exoskeleton is almost perfect - right down to the antennae and the eyes. Lobsters moult their protective outer shells in order to grow. It’s hard work – some die of exhaustion in the process. It’s made of chitin, a natural polymer related to glucose, which plays a similar role...

Working in partnership: Protecting Devon’s wildlife

Authored by lauranuttSLR
Posted: Thu, 02/20/2020 - 1:44pm

In the summer of 2019, Dr Ben Garnett, Senior Ecologist at SLR conducted some bat inspections of an NHS building in Exminster. During his visit he started speaking to one of the staff, Richard Wellington, who works for a not-for-profit NHS initiative called New Leaf.

New Leaf is part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service and supports mental health recovery in adults by teaching them new vocational skills and supporting them back into the world of work.

Their programme provides opportunities in a range of departments, from a commercial plant...

Paignton Zoo breeds beautiful endangered lizard

Paignton Zoo breeds beautiful endangered lizard

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Thu, 02/06/2020 - 6:54pm

Paignton Zoo in Devon has hatched three very special – and very beautiful - youngsters. Keepers are hand rearing a trio of Chinese crocodile lizards. In 2018, Paignton Zoo became the first major zoological collection in the UK to breed this species.

You may not be familiar with the Chinese crocodile lizard. It’s not surprising; this small, semiaquatic lizard is found only in the provinces of southern China and northern Vietnam. It’s listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to severe population declines and habitat threats.

They grow to around 40 to 46 centimetres (16...

East Budleigh churchyard, the 2019 winner of CPRE Devon's Best Churchyard competition

CPRE Devon invites entries from across the county for Devon’s Best Churchyard Competition 2020

Authored by Sharon Goble
Posted: Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:15am

The Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Devon) is seeking Devon’s Best Churchyard of 2020 and is inviting churches of all denominations to enter the competition by the end of March.

“Devon has hundreds of churchyards and they are beautiful places,” says Penny Mills, Director of CPRE Devon. “That’s why we believe in celebrating them and celebrating the people that look after them - because they are all volunteers and they do a fantastic job.”

“Over hundreds of years, Devon’s churchyards have come to form part of the county’s rich and varied landscape...

Trust's 2020 vision

Trust's 2020 vision

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Mon, 01/13/2020 - 12:43pm

Wild Planet Trust is the Devon-based charity that runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall, plus several nature reserves in Devon. While 2019 was not a great year for the charity, there are, says Trust boss Simon Tonge, some reasons for optimism:

“Last year was not the best for visitor numbers, though we still saw 700,000 people come to our three zoo sites. And it was the end of an era – Duchess, the last elephant in the South West of England, died.

“On the plus side, 2019 saw the lifting of TB restrictions at Paignton Zoo. Although it has...

All creatures great and very, very small

All creatures great and very, very small

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 01/10/2020 - 12:39pm

This is an Nguru spiny pygmy chameleon. It’s just a few centimetres long. What could it possibly have in common with a black rhino? The answer is – Wild Planet Trust. The charity behind Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts and Newquay Zoo carries out conservation work in Tanzania, home to both species.

This minute chameleon - a species new to Paignton Zoo and sadly not yet on show to guests – needs all the help it can get. It’s Critically Endangered, largely due to the ravenous demands of the international pet trade.

The chameleon is well named – it comes from the Nguru Mountains of...