Digging up the lawns at Newquay Zoo …

Richard's legs digging off the first turf for our wartime zoo garden

Richard's legs digging off the first turf for our wartime zoo garden

Today we dug up the lawn at Newquay Zoo (and the Zoo Director Stewart Muir said we could!)

Ok, so it was only a small section of  turf on the first section of our wartime zoo garden. Pictured is Zoo gardener Richard Jenkin (from the knees downwards – he’s quite camera shy!) removing the turf so on Sunday I can double trench the area ready for sowing our nursery of plants next week.

The turf has already been claimed by several keepers to go into our Squirrel Monkey enclosures, the rare new Visayan Warty Pig and our encounter rats. They will enjoy the scent, bug hunting and other enrichment possibilities of fresh turf! A bit of recycling already …

A fence to keep zoo visitors and free ranging Mara from trampilng and munching the plants is next.

Background Project note: Our World War Zoo research project and blog aims to uncover and collect many of the strange tales from this time not only for their own merit, but as a tribute to people of that difficult time and also for what lessons we can learn for our own future. There are lessons to be learnt for the coming days when our food and fuel, resources and climate may become scarce or more unpredictable.

 Our World War Zoo project will be a practical living memorial, almost history that you can eat in the form of a wartime “dig for victory garden” being recreated at Newquay Zoo in Cornwall. More news of this project follows over the next few weeks as we prepare the ground and get planting.

Watch this space!  see also www.newquayzoo.org.uk

Mark Norris, World War Zoo Project team, Newquay Zoo, Cornwall, UK

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