Newquay Zoo is remembering World War Two with a wartime garden project, launching on 30th and 31st August to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two in September.
On the Sunday 30th and Monday 31st as visitors will be able to:
- View the launch weekend of our Wartime Zoo Keeper’s Garden plot of fresh food for our animals and chat to staff involved in this project
- Visit and view our ‘Display Cases’ of 1940s memorabilia, posters, photos, toys and objects, including on our “Touch Time Table” with some handlable original and reproduction items ranging from gas masks and firefighting equipment to shrapnel, fragments of a V2 rocket, steel helmets, wartime newspapers and magazines.
- Follow an informative and entertaining World War Zoo quiz trail around the zoo, gardens and Village Farm section about wartime life for keepers, their families and zoo visitors.
- Experience the cramped conditions and listen to the sounds of the 1940s of a recreated air raid wardens post in a wartime zoo as part of our 1940s display.
Mark Norris Head of Education explains ‘‘Our Wartime Garden project reflects the Dig for Victory gardens that sprang up in unlikely places all over the country, including zoos. It will also act as a living memorial to the bravery of many ordinary men, women and children. Newquay Zoo already recycles, composts and think about food miles when sourcing food for the café, and now the Victory Garden will demonstrate how keepers would grow food for the animals.’’
Staff at the zoo are hoping for a good crop of vegetables before the weather turns!
To bring the period alive for families and schools visiting the zoo, staff members have been collecting wartime memorabilia and evocative items from everyday life of keepers, families, evacuated children and zoo visitors. It is hoped that visitors will contribute their stories and experiences for the archive as they visit the zoo.
You can keep up to date with developments on blog at https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/
Notes for Editors
World War Zoo
World War Zoo is about looking back and looking forward, learning from the past to prepare for our future. The project developed from a chance discovery that zoos were closed in the early weeks of World War Two, and even though they were re-opened and supported as a way to boost moral, they struggled throughout. This was a time when food was short, and animals didn’t get ration books. Staffing was low with keepers being called up to fight, and repairs were difficult.