Animalia

Return of the Dartford warbler

ONE of Britain’s rarest birds, the dimunitive Dartford warbler, which was threatened with extinction, with just a handful of pairs in Dorset in the 1960s, has made an impressive come-back, with 183 pairs recorded on RSPB reserves in 2021. The recently launched RSPB Ecology Report records this good news, which is attributed to concerted conservation…

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The Keeper of Stories

SALLY Page could almost have called her debut novel The Terrier’s Tale rather than The Keeper of Stories. A “small, untidy fox terrier” is almost as important as the central character, Janice, the cleaner, whose story is told in this enchanting, funny and touching book. Janice sees herself as invisible to her clients and that…

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Good news on the peregrine cam

WE all need some good news, even if it is only very small – an egg. Salisbury Cathedral’s peregrines have laid their first egg – and within a few days there may be more. The female returned to the nest just before 7pm on Saturday 19th March and laid the egg just before 8. She…

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Peregrine cam is back at the Cathedral

THE peregrines are back on their lofty perch at Salisbury Cathedral – and the webcam which allows us to see them has now gone live. They’ve been hanging around the tower for a while and have been seen mating, so the signs are good. Last year the first egg was laid on 15th March so…

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Grant for Ratty at sanctuary

SOUTH Somerset District Council has awarded Ferne Animal Sanctuary a community grant of £950 as part of a £2,950 project to reintroduce water voles – the beloved “Ratty” of Wind in the Willows – to the sanctuary. Water voles are endangered in the United Kingdom and urgent action is needed to ensure the long-term survival…

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Beavers and hippos share Longleat lake

IT is 55 years since Longleat became world famous as the first drive through safari park outside Africa. This year the Wiltshire wildlife park has created an even more unusual record as being the first place in the UK where hippopotamus and beavers are sharing the same habitat in more than 100,000 years. It is believed…

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Chickens befriend emu chick

AN unusual friendship has developed at Longleat where an emu chick which  was rejected by its parents and a flock of farmyard chickens. The two-month old chick is being reared by keepers who have named it Bueno. It is the first to have been successfully reared at the Wiltshire safari park. Keepers initially cared for…

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New kids on Longleat’s block

VISITORS returning to Longleat on Monday will have the chance to meet the new kids Meet Longleat’s new kids on the blockon the block – a pair of tiny African pygmy goats called Piglet and Peewee. The enchanting female kids were born at the end of March and are now making themselves at home in…

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Sea Arch supports seahorse charity

DEVON-based alcohol-free spirits company Sea Arch Drinks is working with The Seahorse Trust to help boost awareness of the charity and raise much-needed funds to support its research and conservation work. Both based in Devon, Sea Arch and The Seahorse Trust share a passion for the coast and a commitment to protecting the natural world….

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Love is in the air for these tiny foxes

LONGLEAT keepers are hoping love is in the ear for a pair of the world’s smallest foxes. These super-cute Fennec foxes, Anthony and Zuri, are part of an international breeding programme for the diminutive canines at the safari park. Reaching a maximum length of under 40 cms and weighing less than two kilogrammes, the fennec…

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