Caiman Capers at Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay

Posted on Friday 9th February, 2018

Caiman Capers at Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay

There is a brand new arrival at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay. A male Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman which has been nicknamed ‘The Colonel’ by the staff has taken up residency in the aquariums Amazonian exhibit.

Donated by John Harrison of Lost World Reptiles, the young caiman joins the aquariums existing female Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman, Nibbles who is 16 years his senior. When carefully introduced under the watchful eyes of Blue Reef’s trained aquarists it seemed to be love at first sight for the pair. They are getting on really well and are often spotted snuggling up together by the exhibits waterfall.

“As soon as he got into the water he went straight over to Nibbles who accepted him instantly which was great to see. Often upon introductions there can be territorial arguments between the reptiles, but not with this pair. We are now working on target feeding the caiman so that we can monitor his food intake.” said Jade Hammond aquarist at the Blue Reef Aquarium.

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman or Paleosuchus palpebrosus are the smallest species of the crocodilian family with a total length averaging 1.4 m for males and up to 1.2 m for females.

Their size makes them desirable within the illegal pet trade where they are smuggled from South America. They are an extremely dangerous animal and owners are required to have a ‘Dangerous Wild Animal Licence’ and strict conditions to keep them.  They are best kept by zoo and aquarium professionals.

At the Blue Reef Aquarium this February half-term visitors can learn all about the caiman and his friends with a ‘Who Am I?’ quiz and a ‘Lost Caiman’ trail that they can take part in as well as frequent daily talks and feeds featuring all the amazing creatures.

A special Rocky Shore Explore Education event will take place on Friday 16th February where students from the Applied Marine Zoology degree course at Cornwall College Newquay will be displaying all things rocky shore and holding a craft workshop where the kids can make their very own rocky shore in a box.


New Newquay Zoo experience to feed critically endangered monkeys

Posted on Wednesday 7th February, 2018

New Newquay Zoo experience to feed critically endangered monkeys

Newquay Zoo is launching a unique experience to get people closer than ever to some rare and charismatic monkeys. Guests can now gain one on one interaction with the charity Zoo’s Critically Endangered Sulawesi crested black macaques.

Visitors will be met by primate keepers, then go behind the scenes to get close to the Sulawesi crested black macaques, learn about the struggles they face in the wild and then feed some of them.

Senior primate keeper Dave Rich explained: “We hope this new feeding experience will raise awareness for this Critically Endangered species. These guys are in real danger of becoming extinct, so the more we can do to highlight the issues that they are facing in the wild the better. This experience is very different from any other that we offer here at Newquay Zoo and we hope it will prove very popular. The feedback we have received so far has been really positive.”

In the wild Sulawesi black crested macaque live only on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The animal is hunted for food and is often kept as a pet. Newquay Zoo supports Selamatkan Yaki, a programme that aims to help save these rare monkeys in the wild. Over the past 30 years they have faced a decline in population of as much as 90% and as a result have been classed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.


Historic deal for Eden in China featuring world’s largest indoor waterfall : Agreement signed during PM’s visit to China

Posted on Wednesday 7th February, 2018

Historic deal for Eden in China featuring world’s largest indoor waterfall : Agreement signed during PM’s visit to China

David Harland, Eden Project International Limited chief executive, signed an historic agreement with Zhao Lintao of China Jinmao Holdings Limited, Eden’s partners in the landmark new attraction in the coastal city of Qingdao. Zhao Lintao is general manager of Eden Qingdao.

The agreement sets out the terms of the future development of the Eden Project in Qingdao, including design, construction and operation of the attraction. The signing ceremony took place at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing.

Eden Qingdao will be themed around water and will feature the world’s largest indoor waterfall, which is set to be more than 50m high – roughly the same height as Niagara Falls on the border between the USA and Canada.

The project is due to cost £150m and will create 80 jobs. Construction is due to begin this year (2018) and the project will open to the public in 2020.

David Harland has been travelling with the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox and other UK business leaders as part of the three-day trade delegation to China to promote the Mrs May’s vision for a “global Britain”.

David Harland said: “This is a huge development in the history of the Eden Project and the biggest step we have yet taken towards opening an Eden Project in China.

“We are very excited about the possibilities for this attraction and the city of Qingdao and are very pleased to be working with our friends and colleagues at China Jinmao Holdings Limited.”

The agreement follows the creation in July last year (2017) of Eden Project International Limited (EPIL), a company formed to drive the establishment of Eden Projects around the world. Eden Project Co-founder Sir Tim Smit is executive chairman of EPIL.

EPIL is a new entity formed as part of the Eden Trust to partner with like-minded organisations to deliver the Eden mission and to deliver social and ecological benefits during a time of global environmental decline and social disruption.

The new projects will focus on the big global challenges as defined by their specific localities - such as soil, water, food and biodiversity - and will work in collaboration with a wide variety of organisations, companies, communities, research and conservation groups.

Eden Project International is currently working on four projects in China and others in Australia and New Zealand. Other overseas projects, including some in the Middle East and North America, are due to be announced in the coming months.

Eden is working on the China, Australia and New Zealand projects with Grimshaw Architects, who designed the world-famous Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes at the Eden Project.

Among Eden's proposed projects in China is one in the historic city of Yan’an, famed for being the end of Chairman Mao’s Long March and north of the Xian, home of the terracotta warriors.

This project will explore the theme of land and soil and its importance for life on earth. The project will showcase ecological restoration as a vital tool for the future and restore a degraded site just outside the city into a fertile valley full of flowers, agriculture, craft and education.

Eden has announced that it will undertake pre-planning and early feasibility consultancy work for a project in Jizhou (near the city of Tianjin) in a former limestone mine with the ultimate aim of regenerating the landscape and surrounding area.

Eden is also working on a project based at Sheng Lu Vineyard in Beijing. The aim is to create a place to reconnect with nature. Education and training programmes will run from here, offering the chance for children and adults to play in natural environment.

Eden has been asked to provide support in turning the vineyard into a profitable and educational visitor attraction as well as supporting education and offering horticultural and landscaping advice.

The Eden Project is due to welcome its 20 millionth visitor during 2018 and, since opening in March 2001, has generated £1.7bn for the regional economy.


St Austell Brewery Band Nights return for a second season

Posted on Tuesday 30th January, 2018

St Austell Brewery Band Nights return for a second season

If you’re looking for a musical treat to beat the winter blues then St Austell Brewery will get you off on the right note. Beer and live music are a perfect match and last year saw the introduction of Brewery Beats at the Visitor Centre - a live music event every month. Now, due to popular demand, they’re back again for 2018.

The new series of live acts showcasing local talent kicks off with well-known Queen tribute act the Good Old Fashioned Lover Boys on February 16th – a perfect accompaniment to Valentine’s Day celebrations.

On March 9th, five-piece prog rock outfit Nervosa will own the stage with their soundscapes and driving rhythms, while Josh Curnow, the husky voiced country, pop, rock singer and song writer from Wadebridge will be live on 13th April.

For a lad once told by a music teacher that he would never make it as a musician, his music career has blossomed since his Britain’s Got Talent appearance, so why not come along and see for yourself how Josh is getting on in the up-close and personal ambience of the Brewery’s band room.

A big night out is guaranteed on May 18th, when your £5 entry will buy you a triple whammy, with Honey supported by Little Clone Humans andSunbruise on stage.

The first half of the 2018 season will finish on a very high note as Led Zeppelin tribute act Dazed and Confused send you on a stairway to heaven with their high voltage sound on June 8th.

Same as last year, each of the music nights kicks off at 8pm with refreshments available across the evening in the Hicks Bar and tickets are still available at the amazing low cost of £5 for each event, available from the Visitor Centre in Trevarthian Road and online at

For more information, call 01726 66022 or visit

Full first half 2018 Schedule:

February 16th – The Good Old Fashioned Lover Boys

March 9th – Nervosa

April 13th – Josh Curnow

May 18th – Honey supported by Little Clone Humans and Sunbruise

June 8th – Dazed and Confused


Titanic Stories at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Posted on Tuesday 30th January, 2018

Titanic Stories at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM CORNWALL proudly announces a major new exhibition,
TITANIC STORIES, which will examine the stories of the Titanic’s momentous sinking on 15 April
1912, re-appraising many of the myths, controversies and assumptions that still linger around one
of the most well-known historic events of the 20th century. It will be on display at the exhibition
galleries at the Museum in Falmouth, Cornwall, from 8 March 2018 until 7 January 2019.
Working in collaboration with private collectors from overseas and national museums in the UK,
‘Titanic Stories’ presents rare and never-seen-before objects and items, as well as retelling the
personal stories of many of the survivors, victims and descendants of the Titanic disaster,
including those from Cornwall. The exhibition will offer new contextual information around the
iconic sinking and what happened next.
Did the crew respond with a ‘women and children first’ rescue operation? How many were
actually on the ship when it sank? Did the ship’s band really play ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ to
their watery end? Could more have been saved? Was there really a second ship nearby?
Focusing on the remarkably rapid commercialisation of the disaster, the exhibition will also offer
an in-depth exploration of the tragic event’s quick rise in status to one of the most globally talked
about and commodified events in history, from how the news initially broke and was reported by
international media (a subject of early ‘fake news’ stories), to the first souvenir postcards
produced days after the sinking, the books written and film adaptations made within weeks, and
the commemorative music and memorials, as well as more contemporary ephemera and
artefacts following the wreck’s discovery in September 1985.
International cinema adaptations of the Titanic story will be on display, from a Nazi propaganda
film, to the award-winning A Night to Remember, each represented in the exhibition by their
original film posters, production stills and more. Iconic items from James Cameron’s 1997 
blockbuster will also feature, including one of Kate Winslet’s celebrated costumes and other
props and pieces from the epic production.
Alongside documentary and personal photographs, letters, newspaper cuttings, compelling items
such as a handkerchief waved from a lifeboat and a First-Class passenger list found in the pocket
of a victim, will explore the intimate items left behind from the historic voyage.
In addition to the many historic objects, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall will also
commission a number of large-scale new installation pieces which will go on display in its
galleries, including an exact, life-size replica of Lifeboat 13, made by specialist boat builders in
Falmouth (currently being constructed, in a workshop gallery in the museum, on public view) as
well as working with a Cornish-based artist to create a visually-stunning representation of the
iceberg suspended over the lifeboat. Created in partnership with members of the local
community, the sculpture will be formed from 2208 monkey’s fist knots, each representing a
survivor or victim of the tragedy.
The exhibition also contextualises the Titanic’s sailing as a migration story, full of passengers
leaving their homes to start a new life. It will take this theme and explore resonances with current
migration stories, including a small commissioned series of photographic portraits, telling the
stories of immigrants, who have journeyed to Cornwall across seas, to begin a new life.
Guest Co-Curator Eric Kentley stated:
“Curator Claes-Göran Wetterholm and I met on the 1994 expedition to the Titanic wreck site,
retrieving artefacts from the seabed, two and a half miles underwater. What fascinates us both is
how the memory of this ship - and this ship alone - has become so engrained in our culture, how
myths have been built around it, and how each generation retells the story. Our exhibition
examines how, through a combination of commerce and myth-making, a tragedy was cleverly
transformed into a triumph”.
Richard Doughty, Director of National Maritime Museum Cornwall stated:
“The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is best known for its collection of small boats, so why
are we telling a story about what was in 1912 the world's largest ship? It's because everything we
know, or think we know, comes from the 706 people who left the ship in the lifeboats. Titanic
Stories is a small boat story.
Following on from our previous exhibitions such as Viking Voyagers, and Captain Bligh we take a
globally important story, and explore the Cornwall context, in this case the Cornish passengers
and crew, and we continue to grow our reputation as a Museum that brings ancient artefacts from
national and international collections, the like of which have never been seen in Cornwall and
rarely seen outside of London and the UK’s other metropolitan centres before.”
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