Blogs for May 2017

Blue Reef Aquarium gets a taste of the orient!

Posted on Thursday 25th May, 2017

Blue Reef Aquarium gets a taste of the orient!

A young male Chinese Water Dragon has been added to the displays at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium.

The vibrant green water dragon goes on display in time for the Whitsun bank holiday and can be enjoyed by all aquarium visitors this half-term.

The oriental dragon’s new enclosure features natural theming with a waterfall and his very own pool to dive into.

Displays supervisor Lara Heaney says “The dragon was a little shy when we first introduced him to his new home but he is exploring and already has a favourite spot. He likes to sit on the top of the waterfall and dip his tail into the flowing water.”

Cornwall’s largest aquarium offers a large variety of aquatic species from tropical sharks, a loggerhead sea turtle, stingray, seahorses, a giant Pacific octopus and hundreds of tropical and freshwater fish.

Blue Reef visitors can also get involved as the aquarium is running a competition for the public to help give their newest resident a name.
The exotic water dragon is a great addition to their displays and gives visitors a chance to see the species up close.

A male water dragon or scientifically named Physignathus cocincinus, can reach a length of 1 metre and weigh about 1 kg. Two-thirds of the length of a water dragon all tail. They are native to China and South-eastern Asia where they are usually found along the banks of freshwater lakes and streams.

As well as the exciting new dragon, the aquarium is also running a pirate themed week over half term. There is a lost treasure trail with gold coins hidden amongst the displays and lots of fun pirate themed activities for the visitors to get involved in.

Visit the Blue Reef Aquarium here.


Fabulous freakshakes to drive your taste-buds wild at Eden this half-term

Posted on Wednesday 24th May, 2017

Fabulous freakshakes to drive your taste-buds wild at Eden this half-term

TV chef James Strawbridge has invented a range of new shakes with delicious Cornish produce and some surprise superfoods to tempt the taste-buds of Eden Project visitors next week (May 27 – June 4). 

The Hungry Sailors presenter’s ingenious new freakshakes have been inspired by Cornwall’s great produce and some of the exotic foods grown at Eden.

Freakshakes are a cross between a drink and dessert, often topped with cream, cake or sauce. The lavish milkshake is an Australian invention but has become popular in the UK in recent months and James has been working with Trewithen Dairy on his own unique range.

His healthier concoctions feature mouth-watering ingredients such as Cornish strawberries and vanilla ice cream as well as some unusual additions including turmeric and beetroot juice.

Made especially for Eden is The Eden, a tropical, frothy mix of banana, pineapple, honey and turmeric topped with whipped cream, coconut flakes and broken meringue.

James said: “Cornwall has a lot in common with Australia – we’ve taken the idea of the freakshake and given it our own fabulous twist. Yes, we’ve had juices and milkshakes before but nothing quite as ‘wow!’ as this.

“The core of The Eden shake is made up of some really healthy ingredients inspired by the great tropical vibe of the Rainforest Biome.”

James visited Eden to give hospitality team members a masterclass in how to create the perfect freakshake.

Also on the menu at Eden next week are:

The Cream Tea – made with blended strawberries and Cornish clotted cream, topped off with half a scone spread with jam and cream and garnished with granola and fresh strawberry slices.

The Red Velvet – blended with beetroot juice, chocolate powder and raspberries and sprinkled with chocolate chips and blowtorched marshmallows.

The Clint Eastwood – featuring brewed and chilled coffee sponge and finished with whipped cream, sponge biscuits and burnt candied orange zest.

Trewithen Dairy Managing Director Francis Clarke said: “We love to see Trewithen products being used in new and exciting ways. Our milk, cream and yoghurt are totally natural products, whizzed into tasty concoctions to delight Eden’s visitors – what more could you want?”

Andrew Holden, Eden’s Procurement Director, said: “The team at Trewithen Dairy have been supplying Eden’s dairy needs from the day we opened our doors to the public, so to have James help us whip up something as new and exciting as this with their quality milk and cream is a great way to celebrate our lasting relationship.”

The freakshakes will be available to buy every day during half-term at the Freaky Marquee in front of the Mediterranean Biome.

See full details of ticket prices on


Pedro and Perdy the Penguins chicks at Paradise Park

Posted on Wednesday 10th May, 2017

Pedro and Perdy the Penguins chicks at Paradise Park

Two very cute penguin chicks at Paradise Park are being hand-reared by keepers.

Keeper Bev Tanner explains “Pedro and Perdy are being hand-reared as often in a nest with two chicks only one is successfully raised by the parents. As this is an Endangered species it is very worthwhile for us to take the second chick and rear it to increase our flock.”  

Watch a cute video clip of these adorable penguins here

As the two chicks grown they will gradually be introduced to the main colony. If the weather is fine then they will spend time in the nursery area near the penguin pool. It will be July when they may have their first swim, and then visitors will be able to see them out and about at the twice daily penguin feeding and talk times.

When chicks are in the nest they have fluffy grey down feathers. It takes about three months for them to leave their nests, and by this time they have develop the waterproof plumage they need for swimming. Juveniles are grey and white, only developing the distinctive black and white penguin plumage at a year old. The pattern of dark speckles on the adult lower chest, are unique to each penguin, identifying each individual.

For more info on Paradise Park please click here

High Commissioner opens Eden’s exotic new Western Australia Garden

Posted on Tuesday 9th May, 2017

High Commissioner opens Eden’s exotic new Western Australia Garden

Australian High Commissioner to the UK Alexander Downer has praised the Eden Project for introducing visitors to some of the State’s stunning plant life.

Earlier today (Tuesday, May 9) Mr Downer officially opened the new Western Australia Garden based in Eden’s Mediterranean Biome.

The spectacular new exhibit features an array of exotic plants including grass trees, kangaroo paws and wax flowers.

It celebrates the amazing flora and habitats of the south west of the vast state where plants thrive on some of the earth’s oldest and most infertile soil.

Eden has collaborated with Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth, Western Australia, to recreate the region’s iconic habitats. 

His Excellency Mr Downer said: “We’re 14,000 kilometres from Western Australia and it is great to see all these Australian plants growing so healthily in such a fantastic place as Eden.

“What is unique about Australia is our flora and fauna. As the world’s smallest continent and largest island we have developed our own biodiversity.

“We have this wonderful display of Western Australia’s biodiversity here at Eden. The million visitors who pass through here every year will have a chance to understand that extraordinary characteristic of Western Australia.”

The Western Australia Garden is the biggest-ever transformation of the Mediterranean Biome since Eden’s opening in 2001.

Supported by Tourism Western Australia, the garden has three sections.

The Jarrah forest on sloped beds highlights the role of fire in maintaining habitat.

A central bed showcases ‘wow’ plants such as wax flowers, everlastings and a collection of kangaroo paws.

The third section is known as Kwongan and includes iconic endemic plants such as Chamelaucium, Grevilleas, Banksias, Acacias and Eucalyptus.

Gordon Seabright, Eden’s Managing Director, said: “We have had fantastic help from Kings Park and Botanic Garden who have worked with our expert horticulture team to develop this beautiful garden.

“Western Australia has unique flora and an incredible set of cultural stories around their intriguing plant adaptations. We are proud of our partnership and the beautiful new displays that bring Western Australia's flora to life at Eden.”

For more on the new Western Australia Garden go to

Photograph: Eden Mediterranean Biome Lead Horticulturist Catherine Cutler and Australian High Commissioner to the UK Alexander Downer in the new Western Australia Garden

Main photograph: From left to right: Mrs Kate Atkins, Eden’s Executive Vice Chairman and Co-founder Tim Smit, Agent General at the Western Australia Government Office in Europe John Atkins, Australian High Commissioner to the UK Alexander Downer, Edward Benthall, Chairman of the Eden Trust, Gordon Seabright, Eden’s Managing Director, at the opening of Eden’s new Western Australia Garden



What's new at Lappa Valley Steam Railway for 2017!

Posted on Wednesday 3rd May, 2017

What's new at Lappa Valley Steam Railway for 2017!

Experience the new additions for 2017!

NEW diesel engine 'City of Derby', NEW rolling stock, NEW Play Fort at East Wheal Rose and the NEWLY extended play area at Benny Halt with the NEW climbing frame and NEW ride on trains, meaning more fun before you even board the train! Do you need more of an excuse to visit Lappa Valley!

If you go down to the woods you might just get a surprise! Bring a blanket and your favourite teddy bear and join the staff for thrie Teddy Bears Picnic on Sunday 21 May. Along with all of the great activities you will find the Lappa Valley Teddy Bear driving the 125 train on the Woodland Railway! Also included in the ticket price will be a Bear Hunt and a chance for children to draw their favourite teddy and WIN a great prize.

We all know how hard dad’s work for us all year, so why not treat him to a day out at Lappa Valley Steam Railway for FREE! Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June -  Fathers’ Weekend. Father’s or Grandfather’s get FREE entry with any full paying adult or child. *Not valid with any other offer, discount voucher or Annual Pass.

For more info on Lappa Valley Steam Railway please click here


Tawny Frogmouth chicks, hand-reared by keepers at Paradise Park

Posted on Tuesday 2nd May, 2017

Tawny Frogmouth chicks, hand-reared by keepers at Paradise Park

This youtube video clip shows the two Tawny Frogmouth chicks at 23 days old, being hand-reared by keepers >>

This unusual bird of prey is native to Australia, and they are often mistaken for owls. Keeper Sarah-Jayne Cooke explains “The parents have sadly not been very successful in the past at raising their own chicks. So the decision was made to hand-rear these two to give them the best chance of survival. They are just 4 weeks old, but doing very well, and will soon lose the remaining fluffy bits as their adult feathers come through.”

Tawny frogmouths form partnerships for life and roost out in the open relying on camouflage for defence and build their nests in tree forks. At night, tawny frogmouths emit a deep and continuous “oom-oom-oom” grunting at a frequency of about 8 calls in 5 seconds. The steady grunts are often repeated a number of times throughout the night. Tawny frogmouths also make a soft, breathy “whoo-whoo-whoo” call at night of lower intensity but at the same frequency. Before and during breeding season, males and females perform duets consisting of call sequences that either alternate between partners or are performed simultaneously. Tawny frogmouths also make distinctive drumming noises during breeding season.

Visit the website for more information on Paradise Park


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