Newquay Zoo's time at Royal Cornwall Show
Published: Jun 15, 2018A diary of what we got up to at Royal Cornwall Show
My name is Beth I am the events and marketing assistant at Newquay Zoo. I was one of the bright faces that you all saw at the Royal Cornwall Show this year. I kept a diary of the show so you can read all about what we got up to. So here goes…
The theme of our stand this year was marine plastics. This is a hot topic at the moment and one that everyone should be on board with. Newquay Zoo along with our sister sites, Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts, are doing all we can to reduce the amount of plastics we use. As a result, we have removed single use plastics at our sites. We also hold beach cleans throughout the year to encourage people to clean up the coastlines and save our beautiful beaches and wonderful wildlife.
In keeping with the theme, we hosted educational talks and games regarding the importance of recycling. We incorporated sunflower seeds as a sustainable giveaway to visitors. Retail brought sweet gifts which were all in biodegradable packaging. We also had a very snazzy back wall piece which highlighted our ‘Turn the Tide’ campaign slogan. Of course, our stand wouldn’t of been complete without our entourage of lovable animals, including our royal python, leopard tortoises, Swinhoe’s striped squirrels, a selection of bugs and not forgetting our recent addition, the baby (not so baby) armadillo.
Day one – the almighty set up. So it was finally here, the biggest event in our calendar, Royal Cornwall Show. With help from our sister site Paignton we gathered our troops to load all methods of transport up to the hinges. Lugging gazebos, animal enclosures, mascots and boxes of sweets, it was clear that none of us needed to go to the gym that night! With everything packed and ready to go we all tootled off to the showground to begin the daunting task of putting our bits and bobs together and making the stand Royal Cornwall Show ready.
With plenty of hands on board the set up process was fairly painless and we even made it back home in time for tea.
First day of the Royal Cornwall show. Early starts for all as we all met at the zoo for 7:00am sharp! Grabbing a few last minute necessities we headed on over to Wadebridge for the big opening. Full of tea and toast we welcomed our first visitors to the tent. Despite it being the first day of the show and the fact that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were about, the show ground seemed pretty calm. We did try to find and coax the Royals to the Newquay Zoo stand and get them to handle one of our ROYAL pythons for some photo opps and witty captions... Unfortunately, security was too tight and we did not manage to grab their attention. Onwards and upwards to day two!
Ready, set and go for another hectic day. First things first we had to schedule in a cheeky Facebook live to show people what we had going on. If you missed it then I have linked it to this Facebook post...enjoy!
From the get go we had a constant stream of people all after a sneak peek of the animals we had brought to the show. Despite most of the animals raring to go for day two, there were a lazy pair of six banded armadillos who weren’t quite ready to welcome guests and who only eventually appeared mid-afternoon (tut, tut)! All was forgiven though as our education team delivered some very interesting and informative talks on our selection of bugs (a number of stick insects, the Madagascan hissing cockroach and giant African millipede) and our royal pythons. We even hosted talks on our animals and conservation work inside the countryside ring during the day, presenting a handful of animals to get up close and personal to.
Besides animal talks the education team also encouraged people to take part in our recycling game. This helped to inform participants of everyday items which may not be seen as recyclable. We also had a sandpit outside the entrance to the tent. This was filled with weathered beach plastics for people to sort through and disperse into our recyclable bags. However, as the day progressed it was clear that the sandpit was more of an attraction for young children to build their best sand castles, which kept them very entertained.
The last day - feelings of sadness and relief as we all began to feel a bit delirious with the lack of sleep. Most of us were happy to drink multiple cups of coffee and blast the Lion King playlist to prepare us for the rest of the day. Our head keeper Dave Rich however, decided to try our very fetching Ziggy the Zebra mascot. If you were at the showground early enough you may have spotted him running wild.
A proven hit seemed to be our sunflower seed giveaway/competition to win an animal experience at the zoo. We got people to use our branded Newquay Zoo stamp to stamp a little envelope choosing their favourite colour. We then filled their seed packets with the sunflower seeds and provided them with a little biodegradable pot to start the growing process. We witnessed a lot of fighting talk from families which in turn prompted personal household sunflower growing competitions. Let’s just say we are very eager to see all of your beautiful sunflower pics and hope there are no family feuds in store!
Several of you also entered into a new and improved spinner game. With a new carnival style and toucan pointer it was soon another competition between families to see who could land on one of our amazing animal adoptions! Alternatively the lucky dip box did provide some yummy sweets and cute little toys for contenders.
Then the rain drew in and visitors started to disperse and it was the end of the long but very enjoyable three days at the show. As we gathered troops for the last time we slowly began the taking down process, packing up our cars and bidding farewell to stand 812. If you didn’t get to see use this year then we will be back next year! Until then.