Last Sunday, to get some fresh air, and a change of scenery – trying to blow away all thoughts of the Coronavirus, even if just for an hour or two – I headed to the 17th Century mansion, Tredegar House in Newport. It is a short drive from Cardiff and is a Grade I listed building is managed by the National Trust.
Flat Holm or Ynys Echni (its Welsh name) is a little island, just 4 miles off the coast of Cardiff is rich in wildlife and has masses of history. It is the most southerly point in Wales, and the sea in between Flat Holm and neighbouring island Steep Holm is the border between England and Wales. It is only 500 metres across, and is an essential site for scientific interest and is a nature reserve. Its history is fascinating; from Viking raiders, a Victorian fortification to becoming the first line of defence, protecting Cardiff, Penarth, Barry and Newport during the Second World War.
It was on my list of ’30 things to do before I’m 30′ and at 35 I still have not made the short trip across the waters. Having sat through an interesting talk on the island last week, it has re-ignited and inspired me to take the short voyage.
I love a zoo, so much so that I when I say that I am going away I get asked if I’ll be going to a zoo when I’m there – if they have one of course. Zoo’s or menageries as they were then known became popular during the early 1800’s as a form of entertainment and wonder, whereas now they are more about conservation and education.
Zoo Lovers Day is a great excuse to get your family together, friends or partner and take a trip to see local and exotic animals of the world. Let’s be fair, it’s not like you can see lions prowling in your back garden or playful monkeys swinging through the trees on your commute to work or a pack of coyotes eyeing up their next kill – well unless you’re at the Next Boxing Day sale.