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Skip the tip - appeal for bamboo cuttings

PUBLISHED 24/04/2024

Planning a pruning? ‘Skip the Tip’ and give your garden waste to the zoo instead!

Calling all green-fingered gardeners! Now that spring has finally sprung, if you are tidying and trimming your garden then please don’t take your offcuts to the rubbish dump.We're asking local residents to ‘skip the tip’ as you ready your gardens for summer and donate your unwanted clippings as tasty treats for our 800 animals instead.

Head Keeper, Gemma Romanis, said: “With the recent improvement in the weather, we know that many people will have started cutting back their greenery. We wanted to make the public aware that lots of our animal species enjoy eating lots of different plants and browse, and it forms a really important part of a healthy and varied diet for them.”

“You’d be amazed at how much vegetation some of our animals eat – for example, our red pandas Maja and Mulan can get through a staggering 4kg of bamboo a day – that’s 40,000 leaves! Most people’s cuttings will likely end up on bonfires or at the tip, but donating them to the zoo instead means none of it goes to waste - one man’s trash is another’s treasure!”

Plant offcuts are an incredibly valuable food source for many of the animals at the zoo, including the sloths, lemurs, capybaras, and many primates. We have an onsite plantation of bamboo, but many households have variations of bamboo we don’t always have access to such as Phyllostachys nigra or ‘black bamboo’ which keepers say is like ‘panda candy’ to red panda pair Maja and Mulan. Creating a plant stockpile will also allow us to regenerate our plantation over the summer ready for the winter months.

The animals particularly love hawthorn, ash, sycamore, willow, and variations of bamboo including Phyllostachys, Phyllostachys nigra, and Phyllostachys bissetii - to keep those hungry pandas happy.

So, if you’re getting your garden summer ready, consider donating your cuttings to the animals instead of throwing them away this year. Keepers ask for donated cuttings to be as fresh as possible, ideally cut the same day or within 24 hours, and welcome donations on any day of the week between 9am-5pm. Please email [email protected] to arrange drop offs.

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