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Tarantulas, snakes and scorpions join the Forest Fest to highlight sustainability at Grizedale Forest

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Smooth snake

Creatures from forests across the globe will be at Grizedale as part of Forest Fest, a Forestry Commission event to celebrate sustainability.

A tarantula from the Amazon, an arboreal snake from west Africa, a scorpion from South Africa, a bull frog, also from Africa, and a cockatoo from Australia will be appearing at the event on Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26.

The animals, which will be visiting from the Wetheriggs Animal Rescue and Conservation Centre, near Penrith, form only part of the Grizedale event that is being held over the weekend to coincide with the Forestry Stewardship Council’s FSC Friday on September 25 – a series of events held on the same day across the country to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability in forests and forest management.

The Forestry Commission was the world’s first state-owned forestry organisation to be recognised by the FSC for its sustainability in forest management.

Two local schools – Levens Valley primary and Coniston primary – will be attending a special event at Grizedale on FSC Friday itself.

The event, will be centred at The Yan building near Grizedale’s Visitor Centre on the Saturday and Sunday, and visitors will get an opportunity to handle the rare animals, as well as learn about the RSPB’s project in the Indonesean rainforests of Sumatra. There will be self-led trails in Grizedale as well as opportunities to make items from wood and quizzes. There will also be foresters demonstrating the tools of their trade.

Tania Crockett, Forestry Commission recreation manager, said:

“This is a fantastic event aimed at families and whoever else is interested in the sustainability of forests and woodland.

“By seeing the animals, which come from forests around the world, people will understand the need to ensure that forestry operations are sustainable.

“We hope that the people who come to this event will learn to look out for the FSC logo when they are buying products made from wood. This is a quality mark that shows that the wood was sourced from a forest that is being managed sustainably.”

Terry Bowes, of the Wetherigg Animal Rescue and Conservation Centre, said:

“There is nothing like hands on learning and people will be able to handle the animals. We will be able to teach them about conservation and the importance of our forests as well as the forests around the world.”

There will also be a red kite display which informs people of the ongoing project at Grizedale which saw 30 birds released in the forest last month.

The Forestry Commission shop at Grizedale has a range of FSC certified hand craft wooden products for sale and the RSPB will also have some of their forest friendly chocolate – which does not contain palm oil - to try.

For more information about Grizedale Forest please visit www.forestry,

For more information about the Forestry Stewardship Council and FSC Friday please visit

Notes for editors

The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain, with responsibility for more than one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.

Media contacts
Tania Crockett on 01229 862023.