On 31st May 2018, 25 personnel from RAF Brize Norton spent the day assisting keepers at the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford, Oxfordshire, undertaking the huge task of maintaining and improving the animal enclosures.
“Today we had members of Tactical Medical Wing from RAF Brize Norton at the park helping the keepers with several jobs such as; painting the primate houses, trimming the weeds and grass of the Colobus and Siamang exhibits. One of the bigger tasks of the morning was giving our rhino house a deep clean and then helping us with our 'Lemur Week' fundraising activities, helping to raise essential funds and awareness for our conservation work in Madagascar. It’s been a really fun, productive day which has helped to strengthen the relationship between the park and RAF Brize Norton who we share the same community with. Our visitors have been really intrigued, asking lots of questions, which is great as it really helps us to engage with our visitors about the important work we do here at the park as well as RAF Brize Norton. Our animals are definitely seeing the benefit from the improvements we’ve been able to make today which is the most important thing - it makes me really proud to be a part of such a wonderful community.”
Mrs Natalie Horner
Deputy Section Head of Primates and Small Mammals
However, it wasn't 'all work and no play' as the personnel got the chance to meet and help feed some of the park's best-loved animals, White Rhinos (including two new rhino calves, Belle and Alan), a troop of lemurs and they also fed the fruit bats. This is the second time this activity day has been organised and it’s proven to be another huge triumph, not only did the teams work extremely hard clearing and tidying but they also managed to raise £195.00 for the park’s Lemur Week.
"After the success of last year, it was daunting to organise this event again, however I feel a great deal of pride in the lads and lasses I brought. They took to their work without complaint and with more than an even dose of good cheer. Which is rather the point - our people work so hard at their duties so it’s a pleasure to see them enjoying a day in the sun, getting up close to some of the world’s most exotic animals, all for the price of a few hours work. I would like to extend heartfelt thanks on behalf Tactical Medical Wing to the Park and its staff for today, and my own personal thanks for being so accommodating."
Corporal Dan Horner
Tactical Medical Wing, RAF Brize Norton