Wildlife park cleans up after landslide

09:16 15 January 2013

The landslide at Combe Martin Wildlife Park.

The landslide at Combe Martin Wildlife Park.

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Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park says it will be grateful for any help and support it can get after the slip three weeks ago.

THE sea lion and penguin enclosures at Combe Martin Wildlife Park had a lucky escape over Christmas when tonnes of earth eroded from the sloped park.

The landslide, which brought down around 30 trees in its wake, travelled all the way from the top of the park, falling 100 metres away from the enclosures.

No animals or people were hurt during the slip, and no enclosures were damaged.

Dawn Gilbert, of the park, said: “We have natural underground springs running through the park and a couple of large trees at the top which are near to the source of the water.

“We think that that the constant excess of water all year gradually eroded the soil around the roots of these trees which possibly caused the start of a 200 or 300 tonne landslide at the top of the park bringing the whole bank down with it.”

Several pathways were damaged in the slide, which is thought to have occurred on December 23, and volunteers and staff have been clearing the site for three weeks.

Dawn added: “The photos show the situation after a vast amount of work has been done, but there is still a lot to do.

“We have been really grateful to have had a few local people helping us as we would not be able to open unless we carried out this work.

“It has put us behind with our other projects although fortunately we had already completed our new gibbon enclosure and we are still carrying out other improvements but obviously this has now taken priority.

“We will be opening for the February half term as planned and welcome any support that our local community can give us as unfortunately this has not been covered by our insurance policy.”

To see more photos of the landslide click the gallery in the top-right of the page.

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