Simon Tonge, Executive Director of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, which runs Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts, as well as Newquay Zoo in Cornwall, said: “The stats are impressive - I am delighted with what the volunteers continue to contribute towards the operation of the zoos. My thanks, and those of our 11 trustees - themselves unpaid - go to all of our volunteers.”

The volunteers had little chance to put their feet up before Christmas. At Paignton Zoo they supported the Christmas event, filling 16 different roles each day. 460 hours were put in by volunteers preparing for and running the event. Over the year another 850 hours were spent knitting and crocheting 78 animals for the tree dressing and 12 Animal Days of Christmas trail in December. Volunteers also supported Santa’s Grotto at Living Coasts.

Although both Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts have a core of dedicated volunteers, regular recruitment is needed to maintain numbers. Volunteer opportunities are advertised on the Paignton Zoo web site at or the Living Coasts web site at

Quotes The presenter talks were great, we learnt a lot about the animals here. Quotes