Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium marks its first decade in July, and plans include diving displays, a special cake and a VIP party for children born on the same day.

The zoo, a registered charity, opened to the public on 14th July 2003, with an official ceremony performed by the Princess Royal following in September.

Celebrations will build up to the weekend of Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July. The British Freediving Association will be on site on the Saturday. Freedivers will be in the seal tank at 11.30am and 2.30pm. They will be visible from three viewing windows and people will be able to see them swimming above their heads from the tunnel. There will also be a talk about the history of freediving at 1.00pm. The freedivers will not be swimming with the Zoo’s fur seals.

Beci Ryan, from the British Freediving Association, said: “The British Freediving Association (BFA) is extremely pleased to be involved in helping Living Coasts celebrate its tenth birthday. We are sure it is going to be a day full of fun and excitement and we hope to add to this by impressing the crowds with our freediving skills!”

An historic hard-hat diver will demonstrate his skills on Sunday. There will be an above-water demonstration on Penguin Beach, and the diver will be in the penguin tank on the Sunday during the day, visible from the underground amphitheater. He will be in the water with the penguins.

A very special themed birthday cake is to be made by Hallett’s the Bakers, the leading South Devon bakery.

There will be an open invitation to a special party for any child who is ten years old on the same day as the zoo – 14th July. Children will simply need to show their birth certificates or a passport in order to join the fun.

Operations Manager Clare Rugg said: “The economy and the weather have not always helped us, but I think we have established Living Coasts as a terrific little all-weather animal attraction.”

Living Coasts, on the English Riviera, is an education, scientific and conservation charity dedicated to protecting our global wildlife heritage and inspiring in people a respect for animals, plants and the environment.

Quotes All the animals are lovely with plenty of space to move about and play. Quotes