Woburn Safari Park’s rhinos to benefit from shopping centre’s festive trees

The trees heading to Woburn's rhino enclosure
The trees heading to Woburn's rhino enclosure

Rhinos at Woburn Safari Park are to makes good use of trees from Weston Favell shopping centre’s spectacular Enchanted Forest Grotto.

The cut trees that featured in the centre’s Christmas centrepiece will now be chipped and turned into bedding for rhinos at the popular safari park.

The grotto boasted 120 real life fir trees and what is believed to be the first live forest created in an indoor shopping centre.

The trees are being chipped by a local tree services and landscaping company, Mulberry Tree, who will be visiting the centre on Thursday to help deliver the chippings to Woburn.

The remaining wood chip will be delivered on Sunday by a local scouts group visiting the rhinos at the safari park, courtesy of the shopping centre.

“The chippings will be used to make a fragrant and skin-friendly bedding material for our Southern white rhino herd,” said Chris Smart, head keeper in reserves.

“The animals will no doubt enjoy this change from their usual straw bedding, as the pine will provide an interesting aroma and it is also known for its benefits as a natural disinfectant. We have three females and two males living in a secure house at Woburn Safari Park; weighing in at anything up to a ton, they get through plenty of bedding materials, so this donation from Weston Favell shopping centre is very much appreciated.”

The remaining trees featuring in the Enchanted Forest Grotto have been offered to the local community. Nearly 400 people have now applied to get their hands on one and keep a bit of Christmas magic with them all year round.

Kevin Legg, Weston Favell centre manager added: “We take our role of being an integral part of the local community seriously and wanted to ensure that the fir trees from our hugely successful grotto were put to good use. The opportunity to help the rhino at Woburn Safari Park was too good to miss. We also want to thank all of our shoppers who registered to rehome the potted trees, it has been so well supported that we are confident we will be able to give all the trees a new home very soon.”

Also by the Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper:

CCTV images released following burglary in Bletchley