Murray Edwards College is known for its award-winning gardens and perhaps especially for not having a 'keep off the grass rule' – a rarity at a Cambridge College. Recently, the College also received a Gold Green Impact Award for its work in reducing its environmental impact and improving sustainability. In addition, our Gardens team won the 'Community Action Award', which recognises working in partnership with community groups, developing new projects and taking Green Impact out into the wider community.
This year, as part of the College's work with the wider community, we donated two lorry-loads of bamboo from the College garden to Shepreth Wildlife Park. The Park is home to many extraordinary animals, including two red pandas: six year old female, Sundara (meaning 'beautiful' in Nepalese) and one year old male, Ago, who is a recent arrival to the Park. Once he matures, the Park hopes they will form a breeding pair.
Yve Morrin, red panda keeper at Shepreth Wildlife Park commented: "Our pandas are incredibly cute and are very popular with visitors to the Park. Sundara and Ago help us to fundraise for the Red Panda Network, which aims to protect red pandas and their habitat. Each day in the wild, red pandas typically eat their own bodyweight in bamboo leaves and shoots. At our Park, we grow bamboo but cannot hope to supply the quantity Sundara and Ago require, so we supplement their diet with other foods. Donations of bamboo are very helpful for us!"
Shepreth Wildlife Park first started as a private sanctuary in 1979, caring for creatures great and small. Today, the Park still hosts a busy 'Hedgehog Hospital' but also participates in national and international breeding programmes for endangered species. It remains as committed as ever to its animals and conservation, and to educating the next generation of conservationists.
All images courtesy of Shepreth Wildlife Park.