Wednesday, 2 January 2008

More sport and activities for disabled people planned for 2008

OPEN Daws, a group which offers disabled people in West Somerset an opportunity to enjoy sports they love, or to experience new activities, has arranged an action-packed agenda for the New Year.
Events in January include sea fishing trips, swimming, horse riding, bowling, and a visit to Paignton Zoo.
The group is also starting to put together a calendar of events for the spring and summer which includes fly fishing, carriage driving, and rock climbing, which should ensure that whatever a person’s age or ability, there will be an activity to interest them.
More sporting activities will be introduced this year, as well as trips to Tiverton Museum and other attractions.
Open Daws stands for ‘Disabled Activities in West Somerset’.
West Somerset Council leisure and recreation portfolio holder Councillor Neil Parbrook said: “We support Open Daws because it provides some great activities and helps people to make the most of their talents.
“Qualified instructors and coaches can help people of all abilities to enjoy what is on offer.
“The group is friendly and supportive and we hope that more people will come along and take up new challenges in the New Year.”
A membership scheme is available and, by joining this, people will receive reduced rates for all of the activities on offer, or they can take part as non-members.
All activities are run by qualified personnel, and transport to and from activities can be arranged.
To find out more about Open Daws, contact Liz Stewart on 07921 231369 or Gail Sloman on 01984 635208, or email to or, or log on to

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

'Royal' resident is settling in at Tropiquaria

A ‘royal’ guest has taken residence at West Somerset animal centre Tropiquaria.
Elfin, a royal python snake, was given to the centre’s collection shortly before Christmas and has now settled in and is being handled regularly in public.
The arrival of Elfin is part of a long-term aim by Tropiquaria’s new owners to specialise in African wildlife and to develop a collection themed on the sub-Saharan part of the continent.
Tropiquaria managing director Chris Moiser said: “Although this is a common African species, this individual is one of the most beautiful snakes that I have ever seen.
“They are occasionally found in this country as pets, but I have never seen such a well-marked specimen before, either in captivity or in the wild.”
Royal pythons are found across the whole of sub-Saharan African, from Senegal to Kenya.
The ‘royal’ part of the name comes from an alleged involvement with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, who was said to sometimes wear a live one.
Tropiquaria is currently open daily from 11 am to 4 pm until January 6th and then at weekends until February 9, which is the start of the school half-term holiday, when daily opening resumes until Sunday, February 24.
On the days when the Washford tourist attraction is closed, the centre is still available for exclusive group bookings.
  • Our photograph shows Elfin the African royal python with Tropiquaria reptile keeper Rebecca Welsh. Photo submitted.

Trolley good fund-raising effort by scouts and girl guides

SCOUTS and Girl Guides in West Somerset worked together over the Christmas period to raise funds towards the refurbishment of their headquarters in Alcombe.
Members of the 1st Exmoor Scout Group and 1st Alcombe Guides took part in a trolley push at the Tesco supermarket in Minehead.
The youngsters accepted donations for helping customers back to their cars with their shopping and then returning the trolleys to the store's trolley park.
A total of £774.95 was raised for the ongoing refurbishment work at the Alcombe hut, which is shared by the Scouts and Guides.
Assistant Scout Leader and treasurer of The Hut Fund Committee, Andrew Coward, said: "We would like to thank everyone for their generous donations and all the staff at Tesco for their help."
Photo submitted.