Paignton Zoo is not just about animals.

Most Pagton zoo visitors are attracted to animals such as leopards, giraffes and gorillas, but zoos are very important. In addition to beautifying 80 acres[80 ha]of land, they provide valuable habitats for wildlife and some plants and trees provide food for some animals.

Animal-minded gardeners work hard all year round to produce plants and trees from all over the world. Zoos play an important role in conservation as they develop many endangered species and exchange techniques and materials with other plant species.

Here, we learn more about the two members of Paignton Zoo’s Gardens department, Catherine Mortimer, Deputy General Manager of Plant Affairs and Jason Knight, senior staff member.

Read moreWhy the extinction of the Paignton Zoo is so important to the survival of endangered species

Catherine explains why she became involved in horticulture: “As a kid, I used to love gardening, and growing up in a big garden was a big part of my life. I quit school when I was 16, not sure what to do next.

“I was offered a place at Bikton College to study introductory courses in horticulture. It was in the middle of that course that I thought this might be a good job. I first got a job here as a gardener and then got a degree in horticulture and horticulture from the Foundation.

Her advice to young people who are thinking about their future is to take advantage of every opportunity. She says: “When I was in college, I saw an advertisement on the billboard for six months to work in Israel. So I did a lot of practice that taught me a lot. Take every opportunity you have – you never know where it will end up.

Katherine’s role is to plan many big pictures and think about how things will grow in the future. Although this is based on experience, she says it is important to do research. “Thank God for the Internet – you can search Google image to see what a tree looks like, which makes it much easier,” she said.

“Recently we have gone through the process of removing many trees from the site due to various diseases, Ash Dibak is the main one. I’m looking at the landscape now and thinking about how we can make sure the roof is back in the future. We are fortunate to have planted many trees during my 17 years of work here; But since the risk of the disease is unprecedented, we must continue to do so.

Next to Titan Arum, Gill Palmer, of the Peeton Zoo and Gardens

The team works with a number of endangered species. A few years ago, Katherine claimed that she had successfully polished titan arum, also known as the corpse flower. She said: “We have posted pollen from Titan all over the country and we have pollen to deliver our own pollen. Titan arum produces a large flower that begins to bloom in the morning. It is fully open around 8 a.m., so you have to stay in the zoo for hours and cut a small hole in the side of the flower. Then you get a paint brush to collect the pollen and paint it on the female part of the flower. We have received hundreds of seeds that we have sent to other parks and gardens throughout Europe.

Planting for Katherine is her favorite part of the job – especially planting trees. She said, “You know when you plant a tree, you are actually saving something over your own year.”

Senior Property Officer Jason Knight has always wanted to work with nature. He began working with animals in the mid-1980s. “Animal protection has been a job for me for 26 years,” he said. “The transition from working with animals to plants was not big. I worked at home for a while and at work – I used to collect food for large exploring animals, and I am still doing this with my new job. Ever since I became a real estate operator, I have completed Level 3 certification in Horticulture.

The team will start work at 7:30 a.m. and will only work before visitors enter the zoo because of some activities such as mowing. Says Catherine: “This morning Jay was plowing in the Lion’s Paddock, so we always had to take the lion out of the showroom before we could visit. They Are Here ”

Jason says two days at work are not the same. “We work in all weather and in all seasons,” he said. “Paignton Zoo is a large garden with many different plants. We are not just outdoors, we have indoor tropical homes and this means we have plants from all over the world. I think the difference appeals to all of us.

Asked about his favorite part of the work, he said: “I like sculpting – the beauty of trees and shrubs. But I really like all the work I do. I do not want to do just one thing. ”

Jason advises young people to follow their wishes. “I will not change what I have done,” he said. “I am very proud of my profession. But if I could change anything, I would make a little effort at school to get started.

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