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Port of London Authority recycling helps cats and critters at wildlife charity

Lainey Sillett, Danny Marsh, Peter Sampson, Tanith Brown, and Tanya Ferry

Port of London Authority recycling helps cats and critters at Wildlife Heritage Foundation

  • Big cat sanctuary uses old Thames mooring and tow ropes to make scratch posts
  • Plastic pipe used as ‘tunnels’ for meerkats at Paradise Wildlife Park, Herts.

Lions and leopards at a big cat sanctuary are playing with ropes that just weeks before were being used to tie boats up on the Thames, in a new Port of London Authority recycling initiative.

The recycling idea was launched as part of the PLA’s drive to make use of materials that would otherwise be thrown away and at the same time, it helps with wildlife conservation.

Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) collected the first two pallets of rope and lifting strops last month and they are now being used at the Kent-based sanctuary’s ‘Enrichment’ enclosure as scratch posts, to keep cat claws sharp and their feline minds stimulated.

A 10-metre plastic pipe dumped in the Thames and salvaged by PLA staff will also be fashioned into play tunnels for meerkats at the WHF’s sister site in Hertfordshire.

PLA environment manager Tanya Ferry said: “It’s really rewarding to know that something we’ve finished with has been given another lease of life. It helps reduce the waste we are producing, and cuts the Foundation’s spending on ropes, which can be expensive.”

Tanith Brown and Danny Marsh.

The PLA team had previously visited WHF to see how the authority’s born-again rope was being put to use.

“It’s brilliant that our old rope, which was used for towing and mooring lines has struck a chord with staff and cats at the sanctuary,” said PLA marine manager ashore, Danny Marsh. “The plastic pipe was found in the Thames near central London and had been with us for a while. As we can’t use it ourselves, what better way to reuse it, than to let meerkats have some fun?”

The 38-acre WHF site in Smarden, near Ashford, Kent, is home to a huge range of cats, including pumas, cheetahs, leopards and lions. They are encouraged to breed as part of a painstaking programme that let cats at the park thrive.

WHF spokesperson Tanith Brown thanked the PLA for its donation on behalf the Sanctuary’s 56 feline residents that will love getting to grips with the rope and strops.

She said: “These kinds of donation are really good for us, especially as we’re not open to the public in the normal sense. All help is appreciated, and anything that can help raise awareness of what we do is also welcome.”

About the PLA:

The port of London Authority (PLA) is a privately-funded trust port, responsible for 95 miles of the River Thames traversing Greater London, Kent and Essex. The PLA works to keep the Thames safe and navigable for river users. With continual natural and man made changes impacting the river, the PLA supports sustainable development through planning consultation and technical expertise. As environmental stewards of the river, the PLA strives for progressive improvement to the Thames environment. To achieve the above, the PLA bringing people together to safeguard, promote, realise the full potential of the River Thames.

For more press information contact:

Tom Conroy
Communications Manager
Port of London Authority
Direct Line: 01474 562246
Mobile: 07951 748904
Email: tom.conroy@pla.co.uk

Gareth Dorrian
Corporate Affairs Writer
Port of London Authority
Direct Line: 01474 562251
Mobile: 07711 640 099
Email: gareth.dorrian@pla.co.uk