Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are primarily known for their abundance of unique wildlife and as the place in which Charles Darwin’s conducted the research that led to his Theory of Evolution. For those who explore the area on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, a visit to this fragile, fascinating chain of islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; but for more than 25,000 people, the archipelago is home.
A Growing Population

 

Since the 1970s the population has increased greatly, with more than 75% of the current number having migrated from the mainland. Human occupation is restricted to an area that encompasses just 3% of the total land, with the vast majority living in the coastal towns on Santa Cruz, Floreana, San Cristobal and Isabela. A far smaller proportion (around 15%) lives in the more rural areas.

Most of the migration occurred for economic reasons, with a rapidly growing tourism industry and a declining standard of living on the Ecuadorian mainland. Before the implementation of the special immigration protocols in 1998, it was estimated that at the then-current rate, the population of the archipelago could double every decade. Since then, stricter controls have been put in place by the Ecuadorean government, which include a system of Transit Control Cards for all visitors coming into the area on Galapagos wildlife cruise itineraries.

Creating a Sustainable Society

Creating a sustainable society in a conservation area is not without its challenges, but the Conservancy of the islands is dedicated to the ongoing education of residents to “become champions of conservation”. The aim is to encourage locals to look at subsistence through a different lens to that of mainland living. Rather than trying to recreate a lifestyle that relies heavily on imported produce, machinery and techniques that are at odds with the environment, it encourages locals to consider themselves “stewards of the archipelago”, and live within a system more compatible with biodiverse preservation.

Education: the Key to the Future

Along with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Ministry of Education, the Conservancy is working towards education reform designed to foster a strong sense of values and engagement. Their focus is on demonstrating examples of “best practice” to teachers and administrators first, with a view to transferring this to classrooms.

Sustainable Practices in the Community

Another area in which the Conservancy is active is in increasing the capacity of sustainable agriculture throughout the archipelago, by demonstrating alternative methods of farming and environmental management.

Introduced domestic pets present a grave danger to the local wildlife; the Conservancy’s Humane Pet Management promotes responsible pet ownership and sterilisation in partnership with the Animal Balance organisation.

FUNDAR

The local Foundation for Responsible Alternative Development (FUNDAR) believes the establishment of a strong civil society is imperative to the base of any social change in the archipelago. “Citizens must act together with a common goal in order for change to happen.” While only a very small percentage of locals oppose the concept of sustainable development, in reality not much is understood about what it entails. They say it is an inter-generational process, which involves allowing residents to benefit in the “now”, but in a way that also assures that future generations can benefit too.

The Responsibility of All

While there is still some way to go until the region becomes a truly sustainable society, everybody who visits can do their part to ensure that the values are upheld. For anyone visiting on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, this means respecting the National Park Code of Conduct at all times and not doing anything to upset the balance of the ecosystem.

Life on Galapagos: The Invertebrates

Life on Galapagos: The Invertebrates

 

The unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos Archipelago attract nature lovers from all over the world to explore the region. The best way to do it is on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, which affords participants the opportunity to experience the astounding diversity of the island’s habitats and encounter a wide range of animals.
The mammals, reptiles, birds and marine animals of the archipelago are fairly well known by visitors, and many of the high-profile species can be seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise. Surprisingly, though, the largest group of organisms is often overlooked.

 

The Invertebrates

Invertebrates have no backbone and are officially classified as animals that “neither possess nor develop a vertebral column”. They include insects, spiders, snails, worms, centipedes and many others. Like all the wildlife, this group had to arrive at the islands either on the ocean currents, with birds, or attached to vegetation or driftwood washed up on the shoreline.

The terrestrial invertebrates exist in every habitat and account for around 51% of the archipelago’s total biodiversity. While they may be small in size, they are absolutely crucial to the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Not only do they act as pollinators, they contribute to the formation of soils by recycling organic matter, and they also feature as an important link in the food chain as part of the diet for birds and small mammals.

The marine invertebrates include the molluscs, sponges, annelids (segmented marine worms), cnidarians (including corals), echinoderms (sea cucumbers and urchins) and many others.

Unique and Imbalanced

While many are still identical to their ancestors on the South American mainland, due to the remoteness of the region and the diversity of habitat just as many have adapted in order to survive. It’s estimated that around 52% of them are endemic. This means that some groups are represented in greater proportion than others, so they are considered to be “imbalanced”.

It is not known exactly how many invertebrate species are found throughout the archipelago, although in 2001 the number was estimated to be well over 2,000 (just for terrestrial ones), with the insects the most diverse and numerous. Some of the insects that may be seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise include butterflies, dragonflies, moths, wasps, grasshoppers, spiders and flies.

Giant Snails and Colourful Crabs

The giant land snails are a distinctive group comprising around 60 species. They are similar to Darwin’s Finches in that they appear to have made specific adaptations to survive in particular habitats.

While most invertebrates don’t enjoy the glamorous status of some of the mammals and reptiles seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, one certainly attracts attention. The delightfully skittish Sally Lightfoot Crab can be seen scurrying between rocks on the shoreline, and its vibrant red and blue shell makes it a favourite with nature lovers.

While at first glance this group may not be as impressive as the Giant Tortoise or have the character of the quirky Blue-footed Booby, they are no less interesting and just as important to maintaining the status quo of archipelago’s ecosystem.

We Can Cater To Your Specific Needs From A Charity Venue

We Can Cater To Your Specific Needs From A Charity Venue

The main objective of your charity event may be to fundraise for your charity rather than give your guests an impressive venue to marvel at, but that doesn’t mean the venue isn’t important. Indeed, it is precisely because your event is what matters most that when you come to choose a Charity Events Venue In The Uk, you should ensure yours ticks all of the essential boxes.

 

Vast Experience And Capability In Holding Special Events

Here at Manor of Groves, we have a level of experience in holding special events that is unmatched by almost any comparable venue in Hertfordshire. We are continually hosting such events as traditional afternoon teas, hen parties, prom or graduation parties, celebrations of life and – of course – weddings, which is one of our very greatest specialities.

As a consequence, we have also accumulated considerable experience of catering to the most specific requests made by those booking our well-appointed and spacious suites.

If you are holding a relatively modest charity event, for example, there may be enough room in our Colonnade Suite, with its capacity of as many as 150 people. Alternatively, it may be the Manor Suite, with its air-conditioned adaptable space that can accommodate up to 500 guests, that provides the perfect backdrop for your event, not least as it also features such amenities as an exclusive bar, cloakroom, entrance hall and toilets.

Talk To Manor Of Groves About Your Requirements Today

Would you like to provide your charity event’s guests with the benefit of succulent and varied cuisine in one of our elegant banqueting suites? What about even giving them to chance to book a spacious bedroom in which to stay overnight, if the event is likely to end late and they may not be able to easily drive home? There’s even a par 71, 6,237-yard golf course at which they may wish to tee off during the day ahead of your event – yes, it’s open to visitors and not just hotel residents.

Whatever you want, need or expect from your charity’s next event, our seasoned and capable coordinators can oversee every aspect of it to help ensure its success. It’s just one more reason why Manor of Groves is such an enduringly popular charity events venue in the UK.

3 Factors Separating The Best Birthday Party Venues In Berkshire From The Rest

3 Factors Separating The Best Birthday Party Venues In Berkshire From The Rest

It’s difficult to think of a more quintessentially English county than Berkshire. It is, after all, more properly known as the Royal County of Berkshire, due to the presence here of Windsor Castle. What you may not know, however, is that there are also many fine Birthday Party Venues In Berkshire, showing that the grand old county certainly has a fun side.

 

But if there’s a downside to the broad choice of such venues across the region, it’s the difficulty of choosing between them – so what are some of the characteristics that you should consider when you are perusing birthday party venues in Berkshire?

1 Location

This is definitely a key factor if you want to attract as many people as possible to your birthday party, as well as enjoy the celebrations once they are underway.

Here at Regency Park Hotel, for example, not only are we located in a peaceful and tranquil setting between Thatcham and Newbury, but we are also just 10 minutes away from the M4 and A339, and offer excellent rail links with Newbury and London Paddington.

2 Suites

We’re sure you’ll agree with us that the space within the venue in which your birthday party takes place needs to be a pleasant and well-equipped one.

Again, that’s a need to which we are pleased to cater here at Regency Park Hotel, with our Parkland and Paris Suites accommodating as many as 140 and 70 guests respectively, while also each having their own bar and no shortage of modern style.

3 Experience

The finest birthday party venues in Berkshire also offer a little something that may be intangible, but which nonetheless makes a big difference to how well a party goes ‘on the day’ – considerable experience and a strong track record in the hosting of such events.

Choose the right birthday party venue in Berkshire, and there will be a team on hand to help ensure that everything goes like clockwork – from the start of your party until the end.

Whatever your own most pressing priorities as far as birthday party venues in Berkshire are concerned, when you get in touch with Regency Park Hotel, you may be surprised to learn just how capable we are of fulfilling each and every one of them.

Enquire now about what makes our chic and contemporary hotel the perfect place to hold your next birthday party in Berkshire, as well as to book our venue for a good price, well in advance.

Why Should We Be Your Choice For Charity Venue Hire In The Uk?

 

Why Should We Be Your Choice For Charity Venue Hire In The Uk?

With so many fine options for Charity Venue Hire In The Uk, you can be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed when attempting to choose one for your next big fundraising event. It’s a public event, so should you opt for somewhere that is visually spectacular, even if it is less than well-equipped and difficult for many of your attendees to reach? Or perhaps somewhere a little more ‘cheap and cheerful’ might make more sense for what is, after all, a charity event?

 

Here at Shendish Manor, we don’t think that you should feel bound by such contradictions. We think it’s possible for you to choose a venue for your charity event that appeals to both your head and your heart, and that appeals to all of your fantasies for what your charity event could be, without neglecting the basic practicalities.

What’s more, we believe that Shendish Manor is that venue. Allow us to explain…

We Can Certainly Do The Mundane Stuff…

Central to whether your next charity event turns out to be a success or failure is good preparation and organisation – and you can be assured of the highest standard of both when you make Shendish Manor your preference for charity venue hire in the UK.

We have hosted all manner of special events down the years, including the likes of traditional afternoon teas, wedding fayres, hen parties, graduations and celebrations of life, so we are more than capable of assisting you to ensure that your big fundraising event goes without a hitch.

…but We’ll Also Get Your Pulse Racing

Who wants to hold an all-important charity event in a soulless concrete box? Yes, we know that the worthy causes that your charity exists to support need to be the principal focus of your event. But the evening’s activities will also be much more memorable – for the very best reasons – when they take place in a stunning, but not too overwhelming setting.

Shendish Manor provides precisely that setting. On the outside, our building is a masterpiece of Victorian splendour… while on the inside, our suites are similarly resplendent. There’s a good reason why we are such a popular choice of venue for weddings, for example – Shendish Manor is definitely a place that captures the heart, and not just the head.

Do you like the sound of all of these things in your choice of charity venue hire in the UK? If so, simply get in touch with our special events team now for more information about the availability and prices of our sought-after events spaces.

12 tips for flea market shopping

12 tips for flea market shopping

Endless stalls of invaluable heirlooms, modern gadgets and vintage clothing await you at a flea market but it’s so easy to miss out on these really treasured items. You could end up spending hours in one market stall and then have to speed through the rest, or you could get lost, wandering around in circles visiting the same stalls endlessly. It’s important to plan for the ultimate flea market shopping experience, and here are some ways to get the most out of your day.
Great tips for flea market shopping

 

1. Get a map
It’s not unheard of to get lost at a flea market which means missing out on some really great stalls so try source a map of the market ahead of time and plan your route accordingly. Get a feel for the market’s layout because most markets will generally place similar stalls in the same vicinity so you can decide where to go first. If you’re really diligent you can take note of the stalls you enjoyed or where you purchased items for a return visit another time.

2. Get there early
It’s always best to get to a market before the crowds arrive and while the stalls are still full and you can broswe the stalls and view the mehandise. Once your shopping is done you can enjoy the live enetrtainment or a bite to eat.

3. Make a day of it
A day at the flea market is a fantastic experience for the whole family so, rather than rushing through the stalls, make a day of it. Get in early for breakfast, take your time perusing the stalls while the children enjoy the fresh air and fun kids activities on offer. There are usually great discounts at the end of the day, so if you stick around, you’re bound to get some great deals.

4. Check out the entertainment
Flea markets often provide local musicians and entertainers with a really worthwhile platform to break into a new audience. It’s always encouraging to support the local talent and you might tap into an artist you’d never heard of before. Enhance your shopping experience with the day’s entertainment!

5. Take cash
Although there may be ATMs on site, the queues could be long and these portable ATMs often run out of cash. Added to this, some sellers won’t accept debit or credit cards so it’s worth taking cash – particularly smaller bills – to the market. Be sure to keep this in a secure bag which isn’t easily evident.

6. Wear comfortable shoes
Flea market shopping is not the time to break into your latest pair of high heels. Opt for a comfortable pair of walking shoes as you don’t want your market experience cut short because of painful feet.

7. Ask about pick-up policies
If you buy a big item, make sure you ask the seller about the pick-up policy. If you can only collect it in a day or two, make sure they will hold the item for you.

8. Choose your haggles
Don’t waste your, or the seller’s time haggling over a price if you’re actually not serious about buying. If you really do love the item and feel it’s somewhat overpriced, then a market is certainly the place to negotiate a price. Don’t be scared to try out your haggling skills but be courteous about it.

9. Go with an open mind
A flea market is not a retail store so don’t expect to find exactly what you want in mint condition. A market is the perfect place to find items with real potential so go in thinking of ways to re-purpose interesting finds, rather than passing them by. Cosmetic repairs are easy fixes so do some haggling and come away with a great bargain.

10. Don’t miss a good opportunity
If you find something you really love, it’s fine to take some time to consider whether it’s worth the price and haggle for the best deal, but if it’s something you really want, don’t walk away. Chances are, there will be a few people who visit the stall later and snatch it up.

11. Take a collapsible cart
If you’re going to take this market shopping seriously, then it’s worth taking a collapsible cart – or similar trolley device – with you. This frees up your hands, allowing you to browse easily and also means you won’t have aching arms carrying items just one hour in.

12. Check whether the market is pet friendly
If you couldn’t consider market shopping without your four-legged friend, then just check ahead if the market allows for pets. Many do cater for pets – on a lead – but make sure you clean up after your beloved pup.