Europe's leading ferry operator DFDS and marine conservation charity ORCA enter their 13th year in partnership as the 2019 ORCA season begins. The partnership sees on board ORCA marine wildlife experts engage with passengers to educate them about the diverse marine life and conservation work undertaken in British waters. Conservation talks, marine wildlife spotting sessions and wildlife related games are offered to passengers of all ages, free of charge. Until 27 September, ORCA's team of Marine Wildlife Officers will be on board select DFDS Newcastle-Amsterdam crossings and from 5 June to 8 September on select Newhaven-Dieppe crossings.
Steve Jones, Head of Partnerships at ORCA said, “We are looking forward to enjoying a 13th season with DFDS. We hope to engage with even more passengers than during last year's record-breaking season, which saw over 35,100 passengers take part in the ORCA education programme on board. There is such a fantastic array of wildlife to be enjoyed on Britain's coastline and we can't wait to showcase it to passengers.”
Naomi Thornton from DFDS said, “We are thrilled to have ORCA's team of Marine Wildlife Officers back on board. We've enjoyed 12 years working with the ORCA team on our Newcastle-Amsterdam route and are delighted to be extending this marine wildlife watching service to passengers on board our Newhaven-Dieppe route for the second year running. We look forward to seeing the ORCA team's findings across both routes this summer.”
The 2018 season saw the opening of a brand new ORCA Wildlife Centre on board DFDS King Seaways ship, where 35,100 passengers engaged with the on board programme. These passengers were treated to more than 2,000 marine wildlife sightings, including 902 harbour porpoises, 30 bottlenose dolphins, 74 minke whales, 225 grey seals and 652 acrobatic white-beaked dolphins.
DFDS offers daily sailings between Newcastle-Amsterdam. On board, passengers can enjoy fine dining in the North Sea Bistro as well as an unlimited international selection serving over 60 dishes in Explorer's Kitchen. Also on board is a shop, casino, two cinema screens and kid's club. DFDS also offer multiple daily sailings between Newhaven-Dieppe where on board facilities include a self-service restaurant and the Beachy Head Bar, a split-level seaview lounge. There is a dedicated soft play area for young children whilst older kids can take advantage of video games available.
ORCA activities open to all passengers at no cost. See www.dfds.co.uk
Towards the end of last year, the Mayhew Home had a surprise delivery when their Animal Welfare Officers brought in seven unwanted Jack Russell terriers. The team suspect they were from a puppy farm. Word spread among the staff that there were some adorable new arrivals and everyone was keen to catch a glimpse and hopefully sneak a quick cuddle. They were placed into the expert hands of the vet and kennels teams to look after until it was time to find their forever homes.
Every cat and dog that comes in to Mayhew is seen at the on-site Community Vet Clinic and given a full health check, vaccinations and flea and worm treatment. Once the puppies had been examined, naming them was the next task. Such sweet bundles should be named after treats, so : Fudge, Cookie, Pudding, Pie, Custard, Waffle and Truffle.
Over the next few weeks, the puppies kept the kennels team busy – imagine the fun and the mess! Lots of playing and socialisation took place and the puppies made the most of the indoor doggy play area, full of exciting things to explore and stimulate them physically and mentally.
At nine weeks, all seven puppies were neutered in Mayhew's vet clinic ready for rehoming. The Adoption team works hard to ensure each dog ends up with the perfect family and always provide a profile of the animal on the website rehoming pages to ensure the best fit can be found. Lots of people wanted to adopt these cuties and once new owners had been interviewed and home checks completed, the puppies were waved off to begin life in their new homes.
Do you want a sneak peak at what happened next? Cassie (formerly Custard) landed on her paws with her new owner, Antonia. ‘Cassie loves her walks and meeting people and other dogs, and there is nothing she likes doing more than snoozing on the sofa after walking us around the park or playing with her cat toys. Cassie is a lovely, loving puppy, who everyone adores.’
Alfie (was Fudge) was adopted by a London family. His new owner, Conrad, explains how Alfie is now very much part of their family: ‘Alfie is happily running rings all around us with so much zest, love and enthusiasm. He is such a lovable, cute, ultra-friendly and good natured puppy, with a typical Jack Russell cheeky (sometimes naughty!) comic character. My family, and Alfie of course, are very grateful to Mayhew for all their good work and for bringing us together.’
Maggie (was Truffle) found a forever home with loving owner Emma. A few days after adopting her, Emma said, ‘Maggie has already settled in and is a credit to every lovely person at Mayhew who’s looked after her.’ A short while after her adoption, Maggie came back to Mayhew to meet the Home's new Patron, The Duchess of Sussex, on her official visit.
So-called ‘tortoiseshell’ is made from turtle shells, more specifically from critically endangered hawksbill turtles. International trade in tortoiseshell is illegal, according to CITES. However, hawksbill turtles continue to be hunted, particularly in the Caribbean, where their shells are used to make trinkets sold in souvenir shops. Buying turtle shell is as socially unacceptable as buying ivory or rhino horn.
Photo by Hal Brindley - travelforwildlife.com
Consumers need to stop buying these items. Let sellers know it is illegal (in most places) and immoral to contribute to the extinction of a species. When sellers learn that selling turtleshell will reduce their business, they will stop selling them and turtle hunters will no longer have a market for their products. Travellers can learn how to recognise and avoid these products by visiting TooRareToWear. Please also see Responsible Travel website for information and updates on this and other important issues.
Photo by Julie Suess
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 11 books. My byline appears in national and regional newspapers and magazines. Website