Help Your Britain - The Living Rainforest

Continuing with our Help Your Britain campaign today marks the sixth user-nominated charity to be showcased on Bing. We’ll be showcasing the work of a small UK charity on the last Friday of each month enabling the cause to tell its own story.

There are more than 187,000 registered charities across Great Britain with a story to be told, many of whom will never be heard due to the lack of resources at their disposal. We’re shining the spotlight on these unsung British heroes as part of a long-term campaign, enabling you, the British public, to nominate the charities you would like to see featured on the homepage on the final Friday of each month via www.bing.com/HelpYourBritain.

Today is the turn of …

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The Living Rainforest offers children and adults the chance to learn about rainforest life through a truly unique indoor greenhouse based in Berkshire. The ecological centre and visitor attraction details a beautifully sculpted environment in which over 700 species of tropical plants and animals, such as monkeys, snakes and toucans thrive.

What happens at The Living Rainforest by Karl Hansen, Director of The Living Rainforest

August, 2012

Every day, come rain, sun or snow, our staff arrive early to feed the animals before the general public arrives. The tropical glasshouses are really peaceful early in the morning. Sometimes it feels like you’ve landed on the banks of the Amazon River, with the mist swirling through the leaves and the sun’s rays.

The monkeys get fresh fruit and mealworms while the two-toed sloth chomps on freshly collected leaves. A small team of horticulturists water the plants and check for damage. They take care that nothing is under-watered or over-watered.

It’s great when a new plant starts to bloom or a baby animal is born. Word travels quickly and soon everyone knows, from the tour guides and volunteers to the shop and cafe assistants and the back office staff.

The visitor centre opens to the public at 10am. On school days, parties of schoolchildren arrive with their teachers in time for the first tours at 10:30am and soon the glasshouses are filled with the chatter of excited children. For the next four hours, about 180 children from different schools explore The Living Rainforest and learn about the amazing plants and animals in our collection, and how people’s lives in the UK are linked to tropical rainforests through what we eat, drink and buy.

Calm is restored to the glasshouses again after around 2:30pm when a new round of animal feeding begins and the education team confer with teachers to confirm the latest batch of school bookings. On weekends and school holidays, more families visit the centre and a range of events are organised including talks, tours, workshops, quizzes and interactive games. No day is the same and there’s always something new happening.

If you would like to see your charity of choice take over the Bing homepage, you can nominate them here:

www.bing.com/HelpYourBritain Don’t forget to get involved with the conversation on Facebook and Twitter #HelpYourBritain

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