New exhibit develops Rapidly - but carefully!
Living Coasts Director Elaine Hayes said: “Although it doesn’t look it, Living Coasts is several storeys high.
Workers building the new Otter Rapids exhibit at Living Coasts have been warned not too dig down too far – in case they end up in an underground forest!
Beneath the open-air level, with Penguin Beach, Waders’ Estuary and the new otter enclosure, is a mangrove forest, seahorses and octopuses. The restaurant is on top of the shop. It’s quite deceptive.”
The outdoor areas at Living Coasts are landscaped with 2,300 tonnes of substrate nearly 1m deep in places. The original planting featured 7,000 individual plants of 80 species.
Elaine: “We are digging out the old sea ducks pool to make a deeper pool for the otters. But if you go down too far through the soil and stones and gravel you reach the ceiling of the next level.”
The new Otter Rapids exhibit has been designed to meet the needs of the animals, the visitors and the keeping staff. Elaine explained: “The otters will have their very own waterpark, with fresh and saltwater pools plus a fast-running saltwater stream. A mix of pebbles, sand, soil, grass and logs will provide them with a complex and enriching landscape to explore. A terraced viewing gallery will let visitors see into one of the nest boxes built into their holt.”
Living Coasts’ new Otter Rapids exhibit will be home to a breeding pair of native Eurasian otters and is due to open in July.