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Paper Round staff volunteers visit London Zoo to help prepare for winter

We have a long standing relationship with ZSL London Zoo. In addition to holding our annual client awards event there each summer, we also organise a staff volunteering session there each autumn. Volunteering activities in the past have included: raking leaves for the bearded pigs, making engagement toys for reindeers, and this time around we were making silage for the giraffes!

A group of us turned up on Wednesday, just in time for it to start raining. We were paired up with two members of the horticultural team who explained the importance of making fresh silage for the winter. When trees around the zoo are given a trim, the leaves are distributed amongst the animals as food. That’s all well and good at this time of year, but in a few months’ time there’ll be a lack of greenery. By stripping the leaves off of any unwanted branches, and storing them in air tight barrels, the giraffes are able to have fresh greenery throughout the winter.

Paper Round staff volunteers visit London Zoo to help prepare for winter

Paper Round team packing barrels of leaves for the Giraffes

Each barrell feeds three giraffes for a day, providing them with essential nutrients. The scheme is still relatively new but is proving popular with the animals. To make sure the leaves stay fresh, each barrell needs to be packed in tightly, the slightest bit of air will mean the top layer going mouldy and being thrown away.

The horticultural team have been given a target of 100 barrels to fill. When we were there, a team of 5 of us managed to fill 3 barrels in a few hours. It might not sound like a lot, but you’d be surprised how many leaves you can squash down in a small space!

In addition to our work with ZSL we also support a number of other charities

Emily Morrey-McGrath

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