Two keepers at a Cornish wildlife sanctuary have moved back into the house at the centre of park to look after the 1,200 birds and animals during lockdown and safeguard their families who are isolating.

Keepers Layla Richardson and keeper Emily Foden have moved into Glanmor House at the centre of Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall for the second time after first moving in their during the first lockdown.

“It’s quite different this time, with the massive surge in cases here in Cornwall, it felt right to move in again along with my colleague Emily Foden", said Layla.

"Last year in April it was sunny and warm here. But now we are in the depths of winter and life at the park feels a lot different, colder obviously, as no matter what, we work outside in all weather conditions.

"Our routines during the pandemic have changed a lot to ensure we are all socially distanced. We have staggered rotas with the first shift starting at 7am, and the work is split in such a way that we now work more independently, so it is a team effort, but at a distance.”

Even though the park is closed the same level of work continues, as do the costs. The feed bills and staff wages, plus vet bills, water, electricity and enclosure maintenance come to a minimum of £46,000 every month.

"There is no compromise on the daily care of any bird or mammal, and many are endangered in the wild and in vital co-operative international breeding schemes," said team member Michelle Turton.

"As with many organisations in Cornwall, the park gets through the winter on the money it takes during the summer. But with the first three-month lockdown and then restricted visitor numbers it has not been able to make up lost income."

The park has secured some funding which has helped in the short term and is hoping to receive a positive outcome from its DEFRA grant application, and meanwhile is relying very much on the local community and supporters from further afield with donations of money, food and items from its Wish List.

It is putting out an appeal to ask people to help support the park through this tough time. It has a donations page on our website which includes all the different ways people can support them at

Included in this are examples of how much it costs to feed some of the birds. Fish for one penguin is just over £10 a week, and with 21 penguins, that works out just under £1,000 a month for the whole penguin colony.

Park director Alison Hales said “We wish to express our sincere thanks to everyone, including the local community and businesses that have donated so far to help us look after the animals. The staff have been brilliant - we are keeping positive because every day we work with amazing animals and as many are endangered and we have spent decades caring for them at the park and on their conservation in the wild.”