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West Wales: This £600k two-bedroom bungalow includes some unusual tenants…

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zoohouseA TRULY unique property has recently come onto the market and offers the chance to partake in an extraordinary business venture. The 2 bedroom home, set on the rugged Ceredigion coastline, boasts panoramic views – and did we mention it also comes with a zoo?

This small but well maintained business is situated in the beautiful seaside town of Borth, which lies just 6 miles outside of the university town of Aberystwyth and, according to estate agents Morris Marshall and Poole, was voted the best place in Wales to raise children in 2011.

The owners, Jean and Alan Mumbray, are looking to hand over the reins due to their impending retirement, after 15 successful years of running the Animalarium.

The perfect addition to any animal lover’s life, the zoo includes almost 400 animals of 120 different species in the sale of the property. Species include: lions, meerkats, parrots, a lynx, emus, leopards, snakes, peacocks, beavers, turtles and tortoises. Also included is all equipment, fixtures and fittings, the website, a cafeteria, visitor centre and gift shop, children’s play areas and a large car park.

Borth Animalarium, set in 4.9 hectares, began its life due to the Mumbrays’ hobby of collecting rare breeds, and they already had a host of the animals, such as the wallabies, monkeys and crocodiles, as pets.

After the expansion last year, the zoo now includes the additions of lion and emu enclosures. However, Jean says that there is even more room for growth due to the fact that the zoo only covers 8 of the 12 acres that come with the 2 bedroom bungalow, which also has permission to be extended to include 4 bedrooms.

Jean says: “The lion is probably the zoo’s most unusual attraction and was given to us because there are too many lions being born in captivity and not enough places for them.”

Yet, despite the amount of exotic animals with very big teeth present in the Animalarium, Jean says most dangerous animals are rats because they bite your fingers when you put your hands in their cage. Jean says the most hazardous animal “used to be a biting pony but she is retired now and does not have contact with visitors.”

The Mumbrays say that the new owners will not need to be professional zookeepers by a long shot, but to bear in mind that the zoo is not simply a business, but a lifestyle. Jean says: “The staff are invaluable. The zoo keepers will do the actual feeding and daily care, and the new owners will learn as they go. However, I would expect them to have at least some interest or experience and to research what running a zoo actually entails.”

A typical day in the life of Jean sees her completing administration work, ordering supplies and liaising with the zookeepers. Jean says that although it will be a challenge, last year the zoo attracted 27,000 visitors, and the number is increasing every year.

Jean says: “Life at a zoo is more routine than you’d expect but every now and then something unexpected will happen. Once we had to move the emus and they got frightened and started laying eggs, and on New Year’s Day one year we had surprise twin baby monkeys born.”

This really is a rare, exciting and worthwhile opportunity for the right buyer. Jean said she found that “The rewards are personal. I have always had joy from the animals I own, they are my greatest pleasure.”

Upon the sale of the property, the Mumbrays intend to move closer to family along with their beloved personal pets: their horses, dogs, cats, budgies – and monkeys.

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Restaurant owner fined over £3000 for ‘significant rodent infestation’

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THE FORMER proprietor of a restaurant which had a ‘significant rodent infestation’ pleaded guilty to ten food hygiene offences at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Monday (Jun 18).

Mr Rysul Asad of Gloster Row, Cardigan, and the former proprietor of Gulshan, Chancery Lane, Cardigan, has appeared before Magistrates.

Four offences related to the presence of a significant rodent infestation at the restaurant, which was under Mr Asad’s control at the time. A further five offences related to the poor standards of cleaning found during the investigation.

Emergency action was taken by Ceredigion County Council Environmental Health Officers in September 2017 following the discovery of an active rodent infestation at the premises, and resulted in the immediate closure of the food business.

Rodent activity, including the presence of droppings, entry points and gnawing, was discovered within food preparation and food storage areas of the premises. Furthermore, Officers also discovered dirty equipment and very poor standards of cleaning.

Rodents carry a number of dangerous microorganisms and pose a significant risk to human health. These can include Salmonellosis, Escherichia coli (E.coli), Hantavirus and Weil’s disease.

The presence of rodents within a food premises can transmit these diseases via contaminated surfaces, equipment and the food itself, to such an extent that it is regarded as an imminent risk to health.

Cabinet Member for Public Protection Services Councillor Gareth Lloyd said: “Food hygiene inspections, and Food Hygiene Ratings shown on the doors of the majority of food businesses in Ceredigion, gives reassurance to the public who live, work and visit the county that the food they eat is safe and has been prepared hygienically. However, on rare occasions the Council must take action to protect public health and the reputation of our excellent hospitality industry who work hard to maintain standards.”

Mr Asad also pleaded guilty to a further offence of failing to register his new food business, namely Shatun Sharha Limited trading as Shampan the Boat Restaurant and Takeaway, River Teifi, Quay Street, Lower Mwldan, Cardigan, for which he is now the proprietor. Mr Asad failed to notify the Commercial Services Team at Ceredigion County Council of this change following his departure from Gulshan in November 2017.

Councillor Lloyd added: “Cases like this underline the importance of the work of our food and safety team and the value of our inspection programme. The food safety team works hard with local businesses to meet and maintain legal food hygiene standards to ensure the best hygiene safety in our county.”

The Magistrates imposed a total financial penalty of £3,107 on Mr Asad for the offences. This included Council costs and victim surcharge.

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3,000 Welsh landlords still unregistered

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JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM has called on the Welsh Government to urgently work to improve landlord registration under Rent Smart Wales, as estimates released indicate around 3,000 remain unregistered.

Ms Finch-Saunders said: “Rent Smart Wales estimates that still 3,000 landlords are unregistered here in Wales.

“Whilst that makes up a small percentage of our total landlords, it is most concerning for those living in properties leased to them by those who have not yet registered.

“The Welsh Government has confirmed that a landlord who is not registered with Rent Smart Wales is unable to serve a valid Section 21 eviction notice – so where unregistered landlords do indicate that they want tenants to vacate a property, this is not recognised by local housing associations, which can cause stress to tenants who may not be aware of their full rights under the law.

“By focusing on ensuring that all landlords are properly registered, the Welsh Government can alleviate such concerns, and I will be urging the Cabinet Secretary to act to ensure all landlords are abiding by this legislation in full.”

The Minister for Housing and Regeneration told Ms Finch-Saunders that the latest figures released by Rent Smart Wales show that 90,812 landlords are now registered. Rent Smart Wales’ latest estimate for the number of unregistered landlords is approximately 3,000.

This is based on the dwelling stock estimates recently published by StatsWales, and an estimation of the average number of properties owned by each landlord.

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Public urged to enjoy dolphin sightings at a distance

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WITH summer on the way, bringing visitors enjoying Ceredigion’s wildlife rich coastline, the Council is urging members of the public to enjoy coastal activities without disturbing Cardigan Bay’s special wildlife and habitats. The call comes after individuals recently approached and swam with dolphins in Cardigan Bay.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct asks water users to stay 100 metres away from dolphins and porpoises encountered at sea, and to keep a distance of 50 metres from seals and nesting sea birds.

In no circumstances should the public attempt to feed, swim with or touch the dolphins. These are wild animals. Dolphins are large and powerful and can grow up to four metres long. As well as causing significant disturbance to the animals and pushing them off important feeding sites, close contact can also result in exposure to diseases to both humans and animals.

Repeated disturbance could cause the dolphins to leave important feeding sites to search for quieter areas.

Disruption to feeding, resting and nursing behaviour could have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of individual dolphins and populations.

The Cabinet member responsible for Economy and Regeneration, Councillor Rhodri Evans said: “Cardigan Bay’s wildlife is a great asset to the economy of our coastal communities and is also important in its own right. It is because of this that we ask residents and visitors to enjoy dolphin, and other wildlife sightings at a safe distance. Although the temptation to have a close-up view is understandable, we can’t risk disturbing Cardigan Bay’s wildlife and possibly driving them away. It’s the last thing anyone wants.”

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct was established by Ceredigion County Council over twenty years ago, in response to local community concerns that the bottlenose dolphins that use these waters to feed, socialise and breed were experiencing greater pressures from disturbance by those enjoying recreational water-based activities.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct can be found online on http://www.cardiganbaysac.org.uk/?page_id=583

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