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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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Lecture considers the future of war

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INTERNATIONALLY renowned war scholar and military conflict expert, Professor Christopher Coker delivered this year’s Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture on Thursday (Nov 16).

Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a prolific author on all aspects of war. He is a former NATO Fellow, a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.

In his lecture entitled ‘Still ‘The Human Thing’? Thucydides, Waltz & the Future of War”, Professor Coker discussed war as a feature of what we call ‘human nature’ or ‘humanity’ in general, while focusing on urgent contemporary issues such as possible changes in the nature of war by the blurring of the distinction between humans and machines.

He also considered how, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more a fact of life, the traditional functions and forms of war could change, discussing such questions as: will we still need war and will war still need us?

Talking ahead of the the event, Professor Ken Booth of Aberystwyth University said: “Chris Coker is a very imaginative, interesting, and controversial thinker. Intellectually ambitious, he always addresses the biggest questions. The titles of some of his most recent books attest to this: Future War, Can War be Eliminated?, Warrior Geeks: how 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War, The Improbable War: China, the US, and the Logic of Great Power Conflict and Men at War: what Fiction tells us about Conflict. We can be sure of a fascinating and challenging lecture about a supremely important area of human behaviour.”

The Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture brings distinguished scholars to Aberystwyth to talk about issues that were central to the concerns of the late Ken Waltz, the leading theorist of international relations over many decades.
Hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute and the Department of International Politics, this year’s lecture was held in the Main Hall in the International Politics Building on the Penglais Campus.

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Youth Service invited to international training event

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TWO Youth Workers from Ceredigion Youth Service have been selected to represent the UK on a week’s training opportunity in Horažd’ovice in the Czech Republic.

‘The danger of a Single Story’ is a training course funded by Erasmus+, that combines stories, media, global education and active citizenship to empower trainers, educators and youth workers with the tools to educate young people on issues such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and online harassment.

Elen James, Head of Youth Engagement and Continuing Education​,​ said​:​ “We are extremely proud of both Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton, 270 people had applied, for 24 places, 2 were allocated for the UK and both places have been assigned to Ceredigion Youth Service staff.

“This is an excellent training opportunity for them, which will inform them and encourage them to reflect on the evolution of media and the consequences that it has on the formation of stereotypes and prejudices. We wish them all the best in Prague!​”​

Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton will join 22 other Youth Workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The week will be hosted at the PROUD Environmental Centre approximately 120km from Prague, from ​Sunday (Nov 19) for a week.

Rebeca Davies, School Based Youth Worker said​:​ “I’m really looking forward to visiting Prague, and meeting other Youth Workers from across the World. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new tools and techniques to encourage and empower young people back here in Ceredigion.”

Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker ​added​:​ “I’m looking forward to learning more about different Youth Work methods and approaches. I’m also eager to develop a greater awareness around education, active citizenship and democracy.”

Cabinet member for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Councillor Catrin Miles, ​commented: “As a Council, we are very proud of the hard work of our Youth Service to the young people of the county. This will be a very important and worthwhile opportunity for Rebeca and Guto to represent Ceredigion and Wales and we wish them all the best at the event.”

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Pot Noodles bought with theft proceeds

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ON WEDNESDAY (Nov 15), Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that a 23-year-old man stole an HDMI cable from a store and sold it for a tenner to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Joel Alexander Owens, of Portland Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol to the value of £24.96 belonging to his hometown’s B&M Bargains on June 29. He also admitted stealing an HDMI cable to the value of £14 belonging to Tesco in Aberystwyth on September 24.

Prosecuting, Helen Tench said a staff member at B&M was notified by a member of the public about a male who left the store without paying for items.

CCTV footage was checked, which showed Owens select a number of alcoholic items and leaving the store without making any payments.

Police officers later viewed the footage and identified the defendant.

On October 14, a member of staff at Tesco was informed of the incident at B&M. The Tesco CCTV footage was viewed as a result and the defendant was seen removing an HDMI cable from its box on September 24 and leaving without paying.

Ms Tench said Owens was interviewed on October 19, where he admitted committing the offences in his personal statement.

The defendant also admitted he sold the HDMI cable for £10 in order to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Defending, Katy Hanson said Owens pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted to stealing beer and cider from B&M.

Probation officer Julian Davies stated that the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order for two previous offences of theft and a breach of a conditional discharge.

Aberystwyth magistrates revoked Owens community order and imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a four-week curfew.

Owens was told to pay prosecution costs of £85, compensation of £14 to Tesco and compensation of £24.96 to B&M Bargains.

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