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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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Ceredigion dog breeder fined for failing to comply with dog breeding licence

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A CROWN COURT has upheld a conviction that the dogs under the care of Mr. Jones were kept in overcrowded conditions in contravention of the minimum space standards required by the license conditions.

Other convictions were overturned.

On 27 November 2020, and 22December 2020, the Crown Court heard an appeal by Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones, of Dorwan Kennels, Penrheol, Talsarn, relating to convictions for failing to comply with dog breeding licence conditions. 

Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones had previously been convicted at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court of running a licenced dog breeding establishment far in access of the number allowed on his licence and that the dogs in his care were kept in overcrowded conditions.

The Court heard evidence that Mr Dorian Wyn Jones had been granted a licence for 33 dogs. However, during a visit undertaken by Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection Officers on the 07 August 2019, they found 91 dogs at the premises excluding puppies, in breach of his license. The dogs were kept in pens of a size that were inadequate for the number of dogs kept within them.

On 9 February 2021, Dorian Jones was fined £1000 for the overcrowding offence, and ordered to pay legal costs amounting to £2500. 

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Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

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The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’ for 73 years, has died aged 99.

Prince Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He announced he was stepping down from royal engagements in May 2017, joking that he could no longer stand up. He made a final official public appearance later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Since then, he was rarely seen in public, spending most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, though moving to be with her at Windsor Castle during the lockdown periods throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and where the couple quietly celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020. He also celebrated his 99th birthday in lockdown at Windsor Castle.

The duke spent four nights at King Edward VII hospital in London before Christmas 2019 for observation and treatment in relation to a “pre-existing condition”.

Despite having hip surgery in April 2018, he attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a month later and was seen sitting beside the Queen at a polo match at Windsor Great Park in June. He and the Queen missed Prince Louis of Cambridge’s christening in July 2018, but he was seen attending Crathie Kirk near Balmoral in August, and driving his Land Rover in the surrounding Scottish countryside in September.

It is expected that flags on landmark buildings in Britain will be lowered to half-mast as a period of mourning is announced.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has expressed his sadness on the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and offered condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family on behalf of the Welsh Government.

He said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.

He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service”.Andrew RT Davies, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, has led tributes to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose death was announced today.

In light of the sad news from Buckingham Palace, campaigning has been paused with immediate effect.

Mr Davies said: “This is a very sad day for the United Kingdom.
“The Duke of Edinburgh led a remarkable life, excelled himself with his career in the Royal Navy, was the strength and stay to Her Majesty The Queen, and has left a legacy to the nation through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Dutiful, devoted, and diligent, his like will never be seen again, and Welsh Conservatives offer their deepest condolences to The Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru said: “On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I send my condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and her family. Many young people in Wales will have benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, a reflection of many decades of his public service. Thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.”

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Elin Jones calls for a plan to revive Aberystwyth town centre

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AS NON-ESSENTIAL retail re-opens on April 12, many of larger shops in Aberystwyth town centre will not be re-opening, with head offices scaling back on their presence on high streets across the UK.

In Aberystwyth, their absence will be particularly obvious with many of these retailers being located along Great Darkgate Street. Multiple retailers such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Clinton Cards, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, M&Co and Lloyds Pharmacy will not be reopening leaving a large proportion of empty properties.

These closures are in stark contrast to many independent retailers on Aberystwyth’s other streets looking to expand or start.

Commenting on this issue, Elin Jones said: “It’s time for a major rethink for Aberystwyth’s Great Darkgate Street.

“The multiple larger retailers are turning their back on our town centre and now we need to re-focus these large premises in order to make them more attractive and accessible to independent, local businesses. There have been smaller independent shops opening along other streets in Aberystwyth and throughout Ceredigion, so there is definitely businesses who could be persuaded to have a presence on the high street.

‘It would be great to see a partnership effort in the town to persuade the absentee landlords to give rent-free start up opportunities, to re-purpose the larger premises to suit smaller businesses and to ensure the buildings look attractive on the street.

‘Welsh Government has confirmed that no rates will need to be paid for this whole financial year and therefore now is a great opportunity to support small local businesses to reclaim their place on Great Darkgate Street.

‘It is the town’s largest street and needs to be a star attraction in Ceredigion.’

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