In April our first trip of the year was to Buckfast butterfly farm and otter sanctuary followed by lunch and a trip to Totnes on the South Devon Railway. Regrettably the overcast, wet and cold weather on the day meant there was little activity in the butterfly house. However, our group were fascinated seeing the process in which chrysalids were received by courier from South America and Asia, some 250 arriving every Tuesday, to be attached to canes in the tropical house ready to emerge amongst the exotic foliage and flowers as butterflies.

There was no such disappointment in the otter sanctuary where British, Asian and North American otters were all seen being fed with a detailed explanation by the keeper of the different characteristics and habits of the otters from diverse habitats around the world. Some of the otters seen had been rescued, some bred on site and others part of breeding exchanges to develop the species genetic pool for the future.