The renowned kitchen gardens central to the The Pig hotel group are witnessing the start of their annual glut of veg and fruit, ordinarily served up to hungry guests. But with no guests to feed, the non-furloughed kitchen garden staff at The Pig-at Bridge Place have started delivering its abundance of produce to the doorsteps of NHS workers, the high risk and the vulnerable. This happens to include the wild residents of the nearby Gorilla sanctuary at Howletts Wild Animal Park, which is currently shut to visitors. The 29 Western lowland gorillas, which The Aspinall Foundation intends to re-introduce to the wilds of Central Africa, are now enjoying 'gone over' parsnips, chard, celeriac and spring onions, that would otherwise go to waste.
Hotel Director Guy Freedman says, "we didn't want any food to go to waste but veg can only be preserved for so long. We have asked all in our local village of Bridge to let us know what they need and have ensured that the local NHS workers, elderly and vulnerable take what they want. We still found ourselves with left over veg as the gardens are at their most productive in April, May and June. So we are delighted to have found that the gorillas are happy recipients."
THE PIG-at Bridge Place opened to much excitement in April 2019 but has had to temporarily close its doors during the coronavirus crisis. Like all hotels they are unsure when they will be able to re-open to guests but are making the most of the situation by ensuring that their nourishing produce does not go to waste and reaches as many people (and wild animals) as possible.