Monday, June 22, 2015

PLA Shows a Modern Face with Diversion from Shipping and Freight Forwarding Matters

Now it's Wildlife Conservation and Recycling on the Agenda
Shipping News Feature

UK – To many of us old timers involved in the shipping and freight forwarding game, the Port of London Authority has always stood for a very traditional set of standards to be maintained along the River Thames but, like so many other maritime organisations, time has moved on and the PLA has shown itself to be ready to accept the modern aspects of river life in the 21st Century. Recycling is of course a buzzword for many companies wishing to upgrade their public image but the PLA’s latest recycling initiative is both memorable and high profile whilst aiding with wildlife conservation.

Lions and leopards at a big cat sanctuary are currently playing with ropes that just weeks before were being used to tie boats up on the Thames. The idea was launched as part of the PLA’s drive to make use of materials that would otherwise be thrown away and saw the Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) collected the first two pallets of rope and lifting strops last month and they are now being used at the Kent-based sanctuary’s ‘Enrichment’ enclosure as scratch posts, to keep cat claws sharp and their feline minds stimulated. PLA environment manager Tanya Ferry said:

“It’s really rewarding to know that something we’ve finished with has been given another lease of life. It helps reduce the waste we are producing, and cuts the Foundation’s spending on ropes, which can be expensive.”

Meanwhile a 10-metre plastic pipe dumped in the Thames and salvaged by PLA staff will also be fashioned into play tunnels for meerkats at the WHF’s sister site in Hertfordshire. The PLA team made a visit to the 38-acre WHF site in Smarden, near Ashford, Kent to see how the authority’s born-again rope was being put to use. The site is home to a huge range of cats, including pumas, cheetahs, leopards and lions. These are all encouraged to breed as part of a painstaking programme that lets cats at the park thrive. PLA marine manager ashore, Danny Marsh said:

“It’s brilliant that our old rope, which was used for towing and mooring lines has struck a chord with staff and cats at the sanctuary [and] the plastic pipe was found in the Thames near central London and had been with us for a while. As we can’t use it ourselves, what better way to reuse it, than to let meerkats have some fun?”

WHF spokesperson Tanith Brown thanked the PLA for its donation on behalf the Sanctuary’s 56 feline residents that will love getting to grips with the rope and strops, saying:

“These kinds of donation are really good for us, especially as we’re not open to the public in the normal sense. All help is appreciated, and anything that can help raise awareness of what we do is also welcome.”

Photo: A lion ready to play gives a roar as the team from the Port of London Authority and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation look on. Left to right: Tanith Brown, WHF marketing & fundraising executive and Danny Marsh, PLA marine manager ashore.