Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are primarily known for their abundance of unique wildlife and as the place in which Charles Darwin’s conducted the research that led to his Theory of Evolution. For those who explore the area on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, a visit to this fragile, fascinating chain of islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; but for more than 25,000 people, the archipelago is home.
A Growing Population

 

Since the 1970s the population has increased greatly, with more than 75% of the current number having migrated from the mainland. Human occupation is restricted to an area that encompasses just 3% of the total land, with the vast majority living in the coastal towns on Santa Cruz, Floreana, San Cristobal and Isabela. A far smaller proportion (around 15%) lives in the more rural areas.

Most of the migration occurred for economic reasons, with a rapidly growing tourism industry and a declining standard of living on the Ecuadorian mainland. Before the implementation of the special immigration protocols in 1998, it was estimated that at the then-current rate, the population of the archipelago could double every decade. Since then, stricter controls have been put in place by the Ecuadorean government, which include a system of Transit Control Cards for all visitors coming into the area on Galapagos wildlife cruise itineraries.

Creating a Sustainable Society

Creating a sustainable society in a conservation area is not without its challenges, but the Conservancy of the islands is dedicated to the ongoing education of residents to “become champions of conservation”. The aim is to encourage locals to look at subsistence through a different lens to that of mainland living. Rather than trying to recreate a lifestyle that relies heavily on imported produce, machinery and techniques that are at odds with the environment, it encourages locals to consider themselves “stewards of the archipelago”, and live within a system more compatible with biodiverse preservation.

Education: the Key to the Future

Along with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Ministry of Education, the Conservancy is working towards education reform designed to foster a strong sense of values and engagement. Their focus is on demonstrating examples of “best practice” to teachers and administrators first, with a view to transferring this to classrooms.

Sustainable Practices in the Community

Another area in which the Conservancy is active is in increasing the capacity of sustainable agriculture throughout the archipelago, by demonstrating alternative methods of farming and environmental management.

Introduced domestic pets present a grave danger to the local wildlife; the Conservancy’s Humane Pet Management promotes responsible pet ownership and sterilisation in partnership with the Animal Balance organisation.

FUNDAR

The local Foundation for Responsible Alternative Development (FUNDAR) believes the establishment of a strong civil society is imperative to the base of any social change in the archipelago. “Citizens must act together with a common goal in order for change to happen.” While only a very small percentage of locals oppose the concept of sustainable development, in reality not much is understood about what it entails. They say it is an inter-generational process, which involves allowing residents to benefit in the “now”, but in a way that also assures that future generations can benefit too.

The Responsibility of All

While there is still some way to go until the region becomes a truly sustainable society, everybody who visits can do their part to ensure that the values are upheld. For anyone visiting on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, this means respecting the National Park Code of Conduct at all times and not doing anything to upset the balance of the ecosystem.

Choosing the ideal saddle girth

Choosing the ideal saddle girth

The girth is quite an important part of a horse’s saddlery, which we owe a lot to. Without a girth, we would presumably have to ride everywhere bareback, where the majority of us would need to develop an almost superhuman degree of balance to cope with the implications of that! Think about the implications of the girth on the horse: it is a small but very important item of saddlery that can cause all sorts of discomfort if fitted incorrectly. As with most things in the equine world, there is a vast number of girth available on the market, but there is a great deal of considerations to be made before launching into an impulsive purchase.
Firstly, the size of your girth will be your primary concern. The best way to find your horse’s girth size is to use either his current girth, or borrow a girth which fits well, and measure that. Of course, if his current girth is too big or small, you may add or subtract an inch or two depending. You can also measure the distance around your horse from the middle girth straps, but this may not be as accurate as you might hope. Girth extenders are a possibility if you are already lumbered with a too-short girth, but they can look untidy so it is best to invest in something which does fit.

 

As with any piece of saddlery, the quality of the material you choose for your girth will affect the welfare and comfort of your horse. Leather will make for a good quality durable product, however it has been known to rub in the elbow crevices of some horses. If this happens, it may be due to the stiffness of the leather, which is a common problem with new girths. Whilst your horse is wearing it in, it will mold to him better, but try to soften the leather up with a specialist leather cream. Ask your saddlery retailer for their recommended brand, as a good quality leather cream will not only keep the girth in good condition, but should prevent it from rubbing your horse. Obviously, if your horse continues to rub, then it may not be appropriate to persist. Consider a neoprene covered girth; These are specifically designed with comfort in mind. They can cause heating under the girth area, but do reduce the pressure points that can happen with a cheap webbing girth. Webbing girths are great for your pocket, they are very reasonably priced, but do believe that your horse is comfortable. Also remember to check for any signs of wear, as these girths can be less durable over time than other materials, and a snapped girth could result in an injury.

The style of girth you choose for your horse, like many saddlery accessories, will often depend on your discipline. For example, if you showjump or event, a stud guard will be essential, as will an overgirth for the latter. For the serious dressage rider, a specialist dressage girth would be ideal, to free up the movement of the elbow and maximize performance. Despite the confusing array of styles available, the main principle to remember is: the greater the surface area of ​​the girth, the more the pressure will be spread out, increasing the horse’s comfort. A girth which is contoured around the elbow, whilst widening between the forelegs would be ideal for everyday purposes.

Overall, you must have a very clear idea of ​​what works for your horse, and tailor the girthing process to meet his needs. Do not forget about saddlery accessories such as girth sleeves and elasticated girth straps to adjust the fit and comfort that a girth can provide. Finally, ensure you girth your horse up steadily and gently to avoid any issues developing around the girthing procedure. Once you’re pleased with your tack, you and your horse will be ready to enjoy a good ride- whatever it is that you do together.

Life on Galapagos: The Invertebrates

Life on Galapagos: The Invertebrates

 

The unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos Archipelago attract nature lovers from all over the world to explore the region. The best way to do it is on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, which affords participants the opportunity to experience the astounding diversity of the island’s habitats and encounter a wide range of animals.
The mammals, reptiles, birds and marine animals of the archipelago are fairly well known by visitors, and many of the high-profile species can be seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise. Surprisingly, though, the largest group of organisms is often overlooked.

 

The Invertebrates

Invertebrates have no backbone and are officially classified as animals that “neither possess nor develop a vertebral column”. They include insects, spiders, snails, worms, centipedes and many others. Like all the wildlife, this group had to arrive at the islands either on the ocean currents, with birds, or attached to vegetation or driftwood washed up on the shoreline.

The terrestrial invertebrates exist in every habitat and account for around 51% of the archipelago’s total biodiversity. While they may be small in size, they are absolutely crucial to the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Not only do they act as pollinators, they contribute to the formation of soils by recycling organic matter, and they also feature as an important link in the food chain as part of the diet for birds and small mammals.

The marine invertebrates include the molluscs, sponges, annelids (segmented marine worms), cnidarians (including corals), echinoderms (sea cucumbers and urchins) and many others.

Unique and Imbalanced

While many are still identical to their ancestors on the South American mainland, due to the remoteness of the region and the diversity of habitat just as many have adapted in order to survive. It’s estimated that around 52% of them are endemic. This means that some groups are represented in greater proportion than others, so they are considered to be “imbalanced”.

It is not known exactly how many invertebrate species are found throughout the archipelago, although in 2001 the number was estimated to be well over 2,000 (just for terrestrial ones), with the insects the most diverse and numerous. Some of the insects that may be seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise include butterflies, dragonflies, moths, wasps, grasshoppers, spiders and flies.

Giant Snails and Colourful Crabs

The giant land snails are a distinctive group comprising around 60 species. They are similar to Darwin’s Finches in that they appear to have made specific adaptations to survive in particular habitats.

While most invertebrates don’t enjoy the glamorous status of some of the mammals and reptiles seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, one certainly attracts attention. The delightfully skittish Sally Lightfoot Crab can be seen scurrying between rocks on the shoreline, and its vibrant red and blue shell makes it a favourite with nature lovers.

While at first glance this group may not be as impressive as the Giant Tortoise or have the character of the quirky Blue-footed Booby, they are no less interesting and just as important to maintaining the status quo of archipelago’s ecosystem.

The need for good horse equipment

The need for good horse equipment

It is important to remember that any equipment is used to be kept in a good condition and free from wear and tear. In particular, important items such as reins, girth, girth straps and stirrup leathers should be regularly checked to prevent wear and tear from going unnoticed and becoming dangerous. It is not only the stitching that needs to be monitored, any leather cleaner / saddle soap should be used to prevent cracks, weaknesses and tears. Whichever saddle you use, GP, western or synthetic, it should fit true and your bridle should sit comfortably and neither should rub in any place.
There are a wide range of safety accessories that can be utilised when hacking.

 

Boots and or bandages are the best ways of offering protection to the horses legs. There are many different types, fetlock boots; brushing boots; complete boots that offer protection to the tendons and fetlocks as well as wicking moisture away from the legs, preventing rubbing and over-reach boots. These can be made using many different materials, leather, neoprene, nylon and synthetic fabrics are all common.

When you know that the ground or footing in areas you will be hacking through the horses shoes can help in horse a firmer footing, helping to prevent dangerous slipping and sliding. There are other techniques that can help to prevent the build up of snow in the horses hooves that can be discussed with your farrier if you find yourself having to ride in snowy conditions frequently.

A mobile phone is now an essential of everyday life for most people. For safety reasons this should also be taken with you when hacking out, especially if horses riding out alone. This is best carried in a secure pocket with the ringer off so as not to startle your horse should it go off. In the event of the emergency you can use your phone to call the vet, your yard or your home should you need it. Even the most isolated areas should allow you to use emergency numbers, preventing you from being stranded in the case of an emergency.

We Can Cater To Your Specific Needs From A Charity Venue

We Can Cater To Your Specific Needs From A Charity Venue

The main objective of your charity event may be to fundraise for your charity rather than give your guests an impressive venue to marvel at, but that doesn’t mean the venue isn’t important. Indeed, it is precisely because your event is what matters most that when you come to choose a Charity Events Venue In The Uk, you should ensure yours ticks all of the essential boxes.

 

Vast Experience And Capability In Holding Special Events

Here at Manor of Groves, we have a level of experience in holding special events that is unmatched by almost any comparable venue in Hertfordshire. We are continually hosting such events as traditional afternoon teas, hen parties, prom or graduation parties, celebrations of life and – of course – weddings, which is one of our very greatest specialities.

As a consequence, we have also accumulated considerable experience of catering to the most specific requests made by those booking our well-appointed and spacious suites.

If you are holding a relatively modest charity event, for example, there may be enough room in our Colonnade Suite, with its capacity of as many as 150 people. Alternatively, it may be the Manor Suite, with its air-conditioned adaptable space that can accommodate up to 500 guests, that provides the perfect backdrop for your event, not least as it also features such amenities as an exclusive bar, cloakroom, entrance hall and toilets.

Talk To Manor Of Groves About Your Requirements Today

Would you like to provide your charity event’s guests with the benefit of succulent and varied cuisine in one of our elegant banqueting suites? What about even giving them to chance to book a spacious bedroom in which to stay overnight, if the event is likely to end late and they may not be able to easily drive home? There’s even a par 71, 6,237-yard golf course at which they may wish to tee off during the day ahead of your event – yes, it’s open to visitors and not just hotel residents.

Whatever you want, need or expect from your charity’s next event, our seasoned and capable coordinators can oversee every aspect of it to help ensure its success. It’s just one more reason why Manor of Groves is such an enduringly popular charity events venue in the UK.

What you’ll need when you own a horse

What you’ll need when you own a horse

Saddle
When you buy a saddle, what do you need to look for is: whether it fits your horse, what it matches the kind of riding you want and whether it is comfortable for the rider. Saddles come in different types for polo, racing, showing, etc. There are saddles that are meant for a rider who intends to do all kinds of riding and there are saddles that can fit a horse of any shape.

 

Bridle

Bridles are usually made in leather, which makes them long lasting and comfortable to use. They are made in synthetic materials, designed to make them easier to clean and maintain. The size of the bridle depends on the type of horse and the size of its head. Normally, bridles come in four different types: snaffle, double, western and endurance. A snaffle bridle is easy to handle and modify to suit the type of horse and the way it rides. A double bridle gives the rider a high degree of control over the horse. A western bridle is minimal in appearance and is designed for a hot climate to allow the horse’s skin to breathe. It is also easier to repair, if away from home. An endurance bridle is flexible enough to be changed to a head collar, which is suitable for long distance travel.

Bits

Bits are the part of horse riding equipment that helps the rider to communicate with the horse regarding its speed and pace and some control over the horse. There are five different types of bits, and all five affect the different areas of the horse’s head. A bit should fit tightly into the horse’s mouth and should leave a little space free on both side of the mouth. Bit sizes are measured by taking the distance between the two bit rings in either centimetres or inches. Bits are made in different materials like stainless steel, copper, iron, etc.

Horse harness

The part of horse riding equipment that allows the horse to pull a vehicle like a carriage, a sleigh or a wagon is the horse harness. It is also used to latch the animal to other loads like a plow or canal boat. The two main parts of a harbors are collar and a head collar, either one being used. There are different kinds of harnesses suitable for different purposes like shows, pulling a carriage or van, pulling a cart or wagon, racing or plowing.

Horse rugs

Horse rugs are meant to protect the horse from sun, rain, snow, wind and flies. It gives the horse warmth and protection while it is in the field or stable. It helps the horse to remain healthy, hygienic and safe while traveling, as well as after exercise. Rug sizes range from 3 ft for a colt to 7 ft 3 inch for a big horse. Depending on the purpose, rugs, rugs, cooler rugs, blankets, summer sheets, turnout rugs, sweat rugs, fly rugs.

Riding whips

Horse riding equipment would not be complete without riding whips and boots. Horse riding whips are used to lead the horse on. They should be carried on the inside of the hand and used just behind the rider’s leg. Whips are of different kinds like whip whip, whip hunting, whipping whip, polar whip, show cane and lunge whip. Whips are used for various purposes like show jumping, dressage, cross-country, hacking, schooling and polo. Always remember that whichever is not meant to be used on the horse often.

Riding boots

Boots for horses are worn on its front and back legs. They protect the horse from injury while traveling or participating in a competition. There are different kinds of boots for different purposes and protect the different areas of the horse’s legs. They are usually made of synthetic material, leather or rubber with either Velcro fastenings or leather buckles.

3 Factors Separating The Best Birthday Party Venues In Berkshire From The Rest

3 Factors Separating The Best Birthday Party Venues In Berkshire From The Rest

It’s difficult to think of a more quintessentially English county than Berkshire. It is, after all, more properly known as the Royal County of Berkshire, due to the presence here of Windsor Castle. What you may not know, however, is that there are also many fine Birthday Party Venues In Berkshire, showing that the grand old county certainly has a fun side.

 

But if there’s a downside to the broad choice of such venues across the region, it’s the difficulty of choosing between them – so what are some of the characteristics that you should consider when you are perusing birthday party venues in Berkshire?

1 Location

This is definitely a key factor if you want to attract as many people as possible to your birthday party, as well as enjoy the celebrations once they are underway.

Here at Regency Park Hotel, for example, not only are we located in a peaceful and tranquil setting between Thatcham and Newbury, but we are also just 10 minutes away from the M4 and A339, and offer excellent rail links with Newbury and London Paddington.

2 Suites

We’re sure you’ll agree with us that the space within the venue in which your birthday party takes place needs to be a pleasant and well-equipped one.

Again, that’s a need to which we are pleased to cater here at Regency Park Hotel, with our Parkland and Paris Suites accommodating as many as 140 and 70 guests respectively, while also each having their own bar and no shortage of modern style.

3 Experience

The finest birthday party venues in Berkshire also offer a little something that may be intangible, but which nonetheless makes a big difference to how well a party goes ‘on the day’ – considerable experience and a strong track record in the hosting of such events.

Choose the right birthday party venue in Berkshire, and there will be a team on hand to help ensure that everything goes like clockwork – from the start of your party until the end.

Whatever your own most pressing priorities as far as birthday party venues in Berkshire are concerned, when you get in touch with Regency Park Hotel, you may be surprised to learn just how capable we are of fulfilling each and every one of them.

Enquire now about what makes our chic and contemporary hotel the perfect place to hold your next birthday party in Berkshire, as well as to book our venue for a good price, well in advance.

The equipment is mostly needed by a horse owner

The equipment is mostly needed by a horse owner

With the ever-increasing range of horse equipment available on the market we have a look at the essentials that every horse owner should have.
Well other than the horse your first thing you need is a halter. The continental design is the best as it allows for the use of a chain. Most halters manufactured today are continental in design. Extra features include safety clips (they are important if you intend turning your horse out with a halter on) lining for the nose and poll. Which one you select will largely depend on your budget and taste, as they are available in almost every possible.

 

Next you will need a lead rope, a thicker softer lead rope is advisable, and if it has a loop on the end cut it off or loosen it, lead reins should never have a loop at the end. Ideally a lead rein should measure between 5-7 feet in length, as they are the most versatile

Spare feeder and water bucket even if your horse is boarded it is yours. It is advisable to have at least two hay nets as well

Grooming kit also advisable to have two of if possible allowing for changeover and cleaning without interrupting the grooming routine. Mark your hoofpick well, as it is usually the first thing to wander off in any yard. Invest in a few spares.

Two working bridles, it is advisable when buying a horse to bridle (unless it’s a Keiffer or Stubben that is) Buy a spare bridle and oil it is well to have available in the event of the working bridle breaking

Working boots Brushing boots is advisable for everyday riding, unless your horse requires specialized boots, which you will be informed of when purchasing, or after having the horse vetted. Speak to your stable manager or instructor as to the most suitable boots.

Saddle a well-fitted saddle that’s your choice and riding style. Check your saddle every three months to ensure it’s correct fit.

Rugs and clothing Day sheet, used mostly after bathing a horse to get the coat to lie flat, of for traveling.

Sweat sheet used to cool your horse down and prevent chills on cool or cold days. Often confused with a flysheet, a sweat sheet has the same appearance as a flysheet. It is however heavier and does not have the belly straps

Flysheet if you own a gray horse or one with sweet itch this should be placed on horses whilst turned out to prevent insect bites and stings.

Exercise blanket. If your horse is to be clipped in the winter and it snows in your area warm whist working.

Rugs Depending on your stabling arrangements and climate may require up to three rugs. If stabled your horse could have a lighter duvet rug whilst indoors, and then have this exchanged for a New Zealand or Weatherbeta for when turned out. It is advisable to have at least two turnout rugs should you have wet winters with snow, as this allows for them to dry properly prior to being used on the horse again.

Should your horse live out at least two New Zealand rugs. Ensure that the waterproof lining is intact and not allowing moisture to seep through.

Bandages Exercise bandages, these are made of elastic or ribbed fabric, although not as fashionable as boots, horse exercise bandages have one benefit over boots. Used to protect the legs whilst in work and to support tendons. Also helps with beeping the legs warm in the winter.

Stable bandages These are made of wool of flannelling, today they are often made of fleecing. Every owner needs at least one pair on stable bandages; These are used from bandaging for warmth or for drying of legs to extra support for wound horse dressings.

Why Should We Be Your Choice For Charity Venue Hire In The Uk?

 

Why Should We Be Your Choice For Charity Venue Hire In The Uk?

With so many fine options for Charity Venue Hire In The Uk, you can be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed when attempting to choose one for your next big fundraising event. It’s a public event, so should you opt for somewhere that is visually spectacular, even if it is less than well-equipped and difficult for many of your attendees to reach? Or perhaps somewhere a little more ‘cheap and cheerful’ might make more sense for what is, after all, a charity event?

 

Here at Shendish Manor, we don’t think that you should feel bound by such contradictions. We think it’s possible for you to choose a venue for your charity event that appeals to both your head and your heart, and that appeals to all of your fantasies for what your charity event could be, without neglecting the basic practicalities.

What’s more, we believe that Shendish Manor is that venue. Allow us to explain…

We Can Certainly Do The Mundane Stuff…

Central to whether your next charity event turns out to be a success or failure is good preparation and organisation – and you can be assured of the highest standard of both when you make Shendish Manor your preference for charity venue hire in the UK.

We have hosted all manner of special events down the years, including the likes of traditional afternoon teas, wedding fayres, hen parties, graduations and celebrations of life, so we are more than capable of assisting you to ensure that your big fundraising event goes without a hitch.

…but We’ll Also Get Your Pulse Racing

Who wants to hold an all-important charity event in a soulless concrete box? Yes, we know that the worthy causes that your charity exists to support need to be the principal focus of your event. But the evening’s activities will also be much more memorable – for the very best reasons – when they take place in a stunning, but not too overwhelming setting.

Shendish Manor provides precisely that setting. On the outside, our building is a masterpiece of Victorian splendour… while on the inside, our suites are similarly resplendent. There’s a good reason why we are such a popular choice of venue for weddings, for example – Shendish Manor is definitely a place that captures the heart, and not just the head.

Do you like the sound of all of these things in your choice of charity venue hire in the UK? If so, simply get in touch with our special events team now for more information about the availability and prices of our sought-after events spaces.

Reporting Tool combit List & Label Version 23 Released Huge Performance Increase and Many New Feat

Reporting Tool combit List & Label Version 23 Released Huge Performance Increase and Many New Feat

Constance / Germany, 11/02/2017 – Version 23 of the reporting tool marks 25 years of List & Label software development. The new version provides a considerable performance boost for users. “Managing Director and Head of Development List & Label Jochen Bartlau. “The database server has been greatly reduced.”

 

The Enterprise edition now includes the combit Report Server. Software developers can use it to provide their customers with a ready-to-install and ready-to-use server-based reporting solution along with their own application without any programming effort. For their own web applications, developers can use the Ad-hoc Designer to implement browser-based design and more. List & Label Designer users will have access to many new features, e.g. the pie and donut charts can now display partial sections instead of a complete circle, or represent several rows of data. Virtual formula variables provide users with direct formatting of values ​​in the variable list via drag & drop. Context-sensitive editing of crosstabs is quick and easy.

Since its first release in 1992, the reporting tool List & Label has established its position on the national and international market. The software manufacturer from Konstanz on the shores of Lake Constance has always managed to adopt the latest technologies and integrate them into its reporting tool at an early stage. Developers using List & Label have a very wide range of programming languages ​​and development environments at their disposal.

 

List & Label 23: Highlights of The New Version

Accelerated Designer Startup The Designer launches much faster, especially for large data structures. The information required is only queried and registered when the user actually needs it, i.e. when accessing data structures. This dramatically reduces database queries. The Web Designer also benefits from CPU performance and above all network bandwidth.

Increased Printing Performance Several optimizations in the preparation of the actual data structure used for printing and exporting have significantly reduced the load on the database server. This increases the printing speed. Data providers created by developers themselves require minor changes. In addition, List & Label recognizes when only the quote accordingly variables are required for report parameters and optimizes the database query accordingly. Memory consumption for crosstabs has also been greatly reduced, especially when using shadow pages.

Report Server Included The Enterprise Edition includes the combit Report Server, a ready-to-install and ready-to-use reporting solution. The web application works in any current browser on all devices. Developers who need a server-based reporting solution can save a lot of development time. A new API allows users to access servers from their own servers.

Ad-Hoc Designer The lean Ad-hoc Designer is a completely browser-based alternative to the locally installed Web Designer and is available as an independent control. Developers can quickly integrate it into their own web applications, and customers can create most reports directly in the browser, even on a tablet.

Relational Linking of Data Sources In order to combine and link data from different sources, it is now possible to simply and define relations between different data sources. For example, customer data from an SQL table is linked to the online order as a CSV from the web shop. Most of the included data providers can be linked in this way.

New Data Provider: Salesforce Integration with the Salesforce web service for direct access to the entire data model.

New Features in Pie and Donut Charts In the Designer, users can now define several data series in the donut chart, which are displayed as nested rings. This allows for easy comparison of different time per