Rare lizard moves in

A MORPETH garden centre has found extra help with its National Pet Month activities as a rare lizard has taken up residence.

The Common Lizard, which is unusual despite its name, normally lives in Northern Europe, but staff at Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre are stumped as to why it has settled on the outlet for its new home.

The 10cm-long reptile is a muddy brown and olive yellow colour and likes nothing better than to relax and sunbathe at the centre’s outdoor rockery.

General Manager Roger Wale said: “We first spotted the lizard about three weeks ago and we think by its size and shape that it is male.

“Since it arrived it has been causing quite a stir with our customers.”

Staff are keen to hear from anyone who might be able to tell them more about the lizard.

Meanwhile, the regular Pet Month activities, which aim to promote the benefits of living with animals and responsible ownership, continue.

On Saturday representatives from the PDSA will be in store from 11am to 4pm, talking to customers and raising funds.

The charity provides free veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of people in need. To be eligible the owners must be in receipt of Council Tax or Housing Benefit and live within the postcode catchment area of the PetAid service.

Children are invited to join the fun of the awareness-raising month in a pet drawing competition.

They can draw any pet they wish and there are two age categories, under eight and eight years and over.

Two winners will receive a certificate, a copy of Anne McBride’s book Why Does My Rabbit...?, a small fluffy toy bunny and a Nestle pet care product to the value of £7. Runners up will receive a certificate and a book.

The closing date for entries is noon on Saturday. Drawings will then be on display for a week for customers to vote for their favourite.

Visitors to the garden centre are also being encouraged to check out its new pet shop.

Staff can offer free advice on pet care and products, which include leading food brands and a wide range of accessories.

For more information call 01670 513416.