Meeting Freddie the orangutan… in a nursery in Cornwall

We met Gill and Freddie quite early on in our journey collecting digital stories that think about climate change in the UK.

Gill had a warm Cheshire accent and talked fondly of her impressive 40 years in childcare. Gill had set up Gooseberry Day bush nursery 20 years ago and it’s clear that it’s a well-loved and well-used nursery.


We were told about Gill and her nursery by the Green Foundation team at the Eden Project. When they explained what Gill had been doing with the nursery children we had to hear more!

So we sat wide-eyed, very much like the children in the nursery would do, and listened to the story of Freddie the orangutan. Freddie’s story had humor, love, danger and sadness… here it is-

We have to admit that palm oil isn’t something we’d really thought about before. After coming home and looking at all of our packaging we feel slightly hopeless- it’s in so many things!

Often labeled as vegetable oil, the ingredient that’s causing Freddie’s home to be chopped down is in all our favorite things. Biscuits are top of the list- we are both notorious biscuit fiends!

So we both vowed to cut down on the amount of things we ate with palm oil in. Quite honestly it’s not been easy and there are been times where we’ve forgotten altogether. When you’re in a rush to buy lunch or on a tight budget, sadly little Freddie doesn’t factor into your buying habits.

Really this is like a lot of things to do with climate change. They are hard to relate to your everyday life and difficult to keep at the front of your mind. Still, if everyone cut down the amount of things they ate with palm oil in, when they could, it would make a difference. The more people we speak to the more we believe that- every little helps.

Thank you Gill!



Gerry’s Story – Trevanion House

Last year we met with the lovely Green Foundation team at the Eden Project and they told us about Gerry – a local hotelier with a keen eye for doing the small things.  He turned out to be a man of many talents, here’s his story:

Gerry runs Trevanion house,  a lovely old building with tonnes of character. As well as providing holidays for adults with learning disabilities, Trevanion also hosts a ghost called George!



The interview started with a bang… or should we say a splash… not George the ghost, but Francesca throwing her tea across the living room. The reason for this? The mention of young men in the forces might have got her a little flustered! Gerry talks fondly of his time as a Sergeant major. Working in the cavalry regiment, he has some interesting tales to tell – stories of men scaling the walls of a building for fun, or riding horses up the staircase!

Gerry in the army rugby team

After the initial excitement (and a quick clean up!) we sat and listened as Gerry talks of some of the small changes he has made to his business to become greener. Gerry talks about these changes in a genuine and practical way. It is lovely to hear how these simple steps have made a difference and see how positive they have been for both him and the other staff.

We really enjoyed our visit to Trevanion, in fact we wouldn’t mind a holiday here ourselves!

Thank you Gerry.