Nature lovers have reported sightings of a rare monkey on the streets of the spa town of Matlock Bath in the Derbyshire Peak District. It has been confirmed that the species is a Quinling golden snub-nosed monkey from China.
In the wild they are a maximum of 80 centimetres in length, but today, to the astonishment of passers-by, a five metre high golden monkey appeared on the front of the Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath.
These monkeys are on posters which announce the imminent arrival of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, which is coming to Derbyshire this summer for the first time in its 48 year history.
The exhibition shows winning photographs from a competition organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine. Every year entries are invited from wildlife photographers around the world – this year 40,000 applied.
A local company, Crane Gregory Projects, had the idea to bring the exhibition to the Peak District. Director Helen Crane said ‘When I first saw the exhibition, I noticed the variety of people who were enjoying it. My company aims to organize events which bring something new to an area, have a wide appeal and at the same time help to develop community enterprises.’
Helen Crane and her business partner Cath Gregory have been working in partnership with the Peak District Mining Museum, and the Grand Pavilion Company for six months to prepare the exhibition.
Robin Hall of the Peak District Mining Museum (housed at the Grand pavilion) said ‘The exhibition is bringing an air of excitement to the town. It has inspired us to restore the original spa pump room to its former airy elegance to show the photographs.
‘This international exhibition will draw people into the town. Then there is a huge amount locally to interest them relating to nature, wildlife and the landscape. Our museum reveals the local industrial history which has helped to shape the beautiful Peak District landscape. We even take visitors down a real mine.’
Charles Beresford, Vice Chairman of the Grand Pavilion trustees said, ‘We are an active group of local people who did not want to see this 100 year old pleasure palace turned into a car park. We now have the lease of the building for three years and are working on a plan to provide arts and entertainment for residents and visitors.
‘Every visitor who comes to the exhibition will enjoy the photos, and also help us to show that there is a big audience for events like this.’
The exhibition is open daily 10.30 – 4.30pm from 14th July to 2nd September 2012.
Admission for adults is £4, for a family is just £10.
More information at www.thegrandpavilion.co.uk.
Matlock Bath is on the A6 which can be busy at weekends, but the Grand Pavilion venue is 5 minutes walk from Matlock Bath Station, on the scenic railway line which runs from Nottingham – Derby – Matlock.
Rail information on www.nationalrail.co.uk.