Around 200 staff from HSBC are embarking on a major project to help construct a brand new facility at Durrell Wildlife Park this week. The project will involve developing one of Durrell’s woodland areas to create a new ‘Lemur Lake’ enclosure, providing Durrell’s endangered lemurs from Madagascar with a new home. As well as creating a new home for the Red Ruffed Lemurs, the new Lookout will provide views across to the species, and specifically provide a showcase for the only marshland-living primate in the world – the ‘Lake Alaotran’ Gentle Lemur.

Up to ten HSBC volunteers will work with Durrell staff on the enclosure each weekday over a five week period. The HSBC volunteers will donate a total of more than 1,500 man-hours to complete the Lemur Lake. Opening up a whole new area of Durrell’s premises, the project will both improve the accommodation for the lemurs and offer visitors better views of the animals. The existing woodland area will be enlarged and a second enclosure created, encircling trees to encourage the lemurs to climb. The staff volunteers will also help extend the public pathways, landscape the area and assist with building a decked platform to provide views for visitors over the lake.

Mark Brayshaw, Head of Animal Collection at Durrell said:

“The different species of lemur we have at Durrell are under enormous threat, both from poachers and the destruction of their natural habitats in Madagascar, so we are really grateful for HSBC’s support for such a major and much needed project. This brand new facility will provide a fantastic new environment for the lemurs, improving their welfare and also offering visitors much improved viewing conditions and vistas.”

Nick Winsor, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man, commented:

“To be able to continue to build a strong relationship with our long-term community partner Durrell through this fun, sustainable project, is absolutely fantastic. HSBC has a strong commitment to sustainability in our local communities and I am delighted that so many of our staff will be involved over the coming weeks. It will undoubtedly be a challenging initiative but one that will make a real difference to one of Durrell’s key long-term conservation programmes.”

The Lemur Lake project is the next exciting project HSBC will be involved in with Durrell following the creation of the Island Bat Roost, which was completed in March 2011 and which more than 300 HSBC volunteers helped construct over the course of five months.