Devon

Paignton Zoo asks gardeners for sunflower donations

Sunflower seeds
Image caption The seeds are a good source of potassium, phosphorous, iron and calcium

Gardeners have been asked to help feed animals at a Devon zoo, by donating home-grown flowers.

Paignton Zoo is asking people for sunflowers, which will be used to enrich the diet of its monkeys.

The nutritious seed heads from the sunflowers will also be given to agoutis and porcupines at the park.

"It's a great way for gardeners to help a wildlife charity and provide the animals with a locally-grown treat," zoo spokesman Phil Knowling said.

He said people should take their cut seed heads to the zoo by 29 September for weighing.

"Whoever brings in the largest sunflower head will win the chance to see it given to some of the animals, plus an animal adoption of your choice."

In 2006, pupils from Kingsbridge Primary School grew sunflower heads weighing more than 2kg.

The seeds are a good source of potassium, phosphorous, iron and calcium.

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