Doris the wandering tortoise.

Today’s positive news is in the form of an uplifting adventure that happened to one of Recovery Devon’s directors, Glenn Roberts! This is the tale of Doris and Derrick … reunited.

‘I guess you’ve heard about some of the wonderful and welcome ways that nature is recovering and returning to the urban environment at the present time … as we’ve made less noise and put less pollution into the air and waters things have settled somewhat … and within quite a short period there are signs of improvement.

So … you can imagine my surprise and excitement when, alerted by our dog wildly barking, I found a large tortoise wandering in the garden … I say ‘wandering’ but really it was moving at quite a pace, for a tortoise, and our dog, unimpressively, was a bit scared of it.

But, as much as I may have hoped, this wasn’t really a sign of the rewilding of my village so much as the latest adventure of Doris the wandering tortoise.

And having caught the creature and offered it a selection of fruit and salad I wondered how to find its owner as I’d no idea where it had come from.

My immediate neighbours hadn’t lost one … and so, living in a small village, I contacted our only shop, the all-knowing Spar … and sure enough someone had seen a posting the night before on the Facebook page of our recently created ‘Bradninch Together’ community support group.

This has been set up to coordinate the contribution of over 120 community volunteers offering practical and supportive connections at the present time in response to needs in the community … and on this occasion, helping to return an errant tortoise to its relieved owner, Derrick who was amazed that the intrepid Doris had made it 300yds up the road and across several gardens.

Once returned, as well as the joy of being reunited with her playmate, Gertie, there was many a jibe and good humoured scolding about Doris’ rebellion against social distancing and limited daily exercise too. It was a sweet and gentle experience of Community Care in action.

What a wonderful adventure!