Friday, January 10, 2014 - 15:27

Famous explorer and former Royal Marine Monty Halls and his best pal Reuben will be stars of the show at the Eden Project’s first-ever Dogs’ Day Out on Sunday January 26.

The Devon-based presenter, who recently starred in the Channel 5 series “Monty Halls Diving Adventures”, will be talking about his escapades with rescue dog Reuben and meet other pet lovers at a day dedicated to the delights of the canine world.

Other activities planned include an obedience display by some of the best-trained dogs in Britain. Bodmin Dog Training, led by trainer Tom Herron and member Julie Chapman, will be bringing in their display team and junior team to give a preview of their appearance at the world-famous Crufts, which takes place at Birmingham’s NEC between March 6 and 9.

There will also be the chance to meet specialist dogs and handlers who work for the emergency services.

An undoubted highlight will be a fun dog show open to visiting dogs with Monty as the judge. The show will be run by Kim Allen of Royaldach Pet Services of Camborne. Classes will include Best Puppy, Best Junior Trainer, Best Long-Coated Dog, Best Short-Coated Dog, Scruffiest Scruff (cross breed) and, of course, Best in Show.

Eden will also be visited by Pets As Therapy, a national charity that provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues by volunteers with their own friendly dogs and cats.

Every dog who attends Dogs’ Day Out will receive a free treat and Eden’s famous land train – which shuttles visitors from the Visitor Centre to the pit – will be available for well-behaved canine passengers.

Thousands of dogs have visited Eden since last June when, following a successful pilot, the project decided to relax its “no dogs” rule and allow them to enjoy the miles of paths within the former china clay pit.

Dogs are kept on leads and are not allowed in the Biomes or other buildings apart from the Visitor Centre. Monty will be speaking just outside the Biomes in the large covered seating area.

Emma Hogg, Eden Live Programme Producer, said: “Dogs’ Day Out at Eden on January 26 promises to be a whole lot of fun for everyone like me who loves our four-legged friends and wants to learn more about them.

“We are really looking forward to hosting Monty and Reuben, the display and expert dogs and every other pet which comes through the doors on the day.

“Every dog-owner I have ever met sees their pet as part of the family and we are creating a day which we hope all of our guests will enjoy.”

Monty Halls is a writer, explorer, television presenter and public speaker. A former Royal Marines officer who worked for Nelson Mandela on the peace process in South Africa, he left the services in 1996 to pursue a career in leading expeditions.

Having achieved a First Class Honours degree in marine biology, over the next decade he circumnavigated the globe four times on various projects, leading multi-national teams in some of the most demanding environments on earth.

His television career began when he won Channel Four’s Superhuman competition in 2004. Since then he has presented series and documentaries for the BBC, Channel 5, The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel and the History Channel.

This year sees Monty head off to the jungles of Venezuela with renowned expert climber Leo Houlding for a new Sky/Discovery TV series. Monty will also be leading several UK diving expeditions throughout the year.

Monty lives with his partner Tamsyn, daughter Isla Grace, Reuben, ducks and chickens in Dartmouth where they are running their new business that specialises in wildlife tours around the local area, natural history filming courses and training packages for corporate groups.

Eden’s Locals Pass is available until March 5, 2014 and it entitles people who live in Cornwall or Devon unlimited entry to Eden until October 31, 2014. The pass costs £12 for adults, £9.50 for over-60s and full-time students, £7 for children and £35 for families of two adults and two children if you pay by Direct Debit.

For those who wish to pay without Direct Debit, the prices are £14 for adults, £11.50 for over-60s and full-time students, £8 for children and £40 for families.