Young Grange councillor sets up exotic animal handling business (From The Westmorland Gazette)

A YOUNG South Lakeland town councillor with a passion for his community is utilising his large collection of unusual exotic animals for a new business.

Councillor Lyndon Howson, 20, got his first pet tortoise when he was 13-years-old. His obsession snow-balled and he now has around 50 exotic animals in his Grange-over-Sands home.

Ranging from royal pythons to giant African land snails, cllr Howson has set up Howson’s Critters, an animal entertainment business.

“The idea is to go to local events, charity events and parties to educate people on the wide range of animals that we’ve got,” cllr Howson said.

“Children don’t seem to see these animals anywhere else outside of a pet shop and some of the animals in the collection they’ll be lucky to see anywhere else in the UK.”

Cllr Howson, who studied animal management at Newton Rigg College, has started to get in touch with local schools to see if they are interested in hosting him and his critters.

He will be offering sessions for free to some of the local schools as a way of ‘giving something back’ to the community that he cares passionately about.

As well as setting up his new business, which he is running with the help of his sister Danielle and mother Michelle, cllr Howson was co-opted on to Grange-over-Sands town council two months ago.

“The reason I wanted to become town councillor was because when I was younger and moved to Grange I was quite shy,” he said. “I barely knew anyone and then all the people in the town were so kind and welcoming. When I got talking to everyone they encouraged me to be more open to talking to everyone.

“I wanted to get into the council to give back to the town because it’s helped me so much with my confidence.”

He also hopes that he can provide a voice for the younger people in Grange and encourage a dialogue between the generations.

“There’s a bit of an age gap there,” he said. “It’s to get our side heard because there’s not always…

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