A FORMER soldier has found himself in the firing line with Trading Standards over his new Welsh safaris.
Ex Royal Regiment of Wales trooper Stewart Lawrence Is
offering plucky wildlife enthusiasts the chance to take an expedition in the
tropical hills behind Port Talbot’s picturesque industrial chimneys.
But rather than seeing rhinos and lions like you would in East Africa – customers get the chance to look at native hawks, squirrels and allegedly a big cat. Other highlights for those venturing into the South Wales woods will no doubt be the sight of dumped fridge freezers and teenagers smoking weed in their cars.
For it now seems Stewart’s business venture has given the word ‘safari’ a new meaning – a shit drive in the woods to look at birds and stuff you usually get in your garden.
Stewart, 48, is making the Afan Forest Safari available to visitors and locals alike for anything between £35 and £65.
In what sounded suspiciously like an advertising plug for a 4×4 manufacturer, outdoorsman Stewart explained: “‘I don’t think enough is done to push the fantastic, wild scenery we have in Port Talbot, which is often written off as an industrial town.
“We travel on road, country lanes, and ancient byways in the world’s leading 4×4, as we strive to give our customers the best of the local history and stunning scenery.
“Because of the difficulty of travelling in the hills, people rarely venture into the forests… they are the great Welsh wilderness on our doorsteps, but few ever see inside. With the trusty Land Rover, however, you can travel almost anywhere.
“There are many who want to go into these forests who are not trekkers or mountain bikers – the Land Rover is the answer.”
He added: “Land Rover, Land Rover, Land Rover.”
But it is thought that Trading Standards officers wish to speak to Stewart about his so-called safaris.
The service’s Port Talbot-based snooper Beatrice Nosey-Parker said: “We do wish to speak Mr Lawrence about these tours, as we feel the term ‘safari’ does mislead customers somewhat.
“We’ve had angry responses from callers left disappointed at not seeing giraffes and hippos in our woods.
“In my eyes, what is being offered is a little similar to one of those 4×4 ‘experiences’ you get from Boots – except you don’t actually get the fun of driving yourself.”