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Meet Sama our rhino who stays in the hut welcoming all who visit. 

The rhino project has come to an end with the wonderful production of a beautifully decorated Juvenile Rhino named Sama (meaning sky in Arabic). Our project donated 0ver £300 to the Paignton Zoo rhino project to support wild rhinos. Thank you to the huge number of local residents (over 90), the Newtown Arts Project, Paignton Zoo and the Exeter City Council grant, that were involved and who have followed and joined in with this project during 2016. See the information below to follow the story that unfolded over the year.

We had hoped to put Sama in the park or nearby, outside, but with all the graffitti that happens in the area and the damage to the new trees we felt Sama would be safer in the hut. The company who make the rhinos also said the small rhinos were not designed to be outside and may get broken. We hope you all agree she is better kept in the hut.

Here’s a link to some photos taken when we delivered the rhino to Paignton Zoo 

This is a link to the album of  all the rhino photos taken at The Newtown Community Art Project which is funded and run by Magic Carpet and they have done all the decorating of Sama our rhino. 

Check out the Newtown Community Art Group's Facebook page for regular updates on Sama (our rhino's) decoration:

This Saturday 21st May will be a treat at the hut in Belmont Park from 2 – 4pm. There will be cake, felt making and a visit from Rachel who works at Paignton Zoo. She will be chatting about the conservation of the endangered rhino. You can also meet Sama, our model baby rhino who has been painted as part of the Newtown Community Art Project. Sama will become part of the Great Big Rhino Trail which will be coming to Exeter this summer. Come and visit us, it’ll be fun!


For 10 weeks in the summer of 2016, life-size rhino sculptures will rampage through the streets, parks and open spaces of the English Riviera and Exeter creating a fun trail for all the family to enjoy.  

The Great Big Rhino Project by Paignton Zoo promises to be even bigger than the Great Gorillas Project in 2013!

From Saturday 30th July through to Sunday 9th October the life-size rhino sculptures will highlight the significant conservation threat facing wild rhinos. The rhinos will then return to Paignton Zoo from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October 2016.The life size ones will then be auctioned for charity on Thursday 3rd November 2016. The funds raised from the auction will be used by Paignton Zoo to support rhino conservation.

The trail comes alive on Saturday 30th July. Twitter @Greatbigrhinos, hashtag #greatbigrhinos.

Don't forget to look for Sama, our Newtown Community rhino and let us know what you think on our Facebook page

Sama would love to be visited.

Sama is safely delivered...

Fiona and Su delivered Sama the rhino to Paignton Zoo on Wed 8th June. So exciting! Sama was happy to be left there and will join all the other rhinos while they wait to go to the Trail in Exeter and Paignton at the end of July! 

Apparently there will be a day when all the large decorated rhinos are out together at the zoo and that it is well worth seeing them all together so look out for that in the advertising by the zoo. 

Sama the beautiful rhino introduced at NCA café

We were recently treated to cake, felt making and a visit from Rachel, who works at Paignton Zoo. Rachel talked engagingly about the conservation of endangered rhinos. Rhinos come from various parts of the world in various shapes and sizes and are at varying levels of endangerment, sadly, from simply endangered to already extinct in the wild.

And we met Sama our model baby rhino, painted as part of the Newtown Community Art Project. Sama will become part of the Great Big Rhino Trail which will be coming to Exeter this summer.


Rhino Logo 1Paignton Zoo


Sama, Newtown's Rhino!

We are very excited that we will have our own (model) baby rhino, called Sama, living in Belmont Park. It has been great how the Newtown community has got involved with Paignton Zoo's project aiming to raise awareness of the plight of the wild rhino. This is how she looked when she arrived:


Click here to find out more about the project:

2 white rhinos3 white one blue rhinomutlicolored rhino

How Newtown got involved

 Our baby rhino arrived naked and we needed a design to make her look amazing. In January 70 people attended a rhino themed café where, using the template and our collection of art materials, they created 45 design entries whilst enjoying other rhino-related activities, eating cake and drinking tea! We also all learned about the plight of wild rhinos.


The design entries were judged by a panel of community representatives including our local councillor and the Magic Carpet artist subsequently responsible for guiding the transfer of the winning design onto the rhino.


The designs were displayed at a second café, where the winners were announced and during which she was named Sama (which means sky). The quality and variety of designs was fabulous was such that the judges were unable to select a single winner! Instead they opted for two. So Sama will have a different design on each side.


After the design had been selected the Newtown Community Art Project (NCAP) set about carefully re-creating it to adorn the baby rhino.


The Great Newtown Rhino Project Art Café was a roaring triumph with over 70 local people coming along and joining in:


Fabulous rhino biscuits:



Proud winning designers:




Sama having foundation applied by NCAP:






On SATURDAY 27th FEBRUARY, 2pm – 4pm the winning design will be announced at our second rhino café. Enjoy tea and cake whilst browsing a display of all competition entries.



On SATURDAY 21st MAY, 2pm – 4pm our completed rhino will be displayed at our final rhino café. There will also be a display of works created by the Magic Carpet art group.



Following our café in May the Rhino will head back to Paignton Zoo and will become part of a trail across Exeter & the English Riviera (remember the Gorilla’s?) from 30/7/16 to 9/10/16. She will then head to Babbacombe Model Village, finally returning to us in November and becoming a permanent resident in Belmont Park for all to see.


With thanks to Exeter City Council and Devon County Council for their support.