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Wye woman Veronica Cackett makes jumpers for penguins on Phillip Island in Australia as part of Knits for Nature project

A pensioner from Wye has taken up an unusual hobby - knitting tiny jumpers for penguins that live in Australia.

Veronica Cackett has already made eight woolly jumpers in a week, which will be worn by little penguins on Victoria's Phillip Island if they get fouled feathers in the aftermath of an oil spill.

The 72-year-old, who has a pet cockatiel called Sunbeam, admits to being a bird lover and is also an accomplished knitter so when her friend Ann Sutherland discovered the Knits for Nature project online she knew it was for her.

Veronica and Sunbeam with the penguin jumpers

Veronica, of Little Chequers, said: "My friend is always looking for missions to interest me.

"I couldn't believe it when she mentioned knitting jumpers for penguins. If it had been April 1 I wouldn't have believed her but I think it's lovely.

"I downloaded the patterns from the Penguin Foundation website. The penguins must be very small because the jumpers are only 12cm long.

"I love all birds and my granddaughter absolutely adores penguins so I’m pleased to be able to help."

Penguin in a pullover. Picture: Phillip Island Nature Parks

This is not the first strange thing retired nurse Veronica has knitted.

A few years ago, she stitched dolls in the image of Nigel Ings and Mary Braithwaite from Wye Bakery and she has even created an entire vegetable stall from knitting.

When she puts her knitting needles down, the former manager of Wye’s sheltered housing scheme Luckley House also enjoys gardening, walking and reading.

Kylie Minogue is a Penguin Foundation ambassador.

There are about 70,000 little penguins living on Phillip Island, but Down Under they are known as fairy penguins.

Veronica is in good company with her support for the flightless birds as Australian pop star and actress Kylie Minogue, comedian Joan Rivers and actor Alan Fletcher, aka Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours, are all Penguin Foundation ambassadors.

Penguins in pullovers

Click to view

How do I look? Picture: Phillip Island Nature Parks A penguin models a stripy jumper. Picture: Phillip Island Nature Parks Little penguins on Australia's Phillip Island. Picture: Phillip Island Nature Parks Veronica Cackett with cockatiel Sunbeam Jumpers for penguins
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