The TTT was formed when a group of tortoise keepers (Lin, Helen, Jo, Elaine, Viv, and Nina), decided that it was time to put together an in-depth database of plants, flowers and other food suitable for our Chelonian friends to eat, after years of seeing the effects on tortoises and turtles which had been fed incorrect diets.
We are scattered all over the country, from Newcastle and Yorkshire in the North through the Midlands and Oxfordshire, down to Kent and Essex in the South, so between us we experience a good variety of climatic conditions in the UK. Not long after we launched the site, Martin joined us as Plant Adviser, and we have the good will and co-operation of other tortoise and turtle keepers around the country -- including some in Scotland -- to help identify plants, give advice, and let us know what is growing in their local area.
We feel that a friendly and easy-to-use site will appeal to tortoise and turtle keepers, who often find conflicting advice on the internet, and want to be able to turn to one source to identify plants and find out if they are safe to feed to their animals or should be avoided. We also want to make our site people-friendly as well as tortoise and turtle-friendly, and so we have a forum to encourage dialogue, and we welcome questions, contributions, and photos.
We know that many people do not want to read long entries on the chemical constituents of plants, so we developed a "traffic light" system of coding for each plant (in addition to the common name, Latin name, botanical family name, and other information) that enables people to see at a glance the suitability of a plant as tortoise or turtle food. But we also try to provide people with good links to other sources on the Internet and write articles about diet, nutrition etc. that people might find useful.
Many people find a plant and do not know what it is called, so we spend a lot of time taking photos of plants, in order to help people with identification, and we also have a 'Search by Colour' facility for tracing the ID of a plant through the colour of its flower.
The group of tortoise keepers responsible for The Tortoise Table is a very small one with limited facilities, but we try to be responsive and welcome any suggestions for new entries, additions to existing entries or articles, and corrections.
If you have enjoyed this website and found it useful please spread the word and/or download our cards and distribute them to veterinarians, pet shops, garden centres and fellow tortoise keepers. We're continuously updating the site, so do log on soon even just for the 'what to look out for this month' slide show.