Meercats in the conservatory and a croc in the garden

While some people like to keep exotic plants in their conservatory due to the increased heat, a couple from Hertfordshire have opted for something even more unusual.

Zoologist Mark Amey and his reptile-expert partner Siouxsie Gillet have transformed their conservatory into a meercat enclosure as part of a range of bespoke home improvements to accommodate their passion.

The couple also have giant tortoises in their dining room and an entire other room set aside for poisonous species.

Even more bizarre for the neighbours is the crocodile residing in the garden, but the pair performs a valuable service for the RSPCA.

"People from all over the UK who no longer want their pets also contact us with a view of us rehoming the animal," Ms Gillet explained.

"We are also one of the few contacts the RSPCA have to pass on exotic animals.

"Weve received animals from as far as Scotland, Manchester and Swindon, plus two Black Widows which came in on goods from USA, various European scorpions which got packed in a rucksack by accident and a huntsman spider on a cargo shipment from Thailand."

Big Brother host Davina McCall recently bought a country mansion with a huge conservatory and pool house containing two swimming pools – something that will no doubt please her kids over the school summer holidays.