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Goodland Gravity Systems of Bridport in Dorset are marketing their invention, the Greedy Monkey Fixing System, as a secure, invisible and tamper-proof solution for protecting precious objects without the need for unforgiving footings or unsightly fixings. The added benefit is that the mechanism allows for instant release when the owner wants to move the secured object.

The diagram, left, shows how the system works.

The ground anchor system uses a high density polypropylene chamber containing a stainless steel ball. The chamber is designed to be attached in the ground in a concrete base.

The fastener, which is attached to the object to be secured, is inserted into the chamber. This pushes the ball aside and upwards. Gravity forces the ball to drop, causing it to settle in the fastener’s hole and locking the fastener into the chamber. The fastener can only be withdrawn by using the release tube that knocks the ball aside.

Fred Fowler, of Goodland Gravity explained how his business partner, Chris Goodland, came up with the invention after getting his hand stuck in a pool table pocket while trying to retrieve balls. A friend told him how African tribesmen adopted the principle to catch monkeys by placing fruit in a hollow tree and waiting for the monkey to find it. When the monkey put its hand in and around the fruit, its balled fist became too large to take out of the hole and the hunters had him trapped.

The system, which is in the process of being licensed out, has already attracted the interest of the National Trust and other major organisations.