When I wrote about my 37-year-old binoculars being repaired I didn’t expect this to happen. I didn’t expect an email from Zeiss thanking me for my loyalty – and I didn’t get one, so that’s OK. And I didn’t expect an email from Minox saying:
At MINOX GB we keep an eye on the media and enjoy reading blogs and articles from people like yourself. We were interested to see the post on your website last week about your 37 year old pair of Binoculars. We love that you are sentimental about your binoculars and glad that you have them back in one piece! However…
We were wondering if you might be interested in in giving a ‘newbie’ a try? We would love to offer you a pair of MINOX High grade binoculars to trial and see if they can match up to the ones you hold so dear, just for fun and no strings attached! Perhaps if you like them and think it’s worthwhile you could auction them off after the trial for charity or keep them for yourself (at a highly discounted price of course!) Never would we suggest you replace your 18th Birthday present but there is no harm is starting a collection or indeed having a spare pair! :-) .
I thought that was very imaginative and so that’s what will happen. The Minox HG 10x43BR binoculars have arrived and I have looked through them once or twice. I will post a review of them in early November and then they’ll be auctioned off. The money raised will go to a wildlife charity of your and my choice.
You, as a reader of this blog, will be able to vote for which wildlife charity gets the few hundred quid raised by the auction. But there is another step. The wildlife charities that will go on the voting list will be those whose Chief Executives avail themselves of this offer: if any of the Chief Executives of the wildlife conservation charities listed below (mostly from Wildlife and Countryside Link) write a Guest Blog on ‘Why [my organisation] deserves the public’s support’ in not more than 1000 words (see below for more details) then their organisation is one of the ones for which readers can vote. Strikes me that there is nothing much to lose – it’s free advertising and you might get some money from the vote too. Three chief executives whom I contacted to try out this idea have all already said ‘yes’ so we are going to have a choice.
Calling the CEOs (or equivalent) of these charities: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Badger Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, British Trust for Ornithology, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Hawk and Owl Trust, the Mammal Society, Marine Conservation Society, MarineLife, the National Trust, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Plantlife, Pond Conservation (Freshwater Habitats Trust), RSPB, Salmon and Trout Association, the Shark Trust, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, the Wildlife Trusts, Worldwide Fund for Nature-UK, Woodland Trust.
The Guest Blog must arrive at firstname.lastname@example.org as a Word Document with up to 1000 words by 6pm on 11 November. Also send a .jpg photo of yourself to go with the Guest Blog. You can use only one hyperlink – perhaps to your organisation’s website – in the Blog (because that cuts down the amount of work for me!). The subject of your Guest Blog is ‘Why [your organisation] deserves the public’s support’. You may write whatever you like provided it is not defamatory of others and you don’t use rude words – I guess those restrictions won’t be too difficult to meet. It would be kind of you to tell me if you are going to send something, in advance, but you don’t have to do so.
So this is what is happening: I’ll trial these binoculars and post a review of them in the first two weeks of November. Any organisations who want a Guest Blog here, and the chance to be voted as the organisation to receive a little bit of money, should send me their Guest Blog, by their Chief Executive, by 6pm on 11 November. I will post the Guest Blogs (exactly how will depend on how many there are – but they will be posted as separate Guest Blogs for each organisation). You, the readers, will vote on who gets the money and then we will auction the binoculars.