Please support Roy

167x18792f23517-870f-47e3-83f6-32578964373cRoy Taylor is an ex-colleague of mine at the RSPB.  He started working for the RSPB, on Song Thrushes, when I was Head of Research, so that must be around 20 years ago. I remember visiting Roy in his Sussex study area on a very hot day in summer where we ate ice-creams quite a lot.

Back then he was bubbling over with enthusiasm and ideas – and he still is.  But he has been struck down with Motor Neurone Disease and now he is only able to hobble a few yards by foot.  That isn’t stopping Roy, though!

This week Roy is making a 250-mile journey, by wheelchair, along the Trans-Pennine Trail. Today he is nearly half-way. Roy will be using this journey to highlight places along the route where access is not wheelchair- (or pushchair-) friendly.

Roy is also auditing RSPB reserves in the north of England for access issues and any money raised through his 250-mile wheelchair trek will go to improving accessibility.

I can remember Roy as a valued colleague but most of you won’t know him.  He is a great guy. Just imagine you had to do all your birding or ‘naturalhistorying’ from a wheelchair. Please support Roy and those who will benefit from his fund-raising by giving generously at Roy’s Coast to Coast Wheelchair Challenge.

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16 Replies to “Please support Roy”

  1. For years there as been an assumption about the contribution that disabled people can make to fieldwork, this demonstrates so clearly the value of the social model of disability, that it is society that disables individuals and not their ability.

  2. Do we (the readers of this blog) think it is the same person who gives the red thumbs down to nearly every post on here, irrespective of the subject of the post? Or are there several mean-minded folk who take turns to do it and who, apparently, dislike anything vaguely environmental, or perhaps just anything Mark writes? What sort of person is it who can possibly object to this post? Whoever it was they should be ashamed of themselves. Perhaps they would like to tell us all why they did it?

    1. Wendy - don't encourage them! I just noticed that this post had a single dislike too - it is a bit mean-minded isn't it.

      1. I suspect they are just a misguided turd.

        Thanks Mark for championing Roy's cause, he's a determined and dynamic chap raising money for a great cause. We all wish him well in his transpennine challenge.

  3. Wendy,well said,the fact is they probably have not the guts even to comment and say why they dislike whatever is posted.At least if they did we could learn what their problem was.

  4. Roy is an inspiration. I hope he finishes safely. The 'Dislikes' never cease to amaze me. I thought it was political originally, but now whoever it is dislikes almost everything. Pathetic.

  5. I am also a disabled wheelchair user and I can't express strongly enough how important this is. I'm really grateful to Roy for this inspired campaign. I hope that the rest of the RSPB sites follow his example, not just those in the north of England.
    Please donate what you can.
    I'm trying to find out if I can donate from my CAF account as is be able to give much more that way.

  6. Oops - it looks like I'm the second dislike!! I wondered if my clicking on the top dislike button I could see who the culprit was. Maybe the first one was accidental too.

  7. Once, or perhaps twice, when reading Mark's blog on my smartphone I have inadvertently hit the dislike button! They are so close together and my fingers are getting old and clumsy!

    A great story about Roy. On my local reserve all the gates are wheelchair and pushchair friendly but some of the motorised chairs are longer and have difficulty. At the moment though it's the mud that makes it difficult!

  8. I am pleased to support almost* everything that Mark says about Roy Taylor. I have known him since he was a teenager, and indeed it was I who trained Roy to ring birds, a skill he then used on Mark’s Song Thrush project, and later on Cirl Buntings amongst others. He has always been highly motivated and unstoppably enthusiastic: one of Roy’s recent triumphs has been the RSPB’s Dove Stone project, a great collaborative venture with the water company United Utilities to make part of the Peak District National Park better for wildlife and people, and for storing water.

    I was pleased to join Roy for a few miles of his Challenge last Sunday. It really opens one’s eyes to the difficulties accessing the countryside by wheelchair. With the funding raised, and the publicity from his venture, Roy should be able to make a difference. If anyone can do it, he can.

    *The ‘almost’ is because Roy’s Coast-to-Coast Challenge is 215 miles, not 250 – although he is covering a good few miles extra in to-ing and fro-ing to avoid obstacles – and hence the title of the blog for his Challenge:

  9. Thanks to Mark and everyone for your support. In a day of pouring rain in the Peak District we have passed half way and also reached the magical milestone of £20k raised. A bit sore and with a few broken parts on the wheelchair we leave RSPB Old Moor in the morning and head towards the Humber. Hoping for some sunshine and maybe even an odd ice cream on route.

    1. Roy - I didn't expect to hear from you here - thought you would be too busy and too knackered! Many thanks and good luck with the rest of the 'trip'. You deserve an ice-cream - still!


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