Why I support World Land Trust
About five years ago I wanted to give some money to protect rainforests and spent some time trying to find the best charity through which to do this. After a lot of research I settled on World Land Trust (WLT), a charity that I hadn’t heard of before but was doing exactly what I was looking for. The attraction for me was their focus on conservation by securing threatened habitat – they fund the purchase of land through local NGOs, who they continue to work with to ensure the land’s long-term future. The other factor that was important to me was the low proportion of WLT’s income spent on admin costs.
I didn’t see the quote below at the time, which is taken from their website, but this alone would have been all I needed to know I was making a good choice.
“The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of.”
Sir David Attenborough
Since that first donation, I have now become a regular donor by becoming a Friend of WLT, where my donations go into an Action Fund, ensuring that WLT can respond quickly to urgent threats. I always like to give a bit extra during their annual Big Match Fortnight though, when donations are doubled by sponsors of WLT.
The Big Match Fortnight in 2018 is aiming to raise £600,000 for their Jungle for Jaguars appeal. WLT are raising funds to help their local partner organisation in Belize buy 8,154 acres of forest connecting two established nature reserves.
These forests are critically threatened and without action it is only a matter of time before they are cleared for cattle ranches. This would be catastrophic for rare and threatened wildlife in this area. The aim is to create a protected corridor between the two reserves, giving jaguars room to roam and helping to safeguard their future.
But this corridor is not just important for jaguars. This jungle is also home to endangered mammals such as Baird’s Tapir and Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey, as well as all five species of Belize’s wild cats (in addition to jaguar: ocelot, margay, puma and jaguarundi). Many bird species will also be protected, including the Keel-billed Toucan, Ornate Hawk-eagle and rare species of hummingbirds. See WLT’s website for further information.
How to quadruple your donation to the Belize Forest Appeal!
This year I have the amazing opportunity to quadruple money raised up to £5,000 through a fundraising event, as long as donations are received during the charity’s Big Match Fortnight from 3 – 17 October 2018.
This is only possible by combining a matching scheme provided by my employer Ecclesiastical Insurance and the Big Match Fortnight scheme.
Ecclesiastical will match the first £5,000 of donations received through my Just Giving page. WLT have also agreed that all donations received though my JustGiving page by 17 October will be matched and will also match Ecclesiastical’s donation.
So for every £1 raised, Ecclesiastical will double it to £2 and WLT will double it again to £4!
What I will be doing
My main dilemma has been deciding what I should choose as my sponsored activity. Having run two half marathons in the past, this initially seemed like an obvious option. I had good memories of my first one 20 years ago (which involved no walking), but these were quickly followed by flash backs to the one 10 years later, which took about half an hour longer (and involved quite a bit of walking!). Who knows how long I would need to complete a course another ten years on!
Having abandoned the idea of a half marathon, where regular stops were likely to have become the latest feature, I tried to come up with a less strenuous option. I then had the idea of my first ever all-day bird-watch around my home county of Gloucestershire, with the aim of seeing as many species as possible between dawn and dusk. This seemed like a safer option – I had a decent sized list of birding sites I could visit and an even longer list of potential pit stops that could come in handy along the way.
With this decision made, I have now set the date of 6 October for the bird watch. I have also come up with a rough plan of where to visit, which has been scrutinised and fine-tuned by Mike King who runs the Gloster Birder website. Mike’s extra tips and suggestions have introduced a level of professionalism to proceedings, which were unlikely to have otherwise been achieved. On the down side this has ensured that there will only time for a pub stop in the evening when it has all been completed!
If you are able to spare any money for this great cause, please sponsor me though my JustGiving page. Please also share the details of my JustGiving page on social media and see how close we can get to turning £5,000 of donations into £20,000!