It started really with The Wild Watch, a project that I'm very honoured to be the youth patron for. I try to encourage other young people in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and anywhere else really) to get more involved with nature, and especially to help out with the Wild Watch project a big citizen science project that is surveying the wildlife of Nidderdale. Well this year they wanted to survey Owls and to get the help of a lot of young people they decided to do a film to show in the schools across the area. I'm really grateful that they asked me to be in the film, I enjoyed doing this and getting the chance to get up close to some fabulous Owls was awesome.
Well shortly after this I found out the BTO was having its own year of the Owl and is trying to raise funding to help understand more about Owls and how best to help them. Well Owls are a family favourite and we often say we don't see enough Owls. You can read the details on the BTO website about why this project is so important but essentially Owls are struggling, so I decided that I ought to do more to help.
|My first sponsored walk - aged 8|
I conquered Roseberry Topping!
I do bits of fundraising now and again. Many of you buy my calendars and half of the profits got to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The other half I use to buy more camera equipment and you should see some of the results of that in the 2019 calendar!
My first fundraising challenge though was to help a local wildlife rescue centre that cared for some injured animals we found. They gave me lots of advice too when I found a baby Hedgehog out in our road in the day time. I was able to raise him (Prickles!) to adulthood and set him free in the garden. So to help repay the centre I did a sponsored walk up a local hill. That was back in 2012 when I was eight! I think I raised just over £100 which the rescue centre was very grateful for.
Well not being able to think of any other more brilliant idea I thought a sponsored walk would be a good idea to do again. Only this time it's a bit longer. I had the idea that I could sort of promote the Wild Watch Owl project and the BTO Owl Appeal by walking the Nidderdale Way.
This is a 52 mile walk around the Nidderdale AONB. That's a lot further than I've walked before!
I do go camping now and again but I'm not set up for backpacking so the Nidderdale walk is good as it is near enough to home that I can do the four stages by being dropped off with Dad over four different days. I intend to fit them in as soon as I can but doing it this way means I can pick days that aren't too wet or too hot!
|Tawny Owl up close.|
So I've talked to the BTO, found they are set up on Justgiving and I've made a fundraising page. I've set an ambitious target of £2000 which I'd really like to achieve but it's a lot more money than I've ever managed to raise before.
I'll be doing my best to reach this target so I'll be tweeting and posting about it quite a bit in the next few weeks which I hope you all don't mind. If you think that helping Owls is a cause you can support I'd appreciate any help you can give. Retweeting, sharing or donating would all be appreciated.
If you are able to make a contribution to my challenge you can donate here:
Zach's Nidderdale Way Walk for Owls
Hope you enjoyed,