Wednesday, December 20, 2006

December e-News just out

Our most recent newsletter is just out - here's a selection of the stories:

Kilimanjaro Climb 2006
Watch pictures from the ascent and summit! Join the WF Team who climbed Kilimanjaro in support of our projects: See pictures from the ascent and summit and also hear the song that kept them going.
Also, read Jackie Cheng's inspiring diary notes from the trip here.

£21K has been raised through this effort so far - If you want to add to the total with a little Christmas thought, then we'd welcome it here.

At One TV
Leader Interviews The Wilderness Foundation is one of the founder members of At One - a coalition of youth development organisations - and we thought their new Leader Series, a set of five interviews, might inspire.
Watch At One TV Now...

Colin Prior Exhibition
The World's Wild Places Colin Prior's exhibition The World's Wild Places, already seen by thousands, is running until the 8th January 2007 at Glasgow Science Centre.
On Monday 5th February 2007 he's at the Royal Geographical Society in London and from 25th March - Monday 23rd April 2007 at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
We are ever grateful for Colin's permission to use one of his fabulous pictures for our posters and membership leaflet - and if you're quick at one of the above exhibitions you just might be able to pick up one of our posters for your office, school or other public place where you'd like to add a bit of colour to a wall and spread the message. Full exhibition listing on Colin Prior's website...

Dr Ian Player Update
4.4m viewers on ITV and book re-issue... 'Echoing Green press' has recently re-issued Men, Rivers and Canoes, one of the books of Dr. Ian Player, the Foundation's founder. It contains forewords by Ian Player, Colonel Jack Vincent, Prof Willem van Riet, Peter Pope-Ellis, and chief Mlaba. - The original edition published in 1963/64 was sold out in two months.

The Msunduzi-Mgeni Canoe Marathon which Ian Player founded, and won 3 times, now attracts over 2000 contestants world wide.

Dr Ian Player also recently appeared on the UK terrestial broadcast 'Extinct' - a television series by ITV which attracted 4.4m viewers!
Read more about Dr. Player and the Extinct series...

Mountain Leader Training - 2007
Time to get planning for the new year Learn Mountain Leadership Skills and Wilderness Ethics in Snowdonia. The Foundation is running the fourth year of training for keen walkers who want to lead others in wild places. Taught by two of Wales' most experienced outdoor leaders, Hugo Iffla and Rob Collister, the course is one of those special opportunities to spend time with inspiring men as well as learn new skills. Contact the Foundation for details and early booking. Cost is £260 per person and the course takes place in November. Contact the Wilderness Office...

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Mountain Leader Training - 2007

2006 MLT participants in SnowdoniaLearn Mountain Leadership Training skills and Wilderness Ethics in Snowdonia.

The Foundation is running the fourth year of training for keen walkers who want to lead others in wild places.

Taught by two of Wales' most experienced outdoor leaders, Hugo Iffla and Rob Collister, the course is one of those special opportunities to spend time with inspiring men as well as learn new skills.

Contact the Foundation for details and early booking. Cost is £260 per person and the course takes place in November.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sustainable use of Biological Diversity: African Regional Workshop Summary

IISD Reporting Services Here at the Wilderness Foundation we take a particular interest in the African continent, that's where our roots are - that's where many of our journeys are. Thus we thought the workshop summary below might be of interest:

"The African Regional Workshop on Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity convened from 12-15 December 2006, in Nairobi, Kenya. Organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), Bioversity International, and the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the workshop was attended by 33 participants, including 13 designated representatives of CBD parties from the African region as well as representatives of UN and specialized agencies, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), indigenous and local community organizations, research institutions and farmers federations.

The Workshop was organized in response to the request of the seventh meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Executive Secretary to convene a series of technical expert workshops on ecosystem services assessment, financial costs and benefits associated with conservation of biodiversity, and sustainable use of biological resources, in order to initiate a process for the implementation of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (Addis Ababa Principles). The Workshop was also requested to explore the applicability of the Addis Ababa Principles to agricultural biodiversity.
The Workshop addressed agenda items on issues including: a review of the Addis Ababa Principles and recommendations on their application to agricultural biodiversity; ecosystem services assessment; and financial costs and benefits associated with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. On Tuesday, participants agreed on organizational matters, and heard presentations from the CBD Secretariat, partner organizations and others. In the afternoon, participants began discussing the application of the Addis Ababa Principles to agricultural biodiversity, heard presentations, and decided on a methodology for their work during the week, including convening in informal working group (WG) sessions. On Wednesday, participants heard a presentation on Decision V/5 (Agricultural biodiversity), and worked on establishing guidelines for the agricultural sector grounded in the Addis Ababa Principles in three parallel WGs, one consisting of the francophone representatives."
- Full text on the ISSD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) website here.

This website also has a useful brief history of related processes including a section specifically on Africa:

Africa has a large heritage of biodiversity forming the region’s natural wealth on which its social and economic systems are based.
A significant proportion of these biodiversity resources are either endangered or under threat of extinction. African governments have created ministerial processes and programmes of action to ensure the sustainable development of Africa’s natural resource base, of which the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity form a significant component.

AFRICAN CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: The African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (the Algiers Convention) was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its fifth ordinary session (September 1968, Algiers, Algeria). A revised Convention text was adopted at the second Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly (July 2003, Maputo, Mozambique). The main features of the Convention include that: conservation imperatives must be considered in development plans; conservation areas must be established and maintained; endangered species must be given special protection; land resources and grasslands must be rationally utilized; and conservation education must be instituted at all levels.

The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, a permanent forum of African environment ministers, guided the development and subsequent adoption of the Environment Action Plan of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development NEPAD) at the second Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly (July 2003, Maputo, Mozambique). The action plan is organized into clusters of programmatic and project activities to be implemented over an initial period of 10 years. It includes programmes on: biodiversity, biosafety and plant genetic resources; land degradation, drought and desertification; Africa’s wetlands; invasive alien species; conservation and sustainable use of marine, coastal and freshwater resources; and cross-border conservation or management of natural resources.
- More on the ISSD site here.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Walk the Talk...

The Wilderness Foundation supports the work of the Centre for Human Ecology - we thought this new initiative might be of interest:

"CHE and Openground take the sustainability message into the wilds - A new training course gets people out of the seminar room and into the mountains to explore sustainability and social justice. 'Walk the Talk' is a journey into Scotland's wild places where participants will be inspired by the natural world and will develop practical strategies for organisational change. Designed to support organisational learning in businesses, public agencies and more-than-profit organisations, Walk the Talk is a collaboration between Sam Harrison of Openground and Osbert Lancaster of the Centre for Human Ecology. Sam is a human ecologist and outdoor educator experienced in the transformative power of wild places. Sam explains "The power of Walk the Talk is way beyond a simple outdoor team building exercise. We leave behind dry facts and prophesies of doom that are so often the staple of the training room. Actively experiencing the natural environment inspires new thinking about our relationship with the ecosystems on which we - and our organisations - all depend." Osbert is the executive director of the Centre for Human Ecology. "If sustainability is already part of your organisation's strategy, Walk the Talk will take you to the next level," explains Osbert, "and if you're just starting to explore the issues it will start you on your journey with a clear view of the landscape and the tools to starting mapping the route ahead."Walk the Talk is currently in development, with pilot courses planned from April 2007."
- Further information is available on the CHE website here.
The Wilderness Foundation knows from direct experience how powerful learning in a wild setting can be - the Wilderness Leadership School in South Africa has over the years run a host of Opinion Leader Trails, including a programme for tailor made for South African MPs.
- Read Andrew Muir's '99 article on this in the International Journal of Wilderness.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

At One TV - Leader Series

At One Foundation

The Wilderness Foundation is one of the founder members of At One - a coalition of youth development organisations - and we thought their new Leader Series, a set of five interviews might inspire. One of those is with Deji Odunlami from TeachFirst:

Why do we like this one specifically? Apart from the fact that we agree with a lot of Deji says, it is especially because TeachFirst has an initiative we think the young people taking part in our trails may be interested in:

We actively encourage the sharing of wilderness experiences through writing, talks, pictures, sound - any which way one can use to get a message across - and this competition for under 18's is an ideal opportunity to get writing!

To what what other young people have written about wilderness, see this post or click the 'diary' label below.

Watch the rest of the interviews here: - To learn more about the At One Foundation and its work, read the launch report here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Preparing the IUCN Programme 2009-2012

IUCN Situation AnalysisThe IUCN, who the Wilderness movement engages with and supports through the Wilderness Task Force, has put out a consultation on their 2009-2012 programme which we thought might be of interest:

"The draft situation analysis that is the basis for the development of the Union’s next work programme from 2009 to 2012 is now available online. We invite your comments to improve the facts, figures and trends of this overview of the state of natural resources and their contributions to human wellbeing and development before 15 January 2007".
If you wish to comment - Visit the relevant IUCN page here.

Wilderness Foundation in The Herald

The Herald

"A SANParks environmental education programme is raising awareness in an attempt to turn local communities into guardians of indigenous forests and commercial plantations.

A joint programme between Mountain to Ocean, the Wilderness Foundation and SANParks, the Khula Nam programme targets children living in communities near plantations." - Read the full story here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

International Mountain Day: Wilderness Perspective

World Conservation Union LogoToday's International Mountain Day - a celebration and opportunity to "reflect on the people who are directly affected by ecosystem degradation and climate change: mountain communities" as the IUCN says in their coverage.

The IUCN, who the Wilderness movement engages with and supports through the Wilderness Task Force, has been drumming up the debate around mountains with recent articles such as this one: 'Mountains Rise to Fight Climate Change'. The BBC's Planet Earth series also had an episode focusing on mountains. If you're in the UK you can re-view some of that content on-line here:

On a linked but separate note, the forthcoming 2007 Mountain & Wilderness Medicine World Congress - which will bring together the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) and the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM) for their joint congress, migh also be of interest.

ITV Extinct Follow-up

ITV Extinct MapFurther to the screening of the first programme in ITV's new series Extinct, which also featured our founder, Dr Ian Player we thought we'd share the link to their interesting map of species under threat. Learn more by clicking on the thumbnail image or simply go here:

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wilderness Foundation Founder on ITV: 7.30 pm Sat 9th Dec

ITV are screening a new series called Extinct airing at 7.30pm this Saturday 9th December.

The first programme will feature the tremendous work that Ian Player - founder of The Wilderness Foundation UK and Wilderness Leadership School - instigated to save the White Rhino from extinction. Operation Rhino, based in the Imfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, translocated the Imfolozi White Rhino across the world to save the species.

This was what Rhodes University said about Ian Player when they conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa:

"If one were to single out one person who is single-handedly responsible for whatever wilderness not only South Africa but many other countries in the world have left, it would have to be Ian Player. A generation or more before it became fashionable, Ian Player had the vision and commitment to see that environmental and conservation issues affected all South Africans and to lobby for these concerns to be amongst our national priorities. Where there was no responsible body to take up the cause of the environment, Ian Player created one! He has been actively involved for fifty years in programmes as varied as – literally – saving the white rhino from extinction and the establishment of the world-renowned Wilderness Leadership School.

Ian Player has probably done more for environmental conservation in Southern Africa than any other individual. He is an elder statesman of conservation, both nationally and internationally and has over many years brought much credit to our country. Amongst the first of South Africans with his background to see how much we all have to gain by sitting at the feet of those who have living indigenous knowledge of the land and all its denizens – and not too proud or too imprisoned by his socialisation to seek it, Ian Player has, in his turn, been instrumental in educating and influencing generations of conservationists on three continents. He has provided an outstanding example and role model of service and dedication to a cause on which the future of the human race and indeed, the planet as a whole may depend."

To read the full citation: (Word Doc on the Rhodes University website).

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day: What we're doing

The Wilderness Foundation is active on the AIDS front in South Africa through the programme Umzi (Xhosa for 'homestead') which provides certified vocational training and internships that qualify AIDS orphans and vulnerable youth for ecotourism jobs secured through partnerships with national and provincial parks and private game reserves. You can learn more about it here.

At a virtual level we're also doing our bit - by taking part in the At One Foundation team on the World Community Grid. Do sign up and join the team!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kilimanjaro Trek 2006

‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take
but by the places and moments that take your breath away ’Anon

The fundraising Kilimanjaro trek which took place in October was a tremendous success. Eleven participants, all novices to high altitude trekking, embraced the challenge with great aplomb spending eight days and seven nights on Africa’s highest mountain and one of the world’s highest volcanoes (5896m).

Taking the Lemosho route, commencing on the western slope, the group traversed through equatorial to arctic conditions and the different ecosystems associated with each zone, witnessing new terrains, flora and forna with each days trek. Kilimanjaro has many plants exclusive to the mountain such as the beautiful Impatiens Kilimanjari and the evocative Senecio Kilimanjari. Days one and two were accompanied part way by Blue and Colobus monkeys, the latter’s barking ensured we were all awake before dawn! The terrain ranged from lush forest and regions with every tree and plant draped with lichen, giving the forest a bewitched feeling. Followed by zones dominated by heather and finally, rocky ash covered lunar landscapes. We also encountered two misty gorges with plants evocative of the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The journey was stimulating and exhilarating enhanced by the developing camaraderie within the team.

By supper on day four, it was a very subdued affair, at 4,000 feet one of our party had been forced to turn back due to altitude sickness and two others too unwell t
o attend. Our support crew were exceptional, taking great care of us, always with a smile and frequently with a song. On arrival at each new camp they welcomed us with traditional dance and song, a wonderful tonic for tired bodies and cherished memories for the group.

At high altitude, observing the clouds float by below you is a unique and enchanting experience, we all felt compelled, privileged and humbled to witness this. Total cloud inversion is a spectacular sight, especially on Kilimanjaro with nothing to interrupt its splendour above the vast plains of east Africa.

On the night before our summit attempt a strong gale kept everyone awake. Above the noise of the wind we could hear the shouts of people desperately trying to re-erect their fallen tents and worried ours would be next. Our tents remained upright but we all emerged the next morning covered in volcanic ash.

We embarked on the final summit ascent from Barafu camp (4600m) at 11.30pm on day six. Encountering an unusually severe blizzard, the climb was extremely arduous. Facing into the wind literally took your breath away! “Pole, pole” (slowly, slowly) hour upon hour we ascended, layers of ice building up on our clothes and walking poles and water supplies freezing. Occasionally looking up, in the hope of seeing the summit, one only saw darkness and the head torches of climbers ahead of you. The weather did not abate and many people turned back. Perhaps it was the wonderful support from our friends and colleagues back home that gave the Wilderness Foundation team the determination needed to keep going and all but one reached the top. It was the toughest physical challenge any of us had ever endured. We learnt a lot about ourselves on that night…

There was muted celebration in camp that night, we were all exhausted and somewhat shell shocked by the experience. The euphoria derived from our achievement came the next day though we were all a little sad that the expedition was nearing its end and we would be returning to everyday life!

Tanzania is a beautiful country - almost 40% of the land is protected to some degree therefore sustaining a healthy wildlife population. Its people are wonderful too. In 2007 the Wilderness Foundation hope to introduce wilderness trails in Tanzania to its trail programme.

The Kilimanjaro Trek team would like to express their grateful thanks to all who sponsored and supported our expedition. Particular praise goes to the Tanzanian support team without whom our goal would not have been reached. Congratulations also to Sharon Oliver for her magnificent fundraising achievements.

Jackie Cheng

We are organising a 2007 fundraiser along similar lines - if you'd like to get involved or learn more, get in touch with our office: +441245443073 or info (at)

Member Profile: Graham Game

Our membership is drawn from a variety of fields including explorers, environmentalists, ecologists, conservationists but also psychologists and other practicioners not to mention people who simply have a passion for Wilderness. Here, in a new occassional series, we'll be profiling some of our particularly active members.

Graham Game, a professional environmentalist for 30 years, has worked on a wide range of campaigns and projects for organisations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Green Network and The Wildlife Trusts. In the 1990's he was involved with The All Party Parliamentary Environment Group at Westminster, has been an elected Councillor, a prolific public speaker, facilitator and lecturer, and has written countless articles for a wide variety of publications, and contributed to many broadcast programmes in the UK and USA.

While working for The Wildlife Trusts, Graham was involved with many innovative projects including the creation and management of Europe's largest coastal re-alignment scheme to mitigate some of the effects of sea-level rise and climate change on the East coast of England, and he was instrumental in the partnership with The Royal Horticultural Society, and the Wild About Gardens project which included the new book "Wildlife Gardening for Everyone".

In 2005, having secured sponsorship from a major brand, he project-managed The Wildlife Trusts' Show Garden at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show which won a Silver Award, and came runner-up in the BBC Peoples Choice Award. He has been described in his local press as "One of Britains most experienced Environmentalists", and in 2005 The Independent newspaper in a feature entitled "The Force of Nature", described Graham as responsible for promoting a "New kind of Environmentalism" through his work with Ecotherapy and

Graham has been a keen supporter of The Wilderness Foundation since it became established in the UK, and today is a Consultant working on green PR, marketing, environment, health and sustainability issues, and his primary focus is promoting climate change and energy solutions. He is an active member of The All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group at Westminster, and is busy attempting to write his first book "Ten Years to Save The World".

Here is an excerpt from the Independent article mentioned above:

"It is almost de rigueur in some metropolitan circles to yearn for a simpler life in the country. And even those whose ambitions do not stretch to pressing olives or breeding pigs hotfoot it to the mountains or seaside at every opportunity. When the stresses of everyday life get too much, we take a walk in the park or have an hour in the garden. Science has long recognised this instinctive attraction to nature. Now, an emerging branch of psychology suggests it may be fundamental to our health and wellbeing - and to the future of the planet.

Ecopsychology is grounded in the idea that our innate craving for contact with nature is the result of millions of years of evolution in a natural environment. The problem, ecopsychologists argue, is that industrialisation and urbanisation have tossed those instincts aside. Our detachment from nature lies behind a host of modern psychological, emotional and physical problems, as well as our blasé attitude towards environmental change. Personal and planetary wellbeing, they say, feed into one another." - Read the full article here on the Independent website.

Learn more about Graham's work at and also read his blog at:

If you would like to join our membership then please download a membership form here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Horse Packing in Wyoming wilderness

Cold dawn awakes and
Warm sunlight trickles thru' forested slopes
Bodies warm back to life.
Whinnying horses and bear bells tinkle
Snow melt creek gurgles and gently roars
Across rounded stones and lava pores
Carrying eons of life and history in its path.
Ancient sounds, ancient land, old memories,
New life,
Emerald pines of new growth
reach skywards to
naked blue skies
Stretching to infinity
Skeletons of raging fires stand
Bleak in contrast to the infinite beauty
Survivors of past glory
Memories, Summer 2006

If you want to horse pack through this vast wilderness - larger than the State of Delaware and on the borders of Yellowstone and Teton National park - contact us on 01245 443073 or email

Reflections from Wilderness

I wake with the dawn and sit quietly by the fire as the last watch patrols, and then I was alone.
The sky is a milky blue by now, and one can faintly make out the edge of the hills and the heavy mist that hangs over the river as the world awoke itself.
The crickets persisted in their continual chatter and the stillness is broken by the trilling of a Fiery Knecked Nightjar – ‘Good Lord Deliver Us’ ‘Good Lord Deliver Us’ gently coaxing us to the reality of day and giving us strength to face what the new day would have to offer us.

The baboons on the facing cliffs are barking incessantly. I first think it was some domestic dispute but as the screaming infants subside, so then do the alarm barks become more intense, more frenzied, creating deep tension in the air.
Something is disturbing them. Is it a leopard in the reeds near by, or perhaps is it us, as we all start to move around the camp, in the clearing light of day?
As the light expanded do in the distance comes the grunting of lion downstream, reclaiming their birthright and asserting their presence to all who will listen.

Dawn just came and went without more ceremony and then day was with us.
Feeling deep sadness as our last day on trail started to warm with the new sun, I withdraw to a log in the shape of a hammock without the strings. Friends came to talk in low voices and I again felt renewed by the special kinds of bonds wilderness trails create for me. Friendship that cannot be described on paper with ink – too fragile for chance misconstructions.
And so, the motions of departure begin. We all follow our routines and fiddle round with our packs – inevitably leaving things out to delay the end. Have our breakfast of cereal with water from our charcoaled kettle and started to clear the camp of our traces.

Solitude is elusive.

I knew that the end was coming and would be hard.

We leave a camp so clear of human trace – no one will know we were there. As if our journey was only an imagination.
Memory pricks at this waterhole where we always find rhino at the beginning of our journey or at the end. We are close now.
Over the slope, through the grass, there lies the tar road snaking through the trees. There is the vehicle..Through tears streaming down my cheeks, I remind myself that an end is also a beginning. There is life after the pooh, the mushrooms will continue to grow, the past necessary for the shaping of the future.
With that I pulled my pack from my back and didn’t look back again.

Journal Entry - Imfolozi Wilderness Trail -South Africa

If you'd like to have similar experiences with our help, then get in touch: info (at) wilderness or 08081786931/+441245443073.
- 2007 Course dates here.
- 2007 Trail dates will be posted soon...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wilderness Foundation YouTube Channel Launches with Kili pictures and sounds

The Wilderness Foundation UK today launched a YouTube Channel with pictures and song from the 2006 Kili Trek which raised money for our continued work for wilderness, wildlife and people:

Thanks to all who supported!

Also, read our earlier articles about the Snows of Kilimanjaro, the fundraising efforts prior to the trip and last but about the disappering glaciers on Kilimanjaro.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Today's Wilderness Quote

South African Passage - Diaries from the Wilderness Leadership School

"Where there is nothing but wilderness around you and only stars or a setting sun giving light, it is very easy to believe in yourself."
- Amanda Hedden in South African Passage, Diaries from the Wilderness Leadership School

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Population Increase - The Greatest Challenge?

Population LogoPresentation by John Simpson, Lord Adair Turner and Richard Ottaway MP.

Royal Geographical Society, 7.00, Wednesday 6th December 2006

With population set to rise by 40% to 9 billion over the next 45 years, this is arguably the single most important challenge to the future of our planet.

It will increasingly hinder poverty alleviation, accelerate climate change, cause widespread environmental degradation and foment international conflict.

John Simpson, celebrated broadcaster and journalist, is now Senior Editor of the BBC International News.

Lord Adair Turner
, formerly Director-General of the CBI, is a Trustee of WWF and Chairman of the Pensions Commission.

Richard Ottaway MP is Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Hearings on the impact of population increase. A report on these Hearings is imminent and already gaining worldwide attention.

This will be a lively and highly significant event. At a time when government policy is still evolving, we encourage you to attend and make your views known.

Doors Open 6.30pm
Presentation starts 7.00pm
Reception 8.30pm

Venue: Royal Geographical Society
1, Kensington Gore. LONDON SW7 2AR
(8 minutes from Kensington High Street tube station, near the Royal Albert Hall)

It is essential to book for this event:
Tickets: FREE entry to the presentation with voluntary £5 contribution on the door
£20 for presentation and reception
Please send ticket requirements and a stamped addressed envelope, with cheque if relevant payable to “MPMT/PSN Account”, to:

Toby Aykroyd, Population & Sustainability Network, Stag House, 37 Pembridge Villas
London W11 3EP Tel: 0207 792 9776
For more information, visit:

Friday, November 17, 2006

How to use a Camping Gas Stove

The purist will of course prefer making fire with two sticks... Still, we came across this little video and thought we'd share it:

If you'd like hands-on Wilderness skills well beyond this level, then why not have a look at our Wilderness Training Course. The next dates are:

January 10th-31st 2007
February 7th-28th 2007
March 10th-31st 2007

Please contact our office if you'd like to learn more or book a place - info (at) wilderness or 08081786931/+441245443073

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wilderness on Wiki

Wikipedia Logo Now Wikipedia is somewhat controversial because of the fact that it is open to editing by its users as opposed the rigidity of traditional editorial control of a printed encyclopedia. Nevertheless, it can lead one to many other useful resources - Here's an excerpt of the entry for Wilderness:

"Wilderness is generally defined as a natural environment on Earth that has not been modified by human activity. Ecologists consider wilderness areas to be an integral part of the planet's self-sustaining natural ecosystem (the biosphere).
The word, "wilderness", derives from the notion of wildness; in other words that which is not controllable by humans. The word's etymology is from the Old English wildeornes, which in turn derives from wildeor meaning wild beast (wild + deor = beast, deer) (The Collins English Dictionary, 2000). From this point of view, it is the wildness of a place that makes it a wilderness. The mere presence or activity of people does not disqualify an area from being "Wilderness." Many ecosystems that are, or have been, inhabited or influenced by activities of people may still be considered "wild." This way of looking at wilderness includes areas within which natural processes operate without human interference." - Full entry...
If you want to go into more detail then we can recommend the collection of resources on the 8th World Wilderness Congress website: including resolutions.

Snows of Kilimanjaro

We will shortly be posting pictures from the successful bid to climb Kilimanjaro by our tireless volunteer fundraisers Sharon Oliver, Jill Golding, Sarah Alcock, Julieanne Cloete, Ann Butterworth, Chris Eppinger and Jo Roberts and Jackie Cheng from the office.

In the meantime, this story out on Reuters might be of interest - related to our earlier post about the disappering glaciers on Kilimanjaro:

"The snows are getting smaller year by year," Kinyaol Porboli, the chief of Esiteti village, told Reuters at the base of Africa's highest peak at 5,895 metres (19,340 feet). Many a travel brochure has shown the pastoralist Maasai, with their spears and bright red robes, standing before the towering peak which is a life-giver to their tribe and Kenya's crucial tourism economy. But now both may be threatened...
- Full story here...

Now, a small footnote on the above: Kilimanjaro is of course in Tanzania but when the colonial borders were drawn, not much attention was paid to tribal lines, but with Kili almost on the dividing line, it benefits both Kenya and Tanzanian communities.

The Wilderness Foundation is working actively in East Africa to secure Wilderness areas and make traditional communities more sustainable in the face of the changing environment.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Elephant video from

We just came across this little elephant movie on - a website with some fantastic wildlife photography and movies...

Now we've earlier mentioned our North American sister organisation's efforts to save the few remaining Desert Elephants and thought a link here would be a good fit, although the elephants above are of course from the other end of Africa...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Spectacular Wilderness Footage from the BBC: Planet Earth

Planet Earth ExplorerTonight on BBC, Planet Earth once again showcased just how beautiful a pristine landscape can be... Visit the BBC Science & Nature site to try the Planet Earth Explorer (UK users only though) or download one of their screensavers or wallpapers.

We also mentioned the BBC Planet Under Threat blog in a posting back in May - that's still going strong:

The Foundation encourages appreciation of Wilderness from afar, although our preference is of course by foot... If you'd like to out there with our help, then get in touch: info (at) wilderness or 08081786931/+441245443073.
- 2007 Course dates here.

- 2007 Trail dates will be posted soon...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Arts & Ecology at the RSA

Land, Art - A Cultural Ecology HandbookJust in from our friends at the RSA Library - an item that may be of interest...

"The RSA Arts & Ecology project , a programme supporting the work of the arts in examining and addressing environmental concerns in an international arena, is holding a conference in December 2006 entitled "No way back". Providing different perspectives on ecological issues from major thinkers of our time, and timed to coincide with the new project publication Land, art: a cultural ecology handbook." - Full story here...
Click here to access previous RSA related postings from the Wilderness Foundation.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Latest on the loss of Icelandic Wilderness in this week's Private Eye

Private EyeThis week's Private Eye carries a satirical report from Iceland where, despite the sterling efforts of our friends at Saving Iceland, a huge new dam project is under way. We'd link to the story, but Private Eye only put limited content online so it does mean a trip down to the local newsagent if you want the full story. Alternatively, you could simply stop by to learn more.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Trees for Life diary...

The Wilderness Foundation has long supported the treeplanting efforts of Trees for Life and here is an inspiring and informative diary entry from Jason Cheng from his recent efforts with TfL in Scotland:
"I first met the rest of my group at Inverness train station, not knowing what to expect.

As individuals turned up I shook their hand and we exchanged names, and we travelled via the minibus to Glen Morrison, where our work week was based.

On the way we stopped in a small section of forest for lunch and an introductory talk. Although it was only a small piece of natural Caledonian forest, you felt as though you where in a Jurassic park film, with the river raging and the lichens dripping from the trees.

On the following Sunday we started work. We would be taking down an old, now redundant fence in Forestry Commission land. I didn't really know how important this was but many rare black grouse are killed by fences each year as they fly low to the ground and sometimes may not see the fence, especially in foggy weather which is common!

Monday we started to make aspen enclosures quite hign up in the glen. Aspen does not disperse its seed very well; in fact it rarely produces seed at all, so planting them is important recreate the natural forest diversity. Unfortunately deer like to eat aspen leaves so deer fences must be made to protect the saplings. It took almost a day for four of us to complete one enclosure.

Other days included a red squirrel survey: As many of you probably know the grey squirrel has take over from the red squirrel in most places; however in predominantly coniferous forest, reds have a slight advantage and still cling on. Cutting down non-indigenous tree species is another important task. Sitka spruce in particular seeds vigorously and if left as they are they would out-compete birches, Scots pine and others, eventually killing them. In the evenings a couple from the group would cook a meal, which every day was great, followed down with a "wee dram" of single malt. Lovely. One of my favourite experiences was listening to a certain owl that lived somewhere in a small stand of lime trees near our accommodation, despite my best efforts of trying to spot it in the dark, I was reduced to just listening, for me it was a rare sound. It was certainly a great week for me and the others and would recommend it to anybody, the variety of people in my group was very broad!" - Jason Cheng

You can learn more about Trees for Life on their website:

'Wild Laws' - Article in today's Guardian

Interesting article in today's Guardian on the 'Wild Law' concept:

Guardian Unlimited"The term "wild law" was first coined by Cormac Cullinan, a lawyer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Put simply, it is about the need for a change in our relationship with the natural world, from one of exploitation to a more "democratic" participation in a community of other beings. If we are members of a community, Cullinan says, then our rights must be balanced against those of plants, animals, rivers and ecosystems. This means developing new laws that require the integrity and functioning of the whole Earth community to be prioritised. In a world governed by wild law, the destructive, human-centred exploitation of the natural world would be unlawful." - Full story here...

The Gaia Foundation also has an article by Cormac Cullinan, (first published in Resurgence).

UKELAThis also led us to learning more about the upcoming events by the UK Environmental Law Association which may be of interest:

  • Wild Law one day conference Nov 10th
  • Nicholas Hurd MP will talk to the Climate Change Working Party on 23rd Nov
  • Stephen Tromans will provide an update on environmental law in Bristol on 28th Nov
    - On the same day in London the newly formed Corporate Due Diligence Working Party meets.
  • Talks on nature conservation will be given in Cardiff on 30th Nov.
  • The Garner Lecture 2006 by Malcolm Forster will be held on 13th Dec.

Learn more about their events here:

Round up of local developments

The Wilderness Foundation UK office is based out of Chelmsford and we have previously reported on some of the activities we get involved with in our area such as the RSA Coffeehouse Challenge on Environment vs. Development where our director, Jo Roberts took part in a discussion with principals from Essex County Council - Planning, Chelmsford Environment Partnership, Countryside Properties PLC and

One of the people who also took part in that event were Stephen Robinson, the local 2005 Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate, who in addition to blogging on local issues here: has now also kicked off a new initiative. In his own words:

"I have put together the Greener Chelmsford website as a single place to list ideas to make our town more sustainable."

The Wilderness Foundation, whilst carrying no political affiliation, applauds this initiative.

We also learnt through Stephen that the next Chelmsford Green Drinks is this Thursday, 9th November. It is an occasional get-together for the environmentally minded. Read more here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

OU Course on Environmental Decision Making

For the academically oriented, we thought this from the Open University might be of interest:

"Postgraduate Programme in Environmental Decision Making: This programme is designed to meet the challenges of decision making in environmental contexts in your working life, your community and your home. It will enhance your understanding of environmental issues and skills in decision-making processes. The prospectus gives details of the courses in this modular programme of study, which is designed to meet the needs of practitioners and aspiring professionals who wish to study part-time for a diploma or masters degree." - Learn more here.

If you're more of an in-the-wild type of learner then you can of course also attend our Wilderness Training Course at the Wilderness Leadership School in South Africa. The dates for next year can be found below.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dates for 2007 - Wilderness Training Course

Time to plan for the new year! Here are next dates for the Wilderness Training Course:

  • January 10th-31st 2007

  • February 7th-28th 2007

  • March 10th-31st 2007

Learn more about the course here.

Please contact our office if you'd like to learn more or book a place - info (at) wilderness or 08081786931/+441245443073

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Echoing Green

Here's an item that may be of interest to the entrepeneurial part of our audience:

Echo Green
"Echoing Green provides first-stage funding and support to visionary leaders with bold ideas for social change. As an angel investor in the social sector, Echoing Green identifies, funds and supports the world’s most exceptional emerging leaders and the organizations they launch. Through a two-year fellowship program, we help passionate social entrepreneurs develop new solutions to some of society’s most difficult problems. These social entrepreneurs and their organizations work to close deeply-rooted social, economic and political inequities to ensure equal access and help all individuals reach their potential." ... Here's how to apply.

We heard about this through Rob Johnston's blog on the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Andrew Muir in today's Herald

The Herald newspaper
In today's Herald:

"THE Wilderness Foundation has called for a joint security and outreach programme to be launched, led by the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, aimed at realising the “huge potential” of Settlers Park Nature Reserve.

Addressing a function yesterday to celebrate the park‘s 50th anniversary, foundation director Andrew Muir said the reserve was the icon conservation area in Mandela Bay – which was itself unique as having the greatest mix of plants and animals of any municipality in the country.

“We need to make Settlers safe for anyone to visit. We should be doing the Guinea Fowl Trail in our thousands, and we are not, because we do not feel safe. We‘re calling on the municipality to find a way to do this. We will walk beside you and help in any way we can.” - Read the full story here...

To learn more about the Wilderness Foundation SA's programmes, visit their website here:

Friday, October 27, 2006

TONIGHT - Rewilding: The Vision, Examples, Constraints and Benefits’

27 October ‘Rewilding: The Vision, Examples, Constraints and Benefits’
- Toby Aykroyd, Co-ordinator of the ‘Wild Britain’ initiative and trustee of the Wilderness Foundation; and Jonathan Spencer, Senior Ecologist, Forestry Commission

Toby Aykroyd and Jonathan Spencer both promote the concept of rewilding. They will jointly present the case for rewilding, but will review the established difficulties in achieving this.
Toby Aykroyd studied macroeconomics, geography and development economics at Cambridge University and has an MBA from the Cranfield Institute of Technology. He was initially posted to the UN Development Programme in Central America where he worked on agricultural and SME business projects. His career since has mainly included commercial management both in the private sector and under contract to government. He has been involved in farming and forestry enterprises, directed a political lobby group and co-founded the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative.

The Wild Britain Initiative which he coordinates seeks to promote the restoration of large-scale natural habitat areas across 2 million acres in the UK over the next 25 years: making use of economic, social and political as well as conservation opportunities. He is Co-Chairman of the Population & Sustainability Network and Vice-Chairman of the Wilderness Foundation. - Meeting at Extra-Mural Centre premises at 26 Russell Square or 32 Tavistock Square.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Which is the finest wilderness south of the Scottish border?

New article by Wilderness Foundation member Alec Forss who previously wrote a popular piece on Finnish Wilderness:

With the exception of parts of Scotland, where is the finest wilderness landscape in Britain?
Though of course the answer is largely subjective, the end of another summer out in the hills has left me with a particular favourite. The North Pennines, where I spent a few days in the heat of late July walking over its parched moors, is a clear contender. So too are the Cheviots - often billed as England’s last wilderness - where a particularly chilly August saw me tramping amidst a blaze of purple heather. However, for me at least, there is a particular range of hills in Wales that really stands out as a superlative wilderness destination.

Obviously, in a small and overpopulated country it is difficult to rigorously apply the concept of wilderness. Therefore, a little definitional flexibility is required. My favourite area has experienced mining over the centuries; its slopes are used as grazing land for sheep and old stone walls criss-cross the landscape demarcating local boundaries. Yet, apart from the occasional walker, the hills exude a certain wildness that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Wishing to complete a traverse of the range on a two-night backpack, I set off with a friend. Ascending, we soon came across the remnants of some old stone cottages perched high above the town below. The throwback views across the estuary were spectacular framed by the rising bulk of one of the most beautiful mountains in Snowdonia. Ahead of us lay an area uncrossed by any road for nearly 25 kilometres. Given the nature of the terrain, moreover, our route would end up being a good deal longer. After a few hours the grassy ridge gave way to rock and heather as we descended to a tarn tucked below modestly towering peaks. There we pitched our tent in splendid isolation with it dawning on us that we could neither hear nor see any sign of human activity other than our own transient intrusion. Rising the next morning, after a star-studded night, we spied a herd of wild goats and followed in their wake up the steep gulley to the main - though not the highest - summit in the range. With a distinct haziness enveloping the surrounding landscape, one forgot about the grand vistas and concentrated on the geological complexity at hand. A maze of parallel ridges and rocky chasms interspersed with tarns lay on the menu for the route ahead. A large group of hikers passed us having come up from one of the few easy access points. We strode ahead and soon had the place to ourselves again as we trod our way through the largely pathless terrain that characterizes the northern part of the range. We stumbled across a most beautiful tarn with strange jellyfish-like creatures floating sporadically to the surface. Moving on, the next little lake proved an eye-catching foreground to the rugged backdrop behind where we took many photos. The totally incongruous towers of a decommissioned nuclear power station looming to the north aside, it was hard to believe that such a unique setting remains sparsely visited - mercifully so - in spite of its close proximity to the popular mountain mecca within sight to the north.

The next day we ran out of range to traverse. We descended to the coast and left the hills behind for the urban wilderness of Birmingham. Although my pick is by no means comparable in terms of size or sheer grandeur to other wildernesses further afield, it nonetheless exudes a highly distinctive and intense character almost unparalleled in England and Wales, and one that favours the connoisseur seeking a walk on the wild side away from the more usual haunts. Have you guessed where it is?

You're welcome to join the debate - simply post a comment.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Measuring Impact and World Community Grid

At One FoundationThe Wilderness Foundation and other At One members took part in an intensive one-day workshop on measuring impact. The workshops was offered as part of IBM's "On Demand Community Challenge”.

The IBM led workshop provided the charities and non-profits with a great opportunity to take an honest look at their existing programmes. Jo Roberts, director of the Wilderness Foundation and one of the attendees, said: "I can really see now how I can structure our communications and plans to be more effective".

The Wilderness Foundation also took the opportunity to join the the At One Team on the World Community Grid - Read more how you can make a difference too by volunteering your PC to the fight against AIDS. Also, read more about our Umzi project.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New protected Wilderness area in California

Sierra Club This just in from our friends at the Sierra Club, specifically the Redwood Chapter in California:

"...the Thompson/Boxer/Feinstein Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act (AKA Wilderness Bill, or HR 233/S 128) " ... "Passage of this legislation has given nearly 275,000 spectacular acres in the Redwood Chapter PERMANENT protection as Federal Wilderness." - Read more here

We congratulate the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter and the other many people and organisations who campaigned for this.
- The Wilderness Foundation supports the creation of protected Wilderness areas around the globe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Umzi in the Algoa Sun

More press coverage of Umzi - This time in the Algoa Sun. Click on the image to read the full story:

Umzi in the Algoa Sun - Click to read full story
We always welcome support for the continued success of this flagship project - Please use the Donate or Raise Funds buttons to the right!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Saving Iceland

This just in from Saving Iceland:

"Dear all,

I am writing to invite you to a theatrical and interactive protest against the destruction of Europe's second largest wilderness at the hands of heavy industry. The drowning of the Icelandic highlands has begun, in a project to
create a series of large hydropower dams for Aluminium smelting giant ALCOA's factories. The first of the dams will affect 3% of Icelands landmass and destroy reindeer breeding grounds, 60 waterfalls and a beautiful canyon-all for cheap American Aluminium.

I write to implore you to help show the Icelandic government and ALCOA that this is not acceptable. The Icelandic highlands are a beautiful and unique resource, until now untouched except by hikers and lovers of natural beauty.
By 2020 it could all be destroyed.

JOIN US for the 'FUNERAL OF THE WILD' in London on the 27th Oct and help preserve the last of Europes wilderness before its too late.

Meet at Sloane Square at 1pm for speeches, march and a fuberal ceremony."

To learn more about this, please visit - But to give you an upfront view, here's a map of Iceland with the rivers and potential dams marked out (the latter in orange).

Map of Iceland

Monday, October 09, 2006

Book for the Alpine-minded

This new book may be of interest to our Alpine-minded members:

- Contact the author for more information: Guy Sheridan, Comus, 11340 Espezel, France.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Amazonia and Assynt in Scotland

RSA ScotlandWhilst we're waiting for confirmation on exactly where in South America the next World Wilderness Congress will take place - one could in the meantime take stock of what is happening in at least one corner of the Amazon:

Angus Millar Lecture 2006 - Monday 16 October 2006 - 6pm
Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Weston Link, National Galleries of Scotland on the Mound, Edinburgh

Chair: Professor Aubrey Manning FRSE

Chris Clark, President, Associazione Amazonia Onlus and Vice President and Founder, Associacao Amazonia Brazil will debate issues relating to social enterprise and resilient communities with Bill Ritchie, Assynt Crofters Trust and Assynt Foundation after their respective illustrated presentations.

More info on Lecturelist and on the RSA Scotland website --> Events Programme.

For reference: 8th World Wilderness Congress - Resolution on Tropical Protected Areas

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Inside the Artice Wildlife Refuge - NYRB Article

In the most recent issue of the New York Review of Books:

"Wild northern Alaska is one of the last places on earth where a human being can kneel down and drink from a wild stream without being measurably more poisoned or polluted than before; its heart and essence is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the earth's last sanctuary of the great Ice Age fauna that includes all three North American bears, gray wolves and wolverines, musk ox, moose, and, in the summer, the Porcupine River herd of caribou, 120,000 strong." - Read full article...

Arctic WildernessProtection of the Artic was a key action point at the most recent World Wilderness Congress (held in Alaska), where a resolution to Protect Arctic Natonal Wildlife Refuge from Oil Development was adopted, but is not a new subject for the Wilderness movement - Fulcrum Books have amongst their Wilderness stock the proceedings from the 5th WWC entitled: Artic Wilderness. (Full list of past World Wilderness Congresses).

You may also find this earlier NYRB article (albeit on Global Warming) of interest, albeit not on the artic specifically.

Artic Wildlife Refuge on GoogleEarthLast but not least, we support our friends at the Sierra Club in their continued efforts to preserve the Artic Wildlife Refuge. They also have a set of interesting tools such as maps well worth checking out (click on the Google Earth thumbnail on the left).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Coverage of Trails Expansion in Today's Kruger Park Times

Andrew Muir, Dr Ian Player and Alan McSmith

"The Wilderness Foundation SA and the Wilderness Leadership School, founded in the 1950s by conservation legend Dr Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela, is seeking to expand the wilderness trail concept that it pioneered. One of their first partners in the planned expansion is Alan McSmith, an independent Hoedspruit-based trails operator." - Read the full article here ...

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Outdoor Environment as a Place for Therapeutic Change

An Turus - Journeys for Change logo28th and 29th October 2006 - Kingussie

"When we venture into the outdoor realm, how much attention do we pay to our connection to the environment we find ourselves in? What importance do we place on whether we are journeying through nature or alongside it? How is it that we speak of going out into nature as a separate experience? Does it matter that we ‘use’ nature as a tool to promote human recovery and health?"
To learn more about this or to book your place, please contact: Nick Ray or Ruth Bradbrook at team(at) - Or call them on +44(0)1463 243852 / 07818094311

Learn more about the An Turus Wilderness programme here:

Friday, September 29, 2006

Programme arms students with skills - Umzi in The Herald SA Today

The Herald SA OnlineIn Today's Herald:

"THE opening of a coffee shop called Conyngham‘s on Monday will mean a hopeful new start for a group of youngsters who have suffered more than their share of troubles.
The coffee shop is the front end of the Eastern Cape‘s unique social upliftment programme, Umzi Wethu.

Situated in the grounds of the EP Children‘s Home in Conyngham Road in Parsons Hill, the venue is staffed by 16 students who have been enrolled in the programme‘s first intake, each of them orphaned by Aids, either directly or indirectly, by a lethal mix of poverty, substance abuse and the effects of the pandemic, causing severe dislocation in their families.

Launched in April, Umzi Wethu (“Our Home” in Xhosa) was initiated by the Wilderness Foundation and designed in conjunction with 34 partners including local and international Aids NGOs, orphanages, the NMMU, game reserves and tourism and hospitality agencies."

Read the full story here... and earlier coverage from us here and here.
- Why not help support Umzi by sponsoring one of our teams climbing Kilimanjaro in October? Links here and here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The World's Wild Places - New Colin Prior Book

Colin Prior - The World's Wild Places

The World's Wild Places: In this unique collection of photography, Colin Prior has spent the last ten years documenting the last of the wild – remote lands at the furthest extremes of the Earth. From the shifting ice sheets of Greenland to the oxygen-starved Atacama Desert.

We are extremely grateful to Colin Prior for his continued support - and especially for allowing us to one of his Scottish pictures for our poster campaign. Order your signed copy of the book today!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Save China's Tiger Evening a Roaring Success

Save China's Tigers Last night at the South African High Commission in London, Lucia van der Post, journalist and daughter of the late patron of the Wilderness Foundation, Laurens van der Post, was on stage in conversation with Li Quan the founder and director of Save China's Tigers who gave a fascinating insight into her battle to save the last few remaining Chinese Tigers.

"I am grateful to our ancestors for leaving us the Chinese tiger-the spirit of nature and the wellspring of culture. I pray, thanks to the united efforts of people worldwide, that the roar of the Chinese tiger will be heard echoing in the wilderness for generations to come." - Li Quan
The evening was possible due to a tight knit organising committe with Wilderness Foundation UK trustee Louise Aspinall leading from the front.

We'd like to thank the generous sponsors, those who donated gifts for our action, as well as our friends at the South African High Commission for their continued support:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kilimanjaro Fundraising Goes From Strength to Strength

The fundraising efforts of Sharon Oliver, Jill Golding, Sarah Alcock & Julieanne Cloete for the Wilderness Foundation and specifically the Umzi project in South Africa, have continually impressed us. Do visit their page on JustGiving to read more about their effort and add to the total!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

South African Passage - Diaries from the Wilderness Leadership School

South African Passage - Diaries from the Wilderness Leadership School South African Passage contains excerpts from the diaries of teenagers who have gone into the wilderness of South Africa with Dr. Ian Player and the trail leaders of the Wilderness Leadership School.

Since 1958, Dr. Ian Player, the man responsible for saving the white rhino from extinction and brother of international golfer Gary Player, has been taking mixed groups of teenagers—13 to 18-years old, black, white, Indian and Asian — on Outward Bound-type experiences into the South African bush.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wilderness Training Course

Wilderness Leadership School

Almost fifty years ago Dr Ian Player and Maqubu Ntombela took the first group of students from St Johns College out on trail in iMfolozi Game Reserve. That started the magnificent journey that has been the Wilderness Leadership School’s legacy to almost 40 000 trailists.
People from all over the world have continued to experience this journey of self-discovery coupled with the adrenalin filled opportunity to observe and participate in nature on foot.


To bring about a realization of the interdependence of all things, especially between the human and the non-human elements of the earth.
We believe that we can bring about such a shift in consciousness by exposing people to a direct experience of wilderness.

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” - Henry David Thoreau


The Course is conducted according to the Wilderness Leadership School’s ethos and emphasizes mans interdependence with nature.
The Course is a values driven introduction to wilderness and the underpinning ethics involved. Our aim at the School is to ensure that all students leave with an innate understanding of Wilderness and the part it has to play in our future. The instructors are all full wilderness trails guides passionately dedicated to preserving our natural environment and wilderness areas.

- A wilderness training course is a physical, mental and spiritual experience during which time the participants are given the opportunity to re-examine life’s priorities and experience personal growth.
- Conducted in the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (Heritage site) and the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park depending on the time of year.
- Facilitated by world class wilderness trails guides with many years experience in the philosophical and ethical objective of the WLS as well as an intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Wilderness in which they operate.
- Journeys of discovery providing an opportunity for groups to bond and for individual personal growth experiences.
- Catered for and equipped by the Wilderness Leadership School.
- Conducted with the highest attention given to the safety and security of the students.


Designed and customized by the Wilderness Leadership School instructors themselves the course content includes the following modules and disciplines:

- Animal Identification and Behavioral Interpretation
- Bush Lore and Tracking Skills
- Environmental Literacy
- The Nature of Wilderness
- Personal Growth Development
- Minimal Impact Camping Skills and Techniques
- Trail Mechanics
- Interpretation of Landscapes and Earth Sciences
- Individual Leadership Development
- Group Dynamics and Assessment
- Environmental Responsibility and Accountability
- Emergency First Aid and HIV Awareness

The whole course is delivered with an underlying emphasis on Wilderness Ethics which is the core of the Wilderness Leadership Schools philosophy.


R 13 000-00 (+/- £950) per Student per course including VAT. Excludes flights to South Africa.

- All food
- Accommodation
- Tuition
- Transport to and from Game Reserves
- Two 5 day Wilderness Trails (Value R7500-00)
- Use of Trails Equipment
- Theta Assessment
- Wilderness Leadership School Certificate

Please contact our office if you'd like to learn more or book a place - info (at) wilderness or 08081786931/+441245443073

Today's Wilderness View

Widford boys heading into Wilderness on their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award effort
Picture courtesy and (c) Jason Cheng

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Wilderness Foundation Launches SMS Support and Membership Poster Campaign

The Wilderness Foundation today launched a new SMS Support and Membership Poster Campaign at two events - Resurgence in Oxford (read more here), and locally at the Essex Experience. The latter is an annual multi-activity camp run by the Essex Scouts for young people, aged 12 to 15. The Wilderness Foundation exhibited alongside Connexions, Millenium Volunteers, Rainer and other youth oriented organisations, some of which we hope to connect with again when our Turnaround in Essex project gets further under way (you can read more about that on the back page of the most recent issue of the Chelmsford Business Forum's newsletter).

Click to download PDF of Wilderness Foundation UK Poster
The poster campaign aims to raise appreciation of Wilderness as well as awareness of the threat to the last remaining, further strengthen our membership and last but not least, reach a new generation of supporters with an SMS campaign:

To donate £3 to the Wilderness Foundation UK, Text WFUK to 84858*

The money raised will help further our local work in Essex as well as national campaigning for wilderness and wildlands preservation as initiatives such as our work with Envision.

Essex Experience Stand with WFUK Volunteers Jason and JackieOur stand, manned by volunteers, recruited Scout Leaders, youth outreach workers and even a few mayors and councillors from around Essex who will be putting up our posters in town halls, scout halls, schools, clubs and community centres across the county!

If you would like to do your bit for Wilderness and help us reach a wider audience with this campaign - by putting up a poster in your local school, doctor's surgery, office or other place where there is a bit of bare wall that could benefit from the beautiful Wilderness view kindly lent to us by the famous photographer, and friend of the Foundation, Colin Prior, then do get in touch: info (at) or call us on 01245443072.

- If you'd like to help us save postage, or you only have limited space on the notice board, then you could print an A4 size poster. PDF available here.

* Messages charged at standard rate. You will receive two confirmation messages, charged at £1.50 each. The Wilderness Foundation UK will receive your donation net of charges applied by mobile network operators and a processing fee. If you have any questions regarding this service, please call 020 7549 2222.
- You can of course also donate or help us raise money on-line.

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