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Monday, February 26, 2007

Brentwood School Celebrity Football Match

For the past three years, the Wilderness Foundation UK has been organising a trip for senior pupils at Brentwood School to visit South Africa during the Summer for eighteen days. Participants undertake a community project in a Zulu village and a 10 day trek encompassing both game reserves and the Drakensberg Mountains.

The 10 day trek is followed by a Zulu community stay. In the past, students have painted the local school and produced 200 bricks from scratch for an extra classroom. The bricks were made by hand, collecting mud at the riverbank and then baking them in the sun to harden.

Projects undertaken during the community stay enhance and develop education, sport, sanitation and healthcare facilities.

On Friday 23rd March 2007 Brentwood School held a fund-raising Celebrity Football Match at Roots Hall, Southend, in order to raise a considerable amount for the community project. WFUK was pleased to attend and support the event which saw the Brentwood School 1st XI take on a celebrity team which included Clive Allen, Tony Cottee, Rob Lee, Justin Edinbugh, Peter Taylor, Warren Barton, Paul Allen, Andy Ansah, Alex Inglethorpe and a host of others.

It was a thrilling and hard-fought match, with the Brentwood XI proving to be excellent opponents for the Celebrity team. The battle for goals raged throughout the ninety minutes, with the score four-all at the final whistle. A penalty shootout saw the Celebrity team take the cup.

The Wilderness Foundation would like to thank everybody who took part, attended or played a role in making this a fantastic event and raising so much money for the work in South Africa. Special thanks to Ian Davies, Headmaster and Brentwood School, Miss. Wennell, Mrs. Tod and Mr. McCann as well as Ron Martin, Chairman and owner of Southend United Football Club who made the event possible, Nina Drew, Marketing Executive ofSUFC, Kim Spooner, Director of Marketing and Development at Brentwood School plus of course the Brentwood Team: - Michael Geggus; Michael Tan; Will Roeder; Christopher Boon; Chris Edkins; James Dawson; Colin Weafer; Ryan Burville; Wayne Marshall; Billy Jennings; Paul Adair; Josh Ruddock; Richard Bray and Ross Phillips.

Thank you all!

Women Only Bushcraft Course

WFUK is pleased to bring you news of a women-only course from Natural Pathways that may be of interest to our members and readers.

Natural Pathways are running a ground-breaking women-only course where you will be shown vital survival skills - at a relaxed pace - with lots of hands-on experience. There will be plenty of time for you to practice your new skills... so you can learn something unique and rewarding.

The course is being run in a beautiful woodland location near Canterbury, Kent. For further information contact Hannah - telephone 01304 842045 or 07828 316827 or alternatively visit www.naturalpathways.co.uk

Please mention The Wilderness Foundation when you call.

Course dates: 16th-18th March and 11th-13th May 2007

Cost: £222 including food.


Natural Pathways Flint Knapping Day

WFUK brings you news of an event that may be of interest to our members and friends:

Natural Pathways "Flint Knapping Day"

With Will Lord

Ever wished you could make tools from a lump of flint?

Well, we have the pleasure of offering you a day learning Flint Knapping skills from the highly expereienced Flintknapper, Will Lord.

Will will guide you through the ancient skill of knapping your own Hand axe, Arrow head or Blade Cores and demonstrate and assist you in using antler hammers and granite beach pebbles as your tools.

The course is run in a beautiful woodland location near Canterbury, Kent.

See website for further information www.naturalpathways.co.uk

Contact Hannah Tel: 01304 842045 or 07828 316827

Dates: 31st March Cost: £67

Book online www.naturalpathways.co.uk

........and we’ll see you in the woods!

If you contact Natural Pathways please tell them that you saw the details on our blogsite. Thanks!

Nature’s Due: Healing Our Fragmented Culture, with Brian Goodwin

WFUK has received this invitation, which we are pleased to extend to our members, friends and readers:

"Just a quick reminder to let you know that you are invited to an evening of talk and discussion next Thursday, 1 March 2007 with Prof. Brian Goodwin, Visiting Scholar at Schumacher College and author of Nature’s Due: Healing Our Fragmented Culture.

Drinks and buffet at Gaia House, 18 Well Walk, London, NW3 from 6pm (Nearest tube Hampstead – Northern Line). A contribution of £7 will be appreciated.

7.30 pm Talk and Discussion at Burgh House, New End Square, London NW3 (Opposite Gaia House).

We do hope you can make it.

RSVP to Lizzie Cooke on lizzie@gaianet.org or telephone us on 020 7428 0055"

We hope you can make it!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ride Earth


The Wilderness Foundation UK takes great pleasure in bringing you news of an ambitious fundraising project which will see two British men, Andrew Welch and Tom Allen, circumnavigate the world, predominantly off-road, by mountain bike. WF-UK has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries for funds raised by this epic challenge. In the coming months we will bring you all the latest news from the guys including regularly progress reports.

"This quest has developed over many years out of our individual desires to face up to the physical and mental challenge of undertaking a journey of great duration and distance, to educate others as to how one can live a meaningful and sustainable life with a minimal ecological footprint, and our passion for mountain-biking and adventure. We will use the expedition as a fund-raising vehicle, supporting charities whose work aims to help create a sustainable and environmentally-stable future for the planet and the human race.

Our broad itinerary covers over 50 countries, through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Eastern Asia, Australasia, South America, the USA, and Canada. Of the proposed route, we have so far established off-road routes through the entirety of Europe and North America. Elsewhere in the world, topographical mapping, agricultural & trade routes and current knowledge will be our main sources of off-road routes."

Tom and Andy are due to depart from the UK in May/June 2007. To find out more about them take a look at their website: http://www.ride-earth.org.uk

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wilderness Trail Opportunities


The Wilderness Foundation is dedicated to promoting the value of the world’s remaining wild landscapes, and the urgent need for their conservation, by providing greater knowledge and understanding through direct experience.

Due to demand the Wilderness Leadership School have introduced more open trials for those wishing to experience a wilderness trail who are not part of an organised group. These trails are in the Imfolozi Game Reserve following ancient hunting routes through the historic territory of Shaka, King of the Zulu nation and the natural habitat of a host of African wildlife including the ‘big five’ and over 300 hundred species of birds.

The following trails have vacancies:

6th – 10th June

6th – 10th August

3rd – 7th & 10th – 14th September

5th – 9th November

7th – 11 December

Possible availability on 11-day trail 19th to 30th August

If you desire a pure wilderness experience in a truly wild environment please contact jackie@wildernessfoundation.org.uk for further information.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Get out into wilderness and boost your self esteem!

Jo Peacock from the University of Essex Dept. of Biological Sciences talks about how research done with the Wilderness Foundation has shown that exposure to wilderness boosts self esteem:



Further details and charts and quotes from participants can be found here.

First game ranger intake for Umzi Wethu

The Wilderness Foundation UK actively supports the Umzi Wethu social project in South Africa. We are pleased to relay the lastest new received from the project:

The first intake of trainee game rangers has been enrolled in South Africa’s pioneering Umzi Wethu, which is harnessing the power of nature to create career opportunities for socially vulnerable young people.

In April 2006, the Umzi Wethu campus in Port Elizabeth opened with its first group of students, who are now in their ninth month of training for hospitality positions in the eco-tourism industry. They will graduate in July this year.

Umzi Wethu provides free training, accommodation, health care and allowances for young people who would otherwise have little hope of becoming productive members of society. It is an initiative of the Wilderness Foundation and over 35 partners from a number of sectors and disciplines.

“Best of all, through our links with the growing eco-tourism industry, we are able to provide jobs for successful students,” adds Muir.

The 2007 programme will meet a need for more game rangers in the Eastern Cape. The students are from rural Eastern Cape towns, including Pearston, Somerset East, Kirkwood and Steynsburg. All are being accommodated at the Umzi Wethu campus residence in the grounds of the Eastern Province Youth and Child Care Centre in Port Elizabeth.

The Umzi Wethu programme is unique in that it harnesses the healing power of nature to discover and fulfil the potential of socially vulnerable youth. As part of the life skills training and personal development students are taken on regular Wilderness Foundation trails throughout the Eastern Cape.

The trails are lead by the Umzi Wethu trail coordinator, and are aimed at promoting the students’ environmental awareness, self development, team building and life skills through the use of natural settings, says programme manager Debbie Gothan.

All Umzi Wethu students fall into the category of “socially vulnerable” youth, which includes those affected by HIV/Aids.

As part of the selection process, candidates are carefully assessed to ensure that they are “socially vulnerable,” she says. Over half of the students in the new intake have no source of income apart from a family member’s pension, 40 percent have lost one or both parents. Only one student still has both parents.

Despite these challenges, all students have a grade twelve certificate, and show a keen interest in changing their life’s circumstances, she says.

The 12 month game ranging course will culminate in guaranteed jobs for the successful students. Jobs have been secured at several well-known Eastern Cape Game Reserves, according to Muir.

During the first three months of the game ranging programme, the students will complete their Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA) level one training. Students will also attend learners’ and drivers’ licence training before completion of their FGASA level two qualification (NQF level four).

What makes Umzi Wethu different from most training programmes is that it focuses on the whole person, and not just vocational skills. It includes skills training, wellness, wilderness trails, and mentorship.

The first input focused on training students for careers in the hospitality industry. The students are currently involved in practical training at Conyngham’s Coffee shop in Parson’s Hill.

Umzi Wethu is currently planning its third training programme, which will focus on housekeeping / accommodation services. A second hospitality programme is also being considered and is being planned for August 2007.

All funding to date has been raised by the Wilderness Foundation from foreign donors, and the foundation is looking for local support to help extend the concept into the rest of the country and other sectors.

“What we have shown is the Umzi Wethu approach works. We are keen for it to grow to enable thousands of socially vulnerable young people so that they can contribute to the growth of our young democracy instead of facing a life of poverty and being a prime recruiting ground for criminal gangs,” says Muir.

Visit www.umziwethu.org for more information.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Family Weekend 2007 - Snowdonia

COME AND JOIN US FOR A FAMILY WEEKEND IN SNOWDONIA

4th, 5th & 6th May Bank Holiday Weekend


at Cae Mabon - a unique eco-friendly ‘village’ inspired by traditional dwellings from around the world


Cae Mabon has been evolving since 1989 and is set in an indigenous Welsh oak forest by a gushing river with a deep lake a few meters through the trees and mountains behind. The variety of dwellings range from a Celtic roundhouse to small hobbit-like huts. There are communal rooms for music/story telling and a communal kitchen. This weekend is a relaxed affair with everyone coming together for breakfast and dinner. During the day you may wish to join some of the group to hike, canoe or climb nearby Mount Snowdon or relax by the lake. There are excellent adventure facilities nearby providing the following activities:

Gorge Walking – Coaststeering - Rock Climbing – Abseiling – Mountain Biking

If there is enough interest we can also include a half/full day painting class given by wildlife artist Steve Van Bindon.

The cost of the weekend is £80 per person - £300 for a family of four (2 adults & 2 children) the cost includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner – bring your own lunch and sleeping bags.

Places are limited so please contact Jackie at the Wilderness Foundation (Jackie@wildernessfoundation.org.uk) as soon as possible if you would like to join us.

Ecopsychology Course Spaces Available

David Key & Mary-Jayne Rust who are running our Power of Wild Places workshop in June 2007 advise us that they have spaces available on their Ecopsychology Course. This may be of interest to members of The Wilderness Foundation UK.

Two rare places have become available on the extremely popular ecopsychology course. Due to changed circumstances two people have reluctantly had to drop out - and the people on the waiting list no-longer have space in their diaries.

If you'd like to participate in the UK's first continuing professional development course in Ecopsychology, take a look at the website for details of content, timing and costs:

http://www.che.ac.uk/mambo/content/view/179/188

and to book a place please contact Osbert Lancaster as soon as possible. osbert.lancaster@che.ac.uk

Please mention The Wilderness Foundation UK when responding.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Duke of Edinburgh's Award East Region Tandem Skydive

The Wilderness Foundation UK works closely with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, enabling students who go on trail with us to South Africa to achieve their Gold Award.

As a working-partner with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, we are delighted to promote the Tandem Skydive event being organised by the East Region team, which is taking place on 30th June 2007.

More information on the Award and East Region activities can be found at http://www.theaward.org/east. Alternatively ring the Regional Team on 01908 576322 or send an email to east@theaward.org. Please mention the Wilderness Foundation UK in any communications.

Happy landings!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kilimanjaro Trek 2007


Following the success of last year’s challenge the Wilderness Foundation is delighted to offer to its members and friends an opportunity to take part in an expedition to ascend the snow-capped volcano of Kilimanjaro in October 2007. Kilimanjaro is in Northern Tanzania just south of the Kenyan border in equatorial Africa. The summit, at 5895m, makes it the highest mountain in Africa and one of the so-called ‘Seven Summits’ – the highest points on the seven continents. The trail affords stunning views of the Plains of the Masai Mara to the north and the Serengeti to the south.

The trek would take place over a 10 day period working in partnership with the best operator on the mountain and offer the highest levels of comfort and safety This trek is via the non technical and more remote Lemosho route – incorporating fantastic scenery and ever-changing landscapes and eco-systems. The start of the route begins on the western slope through jungle and continues through heathland and arid plains. On the higher slopes, Kilimanjaro’s glaciers and rock formations are resplendent with icefalls, chasms and snowfields - an awe inspiring setting. Viewing the vast expanse of clouds below you on the higher slopes is a compelling and unforgettable experience. The ascent of Kilimanjaro will take at least six days to allow for altitude preparation and this route is suitable for the reasonably fit trekker.

This is a fundraising expedition and we expect all participants to raise a minimum of £500 the Foundation will assist you in any way we can. The funds raised will benefit many of our projects such as the Umzi programme for aids orphaned children to provide a home and education in conjunction with training for work in eco-tourism. Other programmes which provide social and psychological benefits of wilderness to young people at risk and many other projects.

For those trekkers interested in visiting the wildlife of Tanzania we can also provide an extension to Tarangire National Park to participate in a wilderness trail or take safari drives through the reserve staying in a lodge with panoramic views of the abundant wildlife.

The cost for this 10 day itinerary on the Lemosho Route is £1545 per person (excluding flights - approximately £650)), based on a group of 10 people. This also includes the Kilimanjaro National Park fee £460.

The price includes:


  • 2 nights half-board hotel accommodation (continental breakfast and dinner

  • 8 day trekking itinerary on the Lemosho Route including guides and porters

  • All meals during the Kilimanjaro trek

  • Use of tents and camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags) during the climb

  • Porters during the Kilimanjaro trek

  • Return transfers from Moshi to/from park gates where you start/finish the trek

  • All Kilimanjaro National Park


The price does not include the following:-

  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance

  • Vaccinations
  • Personal equipment and incidental expenditure

  • Gratuities for local guides, porters, cooks and other staff
  • Costs of optional extension (Cost on application)

If you are interested in participating in this expedition please contact us at the Foundation as soon as possible to secure a place. Depending on your location we would be happy perform a presentation to an interested group.


Email:jackiecheng@wildernessfoundation.org.uk

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