Friday, April 27, 2007

Society of Wildlife Artists Bursaries

The Wilderness Foundation has received news of a fantastic funding opportunity for young artists inspired by the natural world.

Awards of up to £1000 each are open to young artists aged 15 to 30 years old. The awards are available to enable artistic skills to be developed through travel, education or mounting a special project.

If you are awarded a bursary you will be required to submit two works resulting from your endeavours to the annual 2008 Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition at Mall Galleries.

For more information, contact:

Federation of British Artists
17 Carlton House Terrace

or download an application form from

The deadline for applicaitons is 1st August 2007.

If you decide to enter please let us know. Good luck from the WFUK Team.

source: VAN Newsletter

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Career in the Wilderness?

We regularly receive job/career-inquiries here at the Wilderness Foundation - And whilst we do not currently have any vacancies, it pains us to turn away people who clearly are dedicated and enthusiastic about preservation of Wild places throughout the world.

That's why we've pulled together a few recent opportunities posted on from organisations elsewhere which may be of interest:

On a side note - A couple of previous articles from us on Alaska: Inside the Artice Wildlife Refuge - NYRB Article / BBC Radio 4 - Alaskan Wilderness on Excess Baggage /
Looking for Wilderness on Google Books.

-The last World Wilderness Congress was of course also held there:

Earth Story

BBC Television has announced that it will be broadcasting a new series later in the year, charting the full story of our planet.

Earth: The Biography will air on BBC Two. Programme host Dr Iain Stewart, will be visiting some of the planet's most remote areas in a bid to explain some of the events that have shaped the development of the Earth.

The focus of the series will be the delicate balance of life on Earth and how our planet's history has
cycled from disaster to recovery.

Executive Producer Phil Dalling says:

"This is the story of the Earth and how, even if humankind may not last forever, our planet is a born survivor".

We will post further details of the series as they become available.

Published: 24/04/07

Monday, April 23, 2007

World Environment Day Concert

As a beneficiary of the WED Trust "World Environment Day Concert" being held on 5th June 2007 in London, we are delighted to announce that tickets for the event are now on sale.

WEDT 2007 is being organised by our Kenya Projects Director, Rona Birnie and Life Member and celebrated fundraiser Henry Fletcher.

The inaugural concert will be hosted by comedian Phil Kay at Koko. Featured bands performing include Guillemots, RGB's, Pull Tiger Tail, Sam Duckworth DJ plus there will be Guest Appearances from actors and natural world personalities.

For tickets please follow the link:

To find our more about the World Environment Day Trust visit their website:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Maps: A great way to understand the world

Enc. of Earth LogoMapping according to ecological features instead of political divides clearly makes sense from a conservation point of view (but of course also politically more difficult). This article on Transborder parks should on Encyclopaedia of Earth (a trusted wiki) should be of interest if you're not familiar with the concept.

National Geographic has, amongst their many useful tools, an interesting resource for understanding ecoregions:
National Geographic: Terrestial Ecoregions of the, an American combined-effort website maintained by the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute and The University of Montana Wilderness Institute has a useful map of North American Wilderness areas:

"From swamps of the Southeast to tundra in Alaska, from snowcapped peaks in the Rocky Mountains to hardwood forests in the Northeast and deserts in the Southwest, Wilderness areas are found in all but six states (Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Rhode Island)." -- Explore the map here / See full list of areas here.
Wild International works on a number of ecosystem-wide initiatives including the effort to save the Desert Elephants in West Africa. They have a great map showing the Human Footprint around the area where the elephants live.

If you have useful map tips, leave a comment below or get in touch.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Step Up Travel Advocacy Grant Opportunity

Whilst we here at the Wilderness Foundation love being out where others rarely venture, we never forget the importance of working with good people, wherever they are.

Step Up Travel LogoThat's why we were encouraged when we came across Step Up Travel - a unique non-profit initiative - here is a bit more about them in their own words:

"We promote responsible travel which emphasizes the importance of personal exchanges, deeper cultural understanding, genuine benefit to local people and their communities, preservation of the environment, and ultimately a more peaceful and equitable world."
Now, not only that, they also have a Travel Advocacy Grant - Application deadline is May 15th 2007:
Step Up Travel Advocacy Grant Opportunity"Identify a specific issue in a developing country that you believe needs greater international attention and advocacy for change. Submit a proposal that includes research about the issue (with references), the work currently being done to improve the situation, and a plan to learn more about the issue and increase public awareness about it. Include in your proposal at least a 10 day travel itinerary that details how you plan to document the issue (photos, journals, video, etc) and a plan for how to increase awareness about the topic once you have returned." - Learn more here:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Plight of the Bumble Bee

Various news agencies in the UK have carried a story in the past few days concerning the mass disappearance of honey bees, which is being potentially linked to radiation given off by mobile phones.

Researchers at Landau University, have found that bees will not return to their hives when a mobile phone is placed close by. The results of this research are being linked to recordings of mass hive abandonments, where the bees fly away to remote areas and eventually die. This phenomenon is described as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Pollination of most of the world's crops is dependant upon the humble bumble bee and therefore a decline in the population would have a significant impact. According to the Independent Online:

"The alarm was first sounded last Autumn, but has now hit half of all American States. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 percent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece."

If this hinted link between the decline of bee numbers and the increasing incidence of mobile phones is proved, it further supports an argument in favour of promoting and preserving areas of unspoiled, undeveloped wild landscape and wilderness, providing a safe habitat for wildlife outside of the influence of man.
You can read the full article online here.

Quote Source: The Independent Online
By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross
Published: 15 April 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Janet's Marathon Effort for Wilderness

Volunteer Janet Hill is running in the Flora London Marathon to raise funds for WFUK. The annual event this year takes place on Sunday 22nd April 2007.

If you would like to support Janet in the form of sponsorship and in turn support the work of the Wilderness Foundation, you can send a cheque to our registered office address:

London Marathon 2007
The Wilderness Foundation UK
47-49 Main Road

Alternatively, you can quickly make a safe secure online donation using a debit or credit card by visiting the following webpage:

Everyone at WFUK would like to thank Janet for taking on this challenge and we wish her well for the race this coming Sunday.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Findhorn and the World Wilderness Congress 1983

New Statesman LogoThe New Statesman has a blog on their website called 'Life at Findhorn', written by Jonathan Dawson (the RSS feed is here - and don't forget that we have an RSS feed too... arguably the best way of staying up-to-date on all things related to Wilderness).

The most recent article looks back at the history of Findhorn and also briefly talks about the 1983 World Wilderness Congress which was hosted there. You can learn more about the achievements of the congress on the Wild International website here:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Turn Around 2007

The Essex Chronicle newspaper recently carried an article entitled "Going Wild in Rehab" which focused on our TurnAround 2007 pilot programme for Essex-based youth. We are delighted to have the support of the Chronicle, which will be featuring regular updates as the programme develops.

Journalist Helen Orrell interviewed Project Manager Edward Charles, who gave readers and outline of the kinds of young people that we are seeking to work with and what we hope to achieve:

"These children are on the edge and if they don't get positive intervention quickly they could turn to drugs, alcohol abuse or even crime.

"They are perhaps children who have not made it at school - kids which don't easily fit into the school curriculum but may have some hidden talents that don't get brought out through normal schooling.

"They may be children who are at the point where they are ready to come out of foster care - but there is no real after-care programme, or they may have behavioural problems. We hope to get them interested in the environment and build enthusiasm by being out in the open air.

"They are a privileged few who are being given this as an opportunity to change their lives and they need to understand they can make a way for themselves in the world through their own efforts."

"We want to teach them an appreciation of the environment whereby we point out their old lifestyle is destructive and not the one they want to follow.

Participants in the pilot will spend nine months working through the programme, which will include a Wilderness Trail at the start to develop a bond within the team and the Life Coaches who will be supporting them and then later they will set out for South Africa to face the challenges of a Wilderness Trail in a completely new environment, supported by two trail guides.
Eddie continued:

"They will have good walking boots and good outdoor clothing, rations and stoves - all other 21st Century items are out of the window.

"It's a form of rehab or eco-therapy, getting out in the wild spaces where there are no mobile phones, no toilets or showers.

"You have to cook your own food and not see anyone else other than four or five people and the benefit of that is you connect with the environment and bond closely with your group."

Similar schemes have run in high crime areas in South Africa since 1954 and have had an 85 per cent success in keeping teenagers out of prison.

The Foundation is still seeking support from partners, volunteers and sponsors. To become a life coach or make a donation, email or call 01245 443073.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Climate change threatens UNESCO World Heritage sites

The threats posed by climate change to natural and cultural sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List are outlined in a new UNESCO publication, "Case Studies on Climate Change and World Heritage". The report features 26 examples - including the Tower of London, Kilimanjaro National Park and the Great Barrier Reef - case studies that are representative of the dangers faced by the 830 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List.

"The international community now widely agrees that climate change will constitute one of the major challenges of the 21st century," says the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, in his Foreword to the publication, calling for "an integrated approach to issues of environmental preservation and sustainable development."

The publication, intended to raise awareness and mobilize support for heritage preservation, is divided into five chapters that deal with glaciers, marine biodiversity, terrestrial biodiversity, archaeological sites, and historic cities and settlements.

Biodiversity on land is threatened by climate change, says the report, which features a detailed case study of the Heritage Site of Cape Floral Region Protected Areas, South Africa, where biodiversity is threatened by shrinking bioclimatic habitats - due to warming and changes in precipitation. On the global scale, climate change is expected to lead to changes in the distribution of species, including "invasive species", pathogens and parasites and on the timing of biological events, such as flowering, and the relationships between predator and prey, parasite and host, plant and pollinator, etc. The report recommends several measures to deal with this problem, including the creation of protected areas and relocating particularly endangered species.

The full document can be downloaded from:

For more on UNESCO and climate change:

Source: (10th April 2007) Author Unknown

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Making Wildland Pay

We are pleased to bring you news of this one day workshop hosted by the Wildland Network:

Making Wildland Pay

A review of markets and enterprises from wild land and rewilding

A one day workshop hosted by the Wildland Network at the Knepp Estate, 12 April 2007

Plus tour of Knepp Estate, 13 April 10.00 - 15.00

This event brings practitioners together to discuss:
• Examples of markets and enterprises based on wild land.
• Key options for new markets based on wild land.
• How further wild land ventures can be stimulated and sustained.

The event takes place at the Knepp Estate in West Sussex ( On 13 April participants will be able to learn more about the wildland project for the estate ‘where natural processes predominate and long term financial stability is achieved outside of a conventional agricultural framework’. The project is providing a baseline ecological and economic study for potential rewilding in the English lowlands.

12 April workshop programme

10.00 Arrival, coffee

10.30 Welcome and introductions Rick Minter

10.40 Jason Emrich, Knepp Estate
Knepp Estate’s wild land project – the experience to date:
11.00 Questions and discussion

11.10 Peter Taylor, Author, Beyond Conservation – A wildland strategy
A review of economic ventures from a sample of UK projects covering: Wildlife tourism, Meat, Game, Ecosystem services, Crafts, Outdoor adventure, personal development, local employment.
11.30 Questions and discussion

11.40 Frans Vera, Dutch Forestry Service, and author, Grazing Ecology and Forest History - ‘Fascination Will Pay’: Economic benefits from the Dutch river floodplains and from visitors observing wild cattle, deer and horses at Oostvaardesrplassen.
12.00 Questions and discussion

12.10 Views from Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency
Alison Field – Examples and issues from the Forestry Commission’s experience in rewilding
Bill Watts, Environment Agency – Gauging the ecosystem services from flood defence activity
12.40 Questions and discussion with the Agencies

13.00 LUNCH

14.00 Discussion in small groups
Facilitated by Alison Parfitt and Rick Minter
Participants discuss the following issues in small groups:

A. The economic drivers for wild land: what are the priorities and how can they be sustained?

B. In what ways can wild land add value and offer a brand to farms, estates, nature reserves, forests and related ventures ?

C. How can Government bodies assist enterprises linked to wild land? e.g. through payments, advice, training, etc

D. Other discussion topics identified by participants

14.50 Report back and collective discussion on key issues

15.40 Reflections on the main discussion points – Will Manley, Royal Agricultural College

15.50 Tea

16.20–17.50 Optional guided walk through part of Knepp Estate. (Seeing a different location from the 13 April tour)

Optional eve meal at the Crown Inn, Dial Post, for participants staying on for next day’s tour of the Estate’s wild land.

13 April: Tour of Knepp Estate - details below

13 April: Tour of Knepp Estate, 10.00 – 15.00

This is a chance to experience the variety and the scale of the wild land work in progress at Knepp Estate and to discuss the emerging issues with other practitioners and with Estate owner Charlie Burrell and the Estate’s agent, Jason Emrich.

10.00 Assemble and coffee

10.15 Guided tour of the Knepp Estate wildland project

12.45 LUNCH

13.45 – 14.45 Reflections and discussion on key issues

14.45 – 15.00 Tea and depart

For further information please visit

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Get a Wedge!

New! You can now support us by using The Wedge Card

The Wedge Card aims to revitalise local communities by offering great discounts to customers using local shops and services. It also supports charities and if you buy a card using the weblink below we will receive £10 out of the £20 cost of the card.

Initially launched in Central London, Wedge is spreading across the capital and out into other cities rapidly, and you'll find a range of fantastic deals exclusive to Wedge Card holders in your local shops. Whether you are buying clothes, books, getting your hair cut or simply eating out, using a Wedge Card you'll be helping us and also helping local businesses to prosper.

Wedge Cards costs just £20 and are valid for one year. Most card holders find that they recoup the initial cost in just a few purchases. Visit to find out which traders have signed up to the scheme.

Remember, for every card purchased using our link, WFUK will receive £10. We can use that donation to contibute to our ongoing work to preserve and promote wilderness.

Householders called to take up water challenge

Chelmsford Environment Consultative Group has sent the Foundation news of a competition being run by Essex and Suffolk Water:

Residents in Essex are being invited to take part in a novel water-saving competition.

The competition, ‘How low can you go?’ is run by Essex & Suffolk Water (ESW) in collaboration with Lancaster University researchers Dr Will Medd and Dr Heather Chappells.

It will put teams of residents from the ESW Essex supply area against one another in a competition to reduce water wastage.

The contest builds on the idea of the Blakildegard experiment in Denmark, in which a competition was held between two groups of people who reduced their water consumption by around 20 per cent during the contest.

Essex & Suffolk Water operates in the driest region of the country and it is therefore important that the company understands the ways customers can be encouraged to use water efficiently.

Essex & Suffolk Water is now looking for households interested in taking up the challenge. Participants can apply as individuals or as a group. Teams of 6-8 households will be formed. Between May and September the teams will be given expert advice from ESW and Lancaster University and team members will be able to support one another in a bid to reduce their water consumption and see off the competition.

As well as individual prizes for the most successful team, a £1,000 donation from ESW will also be split between two water charities - one chosen by each team. The team who saves the most water will earn proportionately more for their chosen charity.

Dr Will Medd, from Lancaster University’s Centre for Sustainable Water Management, said: “This competition should be good fun for the people taking part. We hope it will enable people to share ideas about water saving and help us all learn how to make some permanent changes”

If you are ready for a challenge contact Megan Rogers at Essex & Suffolk Water (, Tel. 01245 212854) or Will Medd at Lancaster University (, Tel. 01524 593757).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Men, Rivers and Canoes

The Independent on Saturday the independent weekend newspaper catering for the people of KwaZulu-Natal carried an article about the recent republication of Ian Player's Men, Rivers and Canoes.

The affectionate article, written by James Clark, who has known Ian for forty years, describes how Ian "a self-educated Joburg boy" came to be South Africa's best known conservationist, bringing the White Rhino back from the brink of extinction along the way.

The newly released version of Men, Rivers and Canoes has been updated and enhanced by Ian for this edition (the original was published 43 years ago and has long been out of print) and chronicles "how Ian, out of curiosity, became the first man to canoe the length of the wild Umsindusi and how he eventually founded one of the world's most gruelling marathons - the Dusi."

The complete article is available online for subscribers to The Independent on Saturday

Men, Rivers and Canoes is published by Echoing Green Press and is available now.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Wildlife Recording in Essex

The Wilderness Foundation UK brings you news of a wildlife recording venture taking place in Essex:

The Mayland Community Woodland Group will be taking a record of biodiversity on areas near the Lawling playing field, and are inviting villagers to come and help.

Recording will take place on Saturday 21st April, between 10am and midday, and is open to both adults and children. After signing in at the Bakersfield car park, participants will receive expert, hands on tuition in plant and wildlife identification by members of the Green Light Trust and Essex Wildlife Trust.

The event marks the beginning of a three year plan, to be run with the Primary School, which aims to increase biodiversity in and around land managed by the Woodland Group.

Working with the Green Light Trust, schoolchildren will be given the opportunity to learn about plant and wildlife species and habitat creation.

The Trust, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is already working with Mayland residents to plant a community-owned woodland near the Bakersfield area of the village. This project is also in conjunction with the primary school, and pupils recently planted the first 30 trees on the site.

Since then, 70 baby oak saplings have been added by residents of the village, and 8 larger trees were donated by sister group, Tillingham’s TWIG. A tree nursery has also been built in the primary school, in which children have already planted seeds gathered from the surrounding area.

For more info, please see,, or contact Jono on 740613 /

Source: The Maylands Community Woodland blog

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