Monday, June 25, 2007

Ride Earth have left the country!

Regular readers of the WFUK blog will by now be familiar with "Ride Earth" - two intrepid young mountain-bikers, Tom and Andy, who have set themselves the goal of biking around the Earth, off-road, raising funds for the Wilderness Foundation UK along the way.

Joined by friend and fellow-cyclist Mark Maultby, the guys set off on their adventure on Sunday 17th June, departing from their homes in Market Harborough with the Port of Harwich set firmly in their sites. Latest news from the team is that they departed the British Isles safely on Thursday 21st June and if all goes to plan, it will be three years before they set foot (or wheel) back on their home turf.

By Friday evening they had arrived in Amsterdam, having covered the 80km from the Hook in one day. At that point they decided a rest-day was in order and deservedly so.

Congratulations to Tom, Andy and Mark on their achievements so far. We will bring you more news as it reaches us.

Ride Earth have chosen to support WFUK by biking around the world. Please take a moment to sponsor them, safely and securely online through the dedicated fundraising webpage: Alternatively, you can mail a sterling cheque directly to the Foundation, made payable to "The Wilderness Foundation UK" at the following address:

The Wilderness Foundation UK
47-49 Main Road

Please mark the envelope "Ride Earth".

Thank you for supporting us and them. The threat to wilderness has never been greater and every penny donated will help us to make a difference.

WFUK is changing

Over the last three years the Wilderness Foundation UK has been growing - we are facilitating more trails than ever before, giving many more people the opportunity to directly experience the power of wild places; our portfolio of social programmes has been enhanced by the addition of a home grown programme to benefit vulnerable young people in Britain - TurnAround - and we are ever more active in our bid to protect the last remaining wilderness areas through our Wilderness Action programmes.

As the charity has grown and continues to grow, we need to take steps to protect the Trustees who have loyally given service to the Foundation, guiding it and helping to shape the organisation as you see it today, as well as everyone who works along side them - Director Jo Roberts, the staff and volunteers. We also need to ensure that we have everything in place to protect and benefit all those people who undertake a wilderness trail each year.

To this end, after a period of consultation and upon the passing of a resolution by the Board of Trustees, we are pleased to announce that The Wilderness Foundation UK has succesfully registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee. The new company has been granted charitable status by the Charity Commission and we will shortly be announcing our new charity and company numbers.

You may already have noticed our new branding on the top of our website header and on our blogsite and this will also be appearing on our official stationery. The new logo is based upon the branding of our sister organisations - the WFSA and Wild International and will help us to be more closely-associated with the other members of the Wilderness family. This will help us to raise the profile of our work here in the UK and both our and your contributions to protect wilderness will be better placed on the global stage.

While our legal status is changing, our philosophy stays the same - the Foundation will continue it's charitable aims to protect the world's last remaining wilderness areas. We remain a not-for-profit organisation working for Wilderness, Wildlife and People.

Saving Planet Earth

BBC Television launched it's season of programming under the banner "Saving Planet Earth" last night (Sunday) with a wonderful introduction to the subject, provided by renowned naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough.

The opening programme considered the question "What does our over-consumption mean for the rest of life that shares Planet Earth? Can a growing human population still leave space for wildlife?". Here at The Wilderness Foundation UK we were delighted that much attention was given to the nature of the world's last remaining wilderness areas, their unique character and their importance, not only as a scarce habitat for many of the world's most-threatened species, but as a place where man can reconnect with nature.

The next instalment in the series is broadcast tonight on BBC1 at 7:00 p.m. and features Will Young making an emotional journey into the heart of Africa to examine gorilla conservation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reflect the Rainbow

The Wilderness Foundation is pleased to bring you news of a new exhibition being staged by our friends at Fillingdon:

"Reflect the Rainbow" an exhibition of contemporary art and craft from Kenya, Swaziland, Zimbabwe & South Africa opened last weekend and runs until Sunday 24th June 2007.

Opening Times:
10am - 5pm weekends / 10am - 4pm weekdays
at Fillingdon Farm, Piddington, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 3BL, UK
(signposted on A40 between West wycombe and Stokenchurch)
0044 (0) 1494 882684

Comments from the last show include, "inspiring"; "magic", stunningly beautiful", "fab" and "wonderful as always" and we hope this year is better than ever!

The exhibition is dedicated to Mary Stewart, founding artist and personal friend, who sadly died of cancer in January this year. As a special tribute, we have her entire collection of printed work on display and sale.

We are also supporting Homes in Zimbabwe, the UK charity which helps repair & maintain the old peoples homes in Zimbabwe as well as source food for the pensioners.

We wish Debs every success with this exhibition.

Passionate Natures: Ecology and The Imagination

WF-UK is pleased to bring you news of a conference later this month which will explore the roles that love, wonder and personal passions for specifies, landscapes and habitats play in our political relations with the natural world:

Passionate Natures: Ecology and The Imagination/ conference 22-24
June 2007

Venue: Rooms G-R 06/07, Faculty of English, West Road, Cambridge

Speakers include: Richard Mabey, Marina Warner, Patrick Wright, R.F.
Langley, Jay Griffiths, Ken Worpole, Miranda Tufnell and Jules
Pretty. There will be a field trip to Wicken Fen.

For further information and the full programme visit

To register for the conference, please contact Anna Malinowska at the
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
(CRASSH): or 01223 760487.

Please mention WF-UK when registering. Thank you.

Out of the Heart of Darkness

The Wilderness Foundation UK is pleased to bring you news of a wonderful new production being staged by our friends at the Movingstage Marionette Company:

Movingstage Marionette Company present
A new marionette drama
Out of the Heart of Darkness
Based on the novella by Joseph Conrad
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Conrad’s birth
In association with the Joseph Conrad Society

Location: Little Venice, Blomfield Road, London W9.
Tube: Warwick Avenue
Buses: 6,46,187,414,16,98

A live animation production by Movingstage
Out of the Heart of Darkness
A view of a darker side

Out of the Heart of Darkness is a dramatic marionette spectacle that explores and reflects on the corruption, decadence and greed of Africans and Europeans who contribute to the debilitating situation in Africa today. The stage is filled with issues that only puppets can deal with; the subject is almost too large for the actor’s theatre. The catalyst is Joseph Conrad’s diary and novella, Heart of Darkness and the presentation coincides with the celebratory events programmed by the Joseph Conrad society and UNESCO to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Conrad’s birth.

This new play takes an imaginative look at Africa today and how diamonds still create tension, greed, darkness and dishonesty. The hand carved string figures are worked from above the stage and are made specifically for the production. The action moves dramatically from the River Thames to a river in Africa and is enriched by a powerful sound scape using the voices of some of London’s leading actors, including Danny Sapani (currently in Big White Fog).

The production uses unique and inventive staging techniques and design, creating an evocative and disturbing image of contemporary Africa. The show is seen as an excellent demonstration of Movingstage’s highly original aesthetic and, as such, is the perfect emissary for establishing marionette theatre as a vehicle for modern drama.

Movingstage Marionette Company prides itself in its constant search for new material to bring to the marionette stage. With over 25 years experience, the company is established as one of the leading marionette companies in the UK. The Puppet Theatre Barge, its own venue, is a comfortable theatre seating 55 with all modern facilities. Commenting upon the production, Gren Middleton, the company’s puppet master said: “We take great pride in the fact that very often the Puppet Barge is the first introduction people may have to theatre and for others the first introduction to marionette drama.”


Performances Wednesday to Saturday each week starting
June 6/7/8/9, 13/14/15/16, 20/21/22/23, 27/28/29/30, July 4/6/7,
All at 7.30 pm except July 5 at 7 pm

THE BARGE THEATRE is an established feature in London moored in the picturesque setting of Little Venice. This unique venue has to its credit a number of successes with productions such as The Swing at Night by Howard Barker and The River Girl by Wendy Cope, both works were commissioned. Established in 1982 the theatre is rich in atmosphere & provides the ideal setting for the shows produced by Movingstage

BOX OFFICE 020 7249 6876 All seats bookable. Credit cards accepted
Ticket prices £9.50 Concessions £8.00


Movingstage Marionette Company, 78 Middleton Road, London E8 4BP
Telephone 020 7249 6876 Mobile 07 836 202 745

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ride Earth in Lutterworth Mail

Tom and Andrew are in the news again!
- This time the Lutterworth Mail. Go here to read the full article, and here to read all our previous coverage of the Ride Earth fundraising effort.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Andrew Muir in Today's Herald

In today's Port Elizabeth Herald:

"CONSERVATION and ecotourism on the Wild Coast have received a huge boost in the form of a R46-million donation from the UN Development Programme."


Wilderness Foundation director Andrew Muir said he believed the launch of the project would be a key step in strengthening the case for ecotourism as the appropriate development option on the Wild Coast.

“It will put another layer in place which will support this approach.

“There is a fantastic opportunity here to create islands of excellence around Mkambati and the other provincial reserves (Hluleleka, Dwesa/Cwebe and Silaka) on the Wild Coast and to link them in a conservation corridor,” Muir said.

To read the full article, go here:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Walk for Life 2007

Richard Corby from the WFUK office and Chris Eppinger, long-time friend to the Foundation and Kilimanjaro veteran from 2006, represented WFUK and WFSA at this year's Crusaid "Walk for Life", which took place in London yesterday (Sunday 10th June 2007).

Richard and Chris both report aching limbs this morning, but were delighted to undertake the 10k walk around London in a bid to raise funds for the Wilderness Foundation's Umzi Wethu programme, working with HIV and Aids affected orphans and other vulnerable young people in South Africa.

"It was a great day," Richard said. "There was an amazing atmosphere at Hyde Park both before and after the event and in fact all the way along the 10k course. The weather was kind to us, although a light breeze would have helped. I had a thoroughly great time - Crusaid had done a fantastic job of organising the event - we were given bottled water at regular stages and the event after care was first class. Both Chris and I were chuffed to be presented with our medals as we crossed the finish line. Can't wait until next year - hope to see you there!"

Between them Richard and Chris have raised £340 to date. 25% of this will be retained by Crusaid, to help fund their own HIV and Aids projects. The balance will come to WFUK. This year we have decided to support Umzi Wethu. We have raised enough to sponsor two learners at the academy on a four day wilderness trail, with the balance being spent on clothing for them.

It's not too late to sponsor Richard and Chris - their fundraising page is still online at:

Or you can send a cheque made payable to "Wilderness Foundation UK" to our normal posting address:

The Wilderness Foundation UK
47-49 Main Road

A donation of just £10 will buy clothes for an academy learner. £100 pays for a four day wilderness experience for a learner. £1000 will sponsor a learner for a whole year at the academy £5000 will sponsor a learner through the entire programme and secure them employment.

Your donation, however large or small, will make a difference to a young person's life. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ride Earth featured on BBC Leicester

Tom Allen and Andy Welch aka "Ride Earth" will shortly be departing our shores to embark upon their round-the-world bike ride, through which they will be raising valuable funding for the Wilderness Foundation UK.

Media coverage of the expedition is gathering pace and after Jo's recent appearance on the BBC Radio 4 show "Excess Baggage" (link), Tom and Andy were hot on her heels with her an interview by BBC Leicester.

You can read the interview on the BBC Leicester website (here) or listen to the interview conducted by Julie Mayer here.

It's not too late to sponsor Tom and Andy - all funds raised come directly to the Wilderness Foundation and enable us to continue or valuable work, promoting the value of and protecting the world's last remaining wilderness areas. Visit

Friday, June 01, 2007

Ride-Earth on Nouse

Nouse, the University of York's award winning newspaper, has an interview with Andrew Welch (a York University Graduate) about the forthcoming Ride Earth trip he is doing with Tom Allen.

- Read the full story here:

There is a dedicated online giving page available for anybody wishing to sponsor Tom and Andy, with proceeds going directly to the Wilderness Foundation. Please visit

Last but not least, you can find previous posts about this here.

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