Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read my fundraiser.
In May 2021, my husband and I will be walking The Rutland Round - a 65 mile circular route, split over two consecutive days to raise money for Ocean Conservation Namibia and Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel, two very different charities, in different parts of the world, that are both looking to protect their local wildlife.
Ocean Conservation Namibia is a non-profit organisation operating in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Their mission is to catch, disentangle and release as many seals as possible from the ocean pollution, predominantly caused, but not exclusively, by a very active fishing industry, for example, fishing line, fishing nets, plastic bags and any other form of pollution that has made it's way into the ocean. Once entangled, seals are unable to get their binds off and without the intervention of OCN they will grow and become too constricted by the item leading to starvation, and eventually death. In 2020 alone OCN caught and released over 600 seal. OCN rely entirely on private donations due to no government funding available in Namibia and so all expenses for rescues have to be covered by donations.
In a similar vein, Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel are a small animal charity with the mission of facilitating the rescue, rehabilitation and release of wild hedgehogs in the Peterborough area. In the past decade, the UK has lost over half of all rural hedgehogs and a third from towns and cities. This decline is not sustainable. The UK population of hedgehogs is now estimated to be 1.5 million versus the 1950s where there were an estimated 36.5 million. The loss of numbers of this iconic British animal is down to a variety of factors - hedgerows in gardens, farmland and on building sites and copses are being ripped up, gardens are being paved over and holes blocked up that hedgehogs would use to travel safely from garden to garden, an increase of traffic has caused an increase in road casualties, large scale pesticide use has reduced the amount of food available to eat, litter traps them in their search for food, strimming causes many injuries and deaths every year. Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel take in hedgehogs that have become injured or are suffering from an illness or are struggling with the aim of doing the best for that hedgehog and eventually be able to release back to where they were found. Not all cases are successful but without charities like this up and down the country working tirelessly and often with their own money and relying heavily on donations, we would have far fewer of these beautiful animals left.
I found both of these charities through Instagram and have been closely following ever since. I am passionate about protecting our environment from the devastation of pollution and regularly litter pick my immediate and local area to do my part to make a difference for the environment. I wanted to be able to help one charity that was local to me and one charity that was dealing with the affects of plastic pollution in our oceans. As hedgehogs are one of my favourite animals, that are also a regular visitor to our own garden, having a local rescue for support if ever needed is invaluable, as well as providing a hugely vital role in the protection and preservation of our wildlife. This is why I have chosen Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel. I chose Ocean Conservation Namibia as their work, energy and their determination to help the seals is a continuous source of inspiration for me. I am passionate about the plight of our oceans and wanted to raise funds for a charity that are going directly to supporting the work that they do.
All money raised through this fundraiser will be split 50/50 with both Peterborough Hedgehog Hotel and Ocean Conservation Namibia.
I am aware of the current financial situation we are all living in right now. Any donation, no matter how small, will make a huge difference to both these small charities. If you are unable to donate, a simple share on your social media platform will be very much appreciated. I would like to be able to raise as much as possible for these two to make the biggest difference for them possible.