Fundraisers Out In Force To Launch Volunteer Training Centre

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust supporters have raised over £4,250 for the Wild Lives at Rutland Water Appeal, by travelling a total of almost 2,000 miles in just one day.

The group of 96 staff, supporters and volunteers took to Rutland Water on Saturday to kickstart the fundraising for a new Volunteer Training Centre at the reservoir’s nature reserve. Team members put their fitness to the test by walking, cycling and kayaking their way to the impressive total.

Reserve manager Tim Appleton led a bird watching cycle tour of the reservoir, spotting more than 50 different species in the process; while exercise enthusiast Tim Mackrill completed a triathlon of running, cycling and kayaking to cover a total of 41 miles. Walking for more than 6 hours, senior reserve officer Joe Davis was joined by colleagues Sarah Merriman and Kelly Osbourne to complete a full 17 mile circuit dressed as a badger.

Joe commented: “It was quite a challenge but definitely worth it. The badger suit was like wearing a fur coat with extra padding, so it did get very hot and uncomfortable!

“We had a fantastic day though and it was wonderful to see the generosity of both those who sponsored us and the people we met while walking round. It was great to be able to tell them what we were doing and explain why the Volunteer Training Centre will be so valuable to Rutland Water.”

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s canine supporters were also out in force, with Labradors, Jack Russells and Border Collies all helping their owners to clock up the miles.

Following this initial fundraising bid, the Trust needs to raise a further £165,000 to complete the Volunteer Training Centre. To find out more about the appeal and donate, visit