I remember gazing up the hillside looking at dozens of people enjoying a tour around the wildlife enclosures which was then WildAid operating a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre. Quite literally tens of thousands of people will have learned about British wildlife conservation and the important contribution wildlife rescue demonstrates in the greater field of conservation. What a real tribute to the charitable work WildAid has delivered for over 20 years.
The value of our education work can be difficult to measure. Not necessarily transferred as a transaction or administration of a receipt; its value has much deeper and intrinsic value. Nicknamed as 'Wildlife Charlie' to this day i am thankful of the opportunity to share my knowledge and passions with thousands of young people each year.
I am an amateur naturalist who remains perplexed and the fortune of turning a childhood passion for the natural world into a livelihood. All the same, to this day, I continue doing what I did when I was 8 years old. I have no intention of stopping.
My darker side is a little harder to explain, settling in woods watching out for Badger and Fox, amazed by the silent bats fluttering overhead, boiling up skulls for a growing bone collection, tubs of owl pellets, animal droppings and broken bits of animals set aside against endless displays of insects.
So to see the spark, the switch that turns on in the eyes of youngsters, the exasperation and enthusiasm of a wildlife challenge workshop, bringing science and stories together, about amazing wildlife, to young people has no contest. I believe that there is no other organisation like WildAid experienced and talented enough to bring wildlife welfare alive through our hands on approach. No one age, ability or background of a young person has preference. Engaging and linking young people with wildlife should and must have a proper place in the their lives if we are to really make a difference for the natural world.
I am absolutely thrilled to be in a position to work on a new and excitiing education prosepct which, through partnership and working where we do best; 'in the community,' we will be able to bring people closer to understanding and valuing wildlife rescue than we have - at least since sharing our rescue centre with thousands of curious minds.
"It's all about encouraging people to participate and learn about the natural world through hands on discovery."
Established in 1991 as a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, WildAid has been making a difference for wildlife welfare throughout the UK ever since.
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Tel: 07833 248352