Saturday, January 6, 2018

Less than three months .....

Over the next ten weeks or so, I'll be gently cajoling whoever is good enough to listen into coughing up anything - a few quid, a few hundred quid, or a few thousand (hello rich people, some of you must be nice!) - to help save the millions of birds being brutally slaughtered as they migrate through the Mediterranean; or more specifically, to help change minds, landscapes and cultures away from killing and towards cherishing and lasting protection. I've put together a team of very lovely like-minded Yorkshire birders in order to raise as much as we can in this short window of opportunity, and you can find out more about our team and the cause right here: Zeiss Yorkshire Terriers - Champions of the Flyway. For the full story, read on....

Champions of the Flyway helps save species that are disappearing fast from the British landscape, including Turtle Doves

For my friends in the wider birding community (and any other community we're both part of!), here's everything you need to know about the race (and why you might want to take the thirty seconds to make a donation to our Just Giving page here...... )

In March 2018, four intrepid Yorkshiremen journey to Israel to take part in the famous Champions of the Flyway bird race - an international event to find as many bird species in the wilds of the Negev Desert... in just 24 hours! How they fare in the race is in the hands of the gods (and the desert sun), but how they fare in their high-profile campaign to raise funds for international bird conservation is in yours ....

Teams from around the world will gather at this globally-renowned Middle Eastern flashpoint, smack bang in the middle of the Eastern Mediterranean Flyway – one of the the busiest and most diverse of nature's superhighways on the planet, where multitudes of birds flood north and then south between continents on their epic migratory journeys. But it's a journey laced with great danger - and countless millions of these avian miracles succumb every season to the brutal travesties of illegal hunting.

Thousands of Quail are needlessly slaughtered as they try to reach their European breeding grounds every spring

Which is where Champions of the Flyway comes in. It's a bird race, yes, and a hotly-contested one - but it's really all about fund-raising, and using those funds to directly combat the illegal killing of migratory birds through on-the-ground action, campaigning and education. With a global appeal and having already raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local projects, Champions transcends borders, divisions and barriers – be they geographical, political or cultural - and each team is there to raise as much money and awareness as they can to help stop the slaughter.

Which is where we come in. In these dark days of a Yorkshire notorious for its persecution of wild birds, the Zeiss Yorkshire Terriers are here to represent the true Yorkshire spirit – tenacity, passion, inclusivity, and a healthy dose of sheer bloody-mindedness. In the name of international, grass-roots conservation, we're flying the Yorkshire flag on the global stage, and showing the world what God's Own County really thinks about illegal wild bird killing.

Which is where you come in! In order to make a real difference, we need as many contributions as possible, however small or large – every penny counts and will help to save these avian wonders from hunting along their epic, cross-border journeys. Everyone who contributes can proudly call themselves a Champion of the Flyway, and it only takes a few seconds!

Visit our Just Giving page here!

… and read all about the project and its previous successes, the campaigns, the teams, this year's story and much more on the Champions website here!