Champions of the Flyway!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Couch to 500k - The Final Push!

Tracking Turtle Doves (above) through hunting hotspots and protecting stopover sites are among the many projects to be funded by the #YearOfTheDove 

Can't be arsed reading this post? No problem - donate here guilt-free instead

So here we are, ten months into my twelve month #Couch2500k challenge, and I'm on schedule - but I need your help now to capitalise on a big opportunity.... with a final fundraising push from my wider community now, Zeiss Birding have very kindly offered to add an extra £1000 to my total - meaning that if I reach my £2000 target, I'll actually make £3000 to help save Turtle Doves!
Sometimes it's pretty easy, like running between bird surveys on the Humber last month.... 

A quick recap: Turtle Doves are suffering a shocking and tragic decline before our very eyes - and one of the main reasons for that decline is hunting, as they run the gauntlet through the Mediterranean on their perilous migration. Champions of the Flyway, the amazing annual global bird conservation campaign and bird race that I'm proud to be involved in, are dedicating a full year's campaigning and fundraising to the #YearOfTheDove - bringing together BirdLife International partners from across the region in a co-ordinated effort to make big changes for Turtle Doves together. See here for more info.
... and sometimes it's, er, more of a challenge - in sleet and freezing northerlies here in Filey last week 

Back in the summer, I decided to quietly set myself the challenge of running 500km in that twelve month period, to raise money for the #YearOfTheDove. If you're an experienced, relatively fit runner, no great shakes - but if you're a nearly-50 year old asthmatic with osteo-arthritis in your feet, genetic cholesterol issues and no previous, a fairly lofty target.
But this is why it's worth it, no matter how much I might not fancy it.... 

It's a kind of symbiotic thing between the running and the awareness/fundraising - the support, guilt and inspiration gained from good people donating money for the doves keeps me going, which in turn has inspired more support, and so on.... and it's worked. As it stands, I'm on schedule re: the running target (over 400km and counting), but more crucially, I'm at a fantastic £1356 on the fundraising board. But....
... to help stop this being the last we ever see of our Turtle Doves 

 ... now is that time to capitalise on that support, and turn it into hard currency to fund cash-strapped NGOs in their battle to save this wonderful, iconic species. If enough good folk cough up now, then hitting £2k actually means hitting £3k thanks to Zeiss - and what a joy it could be to contribute such a significant sum to such an amazing cause. 

So - how about it, friends? Can you get me over the line? It only takes a minute to donate.... click here, and accept a virtual hug and deep gratitude from me ;-)