Badger joins 3,000 mile challenge

(L-R) Senior reserve officer Joe Davis, assistant reserve officer Sarah Merriman and trainee reserve officer Kelly Osbourne during the 3,000 mile trek EMN-141027-102816001
(L-R) Senior reserve officer Joe Davis, assistant reserve officer Sarah Merriman and trainee reserve officer Kelly Osbourne during the 3,000 mile trek EMN-141027-102816001
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An anonymous donor has given a £1,000 boost to the funds raised by staff and volunteers of a conservation charity.

The walkers, cyclists, joggers and dog walkers joined 96 staff from Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust on a combined 3,000 mile trek to raise money for a new volunteer centre at Rutland Water.

Their efforts netted £5,000 for the project which, combined with the anonymous donation, now stands at a total of more than £6,000.

A spokesman said the £1,000 had come from one of the volunteers at the trust.

“He said it was as a ‘thank you’ for the many years of enjoyment he has had working with the Trust,” the spokesman said.

Senior reserve officer Joe Davis who teamed up with colleagues Sarah Merriman and Kelly Osbourne to complete a 17 mile circuit dressed as a badger, said: “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.”

The money raised through the trek is part of the £170,000 that the Trust has to find for the £1.1 million volunteer centre which will be built adjacent to the water wildlife lagoon, on the 1,000-acre nature reserve at Rutland Water.

Anglian Water has contributed £100,00 and £800,000 has come from the Heritage Lottery. The two-storey building will be used to train new volunteers in land and visitor management and wildlife monitoring.