Dozens of people of all ages will trek hundreds of miles to raise money for a new volunteer training centre in Rutland.
They plan to walk 3,000 miles collectively in one day - the distance that an osprey travels on its migration to West Africa - to raise money for Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust’s planned £1.1 million building.
The centre, to be built at Rutland Water Nature Reserve, has received an £800,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery and £100,000 from Anglian Water.
The the volunteer trek, part of the Trust’s Wild Lives at Rutland Water Appeal, hopes to raise some of the £170,000 shortfall.
New supporters from across the community are invited to join the trek and travel a distance of their choice either on foot, cycles or other modes.
Sir David Attenborough, Patron of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust said: “This exciting project will enable skilled volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to safeguard the precious wildlife at Rutland Water and other important nature reserves into the future. Please join me in supporting the Wild Lives at Rutland Water Appeal.”
Trust director Simon Bentley said: “The Volunteer Training Centre will provide us with much-needed facilities, but the project can’t go ahead unless we raise the final £170,000. We’re asking as many people as possible to support us by signing up to The 3,000 Mile Challenge.
“Every mile counts. Keen cyclists could complete a full circuit around. For a family with young children it may be a gentle stroll.”
The 558sq m volunteer centre will be built over two floors and have the capacity to train some 350 volunteers enlisted with the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust.
The Volunteer Training Centre, which will be built adjacent to the water wildlife lagoon on the 1,000-acre nature reserve, will include multi-purpose meeting rooms, workshop, bunk room for residential courses, kitchen and mess and wash rooms.
The building will be used to train new volunteers in all aspects of land and visitor management and wildlife monitoring including coppicing, building fences, laying paths and working in shops and visitor centres.
The 3,000 Mile Challenge will be on Saturday, 11 October, at Whitwell, Rutland Water.
To sign up or to find out more about the Wild Lives at Rutland Water Appeal go to www.wildlivesappeal.co.uk