In 2005, at the age of 13, Tori Ratcliffe held a sponsored silence to raise funds for World Land Trust (WLT). Ten years on, and now a practising artist, she explains why she continues to promote the Trust.
I started caring about the planet and conservation when I learned about the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in school when I was 13.
This is what sparked off the idea for my sponsored silence, which raised £120 for WLT. Back then, that was enough to buy almost five acres of threatened habitat!
I also started saving up to buy acres of rainforest through WLT and would ask my family to give me acres of rainforest for Christmas. My grandfather used to ask me when I was going to start building a house on all this land I was purchasing!
World Land Trust is important to me because when I found out about deforestation I was outraged by what was happening – and I was unsure how to help. After learning about the destruction of the Amazon in school, I went home and looked for answers on the internet. That’s when I discovered WLT’s website.
I realised that there are people in the world who are sticking up for the planet and the animals. Even better, I discovered that there I too could get involved and do something to help. The Trust sparked the environmentalist in me and I am eternally grateful!
I didn’t start painting until I was in my second year at Leeds College of Art studying creative advertising. I’ve now sold around 190 paintings, and I sell prints as well.
Having graduated with a first class degree I plan to use my art work to help as many wildlife and conservation charities as possible.
I recently did three paintings for a showroom in London, one of which was a picture of a rhino. I’ve since been put in contact with Helping Rhinos and I’m looking at ways to use my art to help the charity raise money and awareness. The same is happening with the Turtle Island Restoration Network which is over in California.
In the meantime I am very pleased to be still supporting WLT with the sales of cards in WLT Art Gallery in Halesworth.
WLT Art Gallery in Halesworth sells a range of Tori’s cards from her Noah’s Ark of Watercolour series. The cards are very popular and WLT receives 95p for every card sold.
The gallery has a changing programme of exhibitions of wildlife and landscape art. The artworks are all for sale and the gallery also sells a selection of cards, books and gifts. The gallery provides a small income for the Trust’s charitable work and helps raise awareness of wildlife and landscape conservation. The art gallery is open 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday and closed on Bank Holidays.