Hedd Thomas is World Land Trust’s London Marathon Man! SEARCH NEWS


World Land Trust (WLT) supporter Hedd Thomas has won a place in the Trust’s London Marathon ballot. In the first of a series of regular updates, he tells us why he is ready for the challenge.

I’m running the London Marathon! I can’t quite believe it either. This will probably be the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But I’ve already started my training, and so far I’m enjoying the journey.

WLT is an excellent charity that is committed to safeguarding the future of the world’s rainforests. This is a cause very close to my heart and I’ve done the research to find the best-placed organisation that can and does make a lasting impact. But don’t just take my word for it!

In the words of Sir David Attenborough, WLT Patron, “The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of.”

That’s Sir David Attenborough, my childhood hero!

This is a critical time for rainforests all around the world. The plethora of plants and animals that live there can do so nowhere else and are at real threat of being lost forever due to rampant deforestation. Some species will disappear, even before they’ve been discovered by science. People themselves are at risk, too, as their livelihoods are being unrecognisably changed.

I’m trying to raise £1,500 in sponsorship money so that WLT and the people who live with the rainforests can work together strategically to save what still can be.

Whether you sponsor me with £1, £10 or £100, it will be used wisely and to great effect.

How will the sponsorship money be used?

WLT will use the money raised here for their most urgent project needs. Here is a list of some of the ways in which your donation could be spent:

£5 could establish a native tropical tree to restore the Tumbesian dry forest of Ecuador. Only a tiny fraction of the original forest remains yet it is still home to a number of endemic and threatened bird species, such as the wonderfully named Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner.

£10 could pay for a ranger in the field for half a day. This includes their salary plus a small contribution towards their uniform, binoculars and tools. Usually members of the local community, they monitor wildlife, deter poachers, provide education for visitors and local communities, rescue wildlife in difficulty and deal with forest fires.

£15 could help to protect the Caucasian Leopards of Armenia, no more than 15 of which survive, together with the Brown Bear and Bezoar Ibex.

Bengal Tiger in India

WLT is raising funds to protect a wildlife corridor for Bengal Tigers in India. © Maria Allen.


£27 could help to safeguard another big cat. Only 27 Bengal Tigers survive in Ramnagar Forest Division in India, but another 109 tigers live nearby in Corbett Tiger Reserve. WLT is working towards securing a corridor between the two so that the populations can mix, increase the gene pool and improve the tiger’s chances of survival.

£100 could save an acre (about the size of a football pitch) of forest in Ecuador, Colombia or Mexico or an acre of savanna grassland in Bolivia. These habitats are home to thousands of endemic and hundreds of threatened species including bears, big cats, birds and amphibians, as well as innumerable plants and animals yet to be discovered by science.

Thank you for reading this and please sponsor me with whatever you can. I’m training for the marathon almost every day so your donation will give me a real boost when it gets tough. I’ll be providing updates with photos and notes of my progress so please visit my fundraising page for more information or to make a donation.

Visit Hedd’s fundraising page »

London Marathon logo

More information

WLT has been awarded a single place in the Virgin London Marathon, which takes place on 26 April 2015. We are planning a rally point on the route so that supporters can cheer Hedd on. We shall release more information about the rally point when we it is available.