On 4 April 2015, Steve Backshall is taking part in the annual Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race to raise funds for WLT. The additional match funding brings Steve’s match funding total to £22,500 and sets a new potential target of £45,000.
The £7,500 from Maidenhead Aquatics will become available once donations on Steve’s fundraising page exceed £15,000. (A WLT Council member has already agreed to match the first £15,000.)
So far Steve has raised £14,000 (£28,000 including match funding).
He told us: “I’m absolutely over the moon about how things are going. I reckon we’ll crack £30,000 with match funding, which means we can save an area of tropical forest the size of Hyde Park. After that, if we aim for £45,000, that will be tremendous.”
WLT is urging supporters to give generously to help increase public donations to £22,500 so that the Trust can double the sum by drawing down the full amount of match funding promised.
Saving rainforest in Colombia
Steve is raising funds to enable WLT to purchase and protect an area of Colombian rainforest, saving it from potential exploitation and logging. “I spend a lot of time in rainforest environments,” he said. “I get to see how fast they are disappearing. It is frightening.”
Maidenhead Aquatics has been a corporate supporter of WLT since 2010 and in 2015 company donations have been supporting land purchase and protection in the rainforest of Colombia.
Maidenhead Aquatics is the UK’s largest leading specialist aquatic retailer with 130 stores throughout the UK. Funds are raised through WLT collection boxes in a group of stores plus a donation is made for every fish box sold (sustainably sourced aquarium starter kits) and for every 30th anniversary bag for life sold.
To boost fundraising efforts Steve has donated 17 T-shirts, which WLT will auction on ebay in April.
The T-shirts are Steve’s own. He has worn some while training for Strictly Come Dancing. Others he has worn at public appearances and wildlife events.
The dates of the auction are to be confirmed, so watch WLT website for more information.
Fastprint, another WLT corporate supporter is backing Steve’s kayak challenge by sponsoring WLT flags and banners to wave him on his way.
On Easter Saturday afternoon, supporters and spectators can watch the race along the route of the Kennet and Avon Canal and the River Thames.
From 7am on Sunday morning (5 April), WLT staff and supporters will be in Westminster ready to cheer Steve and George over the finish line.