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  • Writer's pictureMair

The Eureka Moment: Madagascar with Chester Zoo for Craghoppers

I joined the conservation team from Chester Zoo (a Craghoppers partner) on an expedition to Madagascar. I wrote about their ongoing projects with with Madagasikara Vokajay, a local bio-diversity organisation which aims to protect endemic vertebrates.

I'm so proud to work for a company that genuinely cares about the environment. The outdoor clothing brand Craghoppers, has invested thousands into environmental projects (and people). And I'm not just talking money. I'm talking time - time, to listen to conservationists in the field to hear what's really going on and to see if we can help them, as part of the company's amazing philanthropy project.

It was this trip which made me reflect and think why am I not doing more for nature closer to home?

If you want to read more about the trip - the links are at the end of this post! But in a nutshell, the Chester Zoo team and I lived in the middle of a remote rainforest for 10 days, living side by side with the Malagasy locals. We had everything in camp - from tropical rainstorms to Black Widow spiders nesting in my hat. It was certainly a once in a life time experience (and one I'd do all over again!).

We need to adjust to live in harmony with nature and remind yourselves that we can't take it for granted.

It was this trip which made me reflect and think why am I not doing more for nature closer to home? Since I've returned, I've seen the nature and landscapes from a different view.

We spent hours on the highest rainforest trails looking for lemurs, or sat on a canoe to catch a glimpse of birds that are endemic to Madagascar. So, now I do the same here. Whether it's a red kite soaring above, or some wild rabbits in the garden, I can't help to stop, observe and write about all the nature that we're so lucky to have here. It also made me think - what are the rarest birds in Wales? What wildlife can I spot in Wales? Can I help with conservation of natural habitats in Wales?

We have areas of the farm which are left to nature - and it's thriving. From returning swallows, nesting red kits, buzzards and woodpeckers, it's always important to put nature first before you inhabit a landscape.

We all know that nature is good for us - lockdown has most likely made us re-think how we approach it and preserve it for the future. So, I'm looking forward to reporting more on nature, writing about conservation in Wales and seeing what others are doing to also help our wonderful natural world.

Are you running a project linked with conservation in Wales? I'd love to hear about it.

MADAGASCAR LINKS: (NB: Author is Jenny Carew as 'Mair' is my middle name)

Travelling to camp:

Out with the lemur conservation:

I also put together these little videos!


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