The Pygmy Hippo Foundation features in Castle of Mey’s June Newsletter
Published 12 Jun, 2014
We are thrilled to feature in Castle of Mey's June Newsletter, which includes Dan and Bert's 1,000 Lands End to John O'Groats cycle, as well as latest news on the foundation.
Dan Betts and Bert Monro, founder and director of The Pygmy Hippo Foundation (PHF), completed a 1000-mile cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats last May, and celebrated their 10-day ordeal at Castle of Mey.
The Castle of Mey was an idyllic spot to end their challenge having spent 6-9 hours a day (headwind dependent!) in the saddle and enduring British weather at its best in early May cycling through hail, rain and some sun finally in the Highlands! The team at the Castle gave a great welcome and filled the cyclists up with much needed tea and cakes after the final 80 miles from Dornoch that day. The weather was absolutely stunning and made for a perfect end to the cycle and, as the pictures show, an excellent photo opportunity in front of such a beautiful setting.
The bike-ride raised £12,000 for the foundation they have built-up over the past 3 years.
PHF was founded to help protect and preserve critical natural habitat, starting with eastern Liberia’s remaining tracks of the stunning Upper Guinean rainforest - one of the most intact ecosystems in West Africa, and a biodiversity hotspot of global significance. Today, only 14% of West Africa’s original rainforests remain, two-thirds in south-eastern Liberia, which is home to some of the planet’s greatest densities and varieties of mammal, bird, insect, and plant life, and the last of the world’s pygmy hippos.
The Zoological Society of London estimates there are less than 2,000 of these adorable-looking creatures remaining in the wild, of which the majority, are believed to be located in Liberia’s Sapo National Park. Sadly, however, the Government of Liberia does not have all the resources needed to properly administer Sapo or protect the integrity of its boundaries.
This is where PHF is playing a crucial role, and its vision is to work with the government of Liberia to implement a sustainable park management programme to protect and manage Sapo, as well as creating a model that can be replicated in other areas of natural beauty and important biodiversity.
PHF has made exciting progress over the past year by commissioning a report conducted by Flora and Fauna International (FFI), which has allowed a far greater understanding on the stresses being put on Sapo, and the surrounding area. The next step is to undertake a feasibility study for the redevelopment and upgrading of the park.
This work would not be possible without the kind help we have received, including all those who sponsored Dan and Bert’s gruelling bike-ride, and supported them along the way, including the team at Castle of Mey.
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