Going Wild for Wildlife with the BBC Wildlife Fund
There's been a real buzz in the office over the last few weeks as the BBC Wildlife Fund has been preparing for it's second appeal. The BBC Wildlife Fund is the youngest of the BBC's four corporate charities - the others being Children in Need, Performing Arts Fund and the World Service Trust. It's aim is to raise awareness and funds to help threatened wildlife and places and that's been addressed in a variety of ways since setting up just a few years ago.
Our nature documentaries often inspire people to ask us what they can do to help and we launched the Wildlife Fund in 2007 in response to public interest. We have been able to build on the awareness created by our programmes to get audiences involved and raise money to help animals and places.
During May and June we've been out and about encouraging people to 'Go Wild for Wildlife' at BBC Springwatch Wild Days Out, which are fun, family events where everyone can get involved with wildlife-themed activities.
BBC staff have also been encouraged to get involved and we're delighted that they've responded enthusiastically. Over 100 staff volunteered to help out at the fundraising events and many others are helping out in other ways - from wearing their wildlife prints to work to taking part in team sponsored activities.
Watch the film above to hear Amy Coyte, Director of the Fund, talking more about their work.
As part of the appeal, the Fund has also given fundraising packs and other goodies to people who want to raise money with a 'wild' theme in their own time, with friends and family and in their own communities.
The BBC Wildlife Fund's first appeal, which featured the Saving Planet Earth series ended with a live broadcast event which raised £1.8 million thanks to fantastic public support. The Fund has since distributed this money via grants to independent charities working across the UK and abroad. Examples include funding for a project that created 'elephant corridors' to prevent conflict between the animals and farmers in Namibia, and a project to restore the food supply of the Adonis Blue butterfly in Suffolk, which is apparently a very fussy eater!
The Fund is already making a clear difference, although there is of course a lot more to be done. Good news then that the team is back with another appeal this year, to coincide with the UN International Year of Biodiversity.
I'll be at the recording of the live Wild Night In TV programme at London Zoo, which will be the climax of the appeal. It's airing from 8pm on Sunday 20th June on BBC TWO. The programme will feature some familiar faces from Springwatch, as well as contributions from Sir David Attenborough among others. It should be an entertaining evening (and doesn't clash with an England match!) so do tune in if you can and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Alec McGivan is Head of BBC Outreach