The WWT Welney Wetland Centre was the starting point of a 60-mile fundraising bike ride undertaken by a bird club member to raise cash for an endangered species.
Oriental Bird Club member Mike Edgecombe cycled to Salthouse, Norfolk and so far has managed to raise over £700 on his Justgiving page and about £500 from other sources.
The spoon-billed sandpiper is hurtling towards extinction. Fewer than 100 pairs remain in the wild, together weighing less than a single mute swan. Without urgent action, it could be lost forever.
In a bold step, WWT have made two expeditions to Far East Russia to start a conservation breeding programme for the spoon-billed sandpiper. Now, a small flock is under specialist care in a purpose-built aviary at WWT’s headquarters in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
This flock is a precious insurance policy - a last resort in case the species becomes extinct in the wild – and has bought time to tackle the multitude of threats facing the spoon-billed sandpiper.
Emma Brand, events and marketing officer for WWT Welney, said: “It is a pleasure for the centre to be the starting point for Mike’s fundraising bike ride. We are always encouraged by the support the public have for WWT and our conservation breeding programmes to save some of the world’s rarest birds
“We wish Mike all the best for his journey and other members of the Oriental Bird Club who are running the full length of the Norfolk Coastal Path in their effort to raise awareness and money for the future of the spoon-billed sandpiper.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/michael-edgecombe to donate or for more information on this incredible bird go to www.saving-spoon-billed-sandpiper.com