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£3,000 raised for seven RSPB reserves

A yellow eyed penguin. Image courtesy of Biological Diversity

Andrew Simcock was successful in reaching his £5,000 fundraising target for his RSPB Eastern 400 cycle ride. With Gift Aid added, the final total came to just over £6,000.

As a result seven reserves will share half the money raised. £430.75 each has gone to The Lodge, at RSPB HQ, Rye Meads, Minsmere, Lakenheath Fen, Strumpshaw Fen, Titchwell and Frampton Marsh.

"I hope that with some matched funding this money can make a difference to the conservation efforts at each reserve. I hope to visit next year to see how the funds have been spent."

"I'd like to thank the 158 supporters who made donations ranging from £5 to £500. It was that tremendous backing that kept me going when the riding conditions were less than ideal.

Andrew approaches the Royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. Picture credit: Sam Turley, RSPB

The other half of the money will go towards funding a permanent statue to the female founder of the UK’s largest nature conservation charity.

There were many highlights along the way.

Smitten Bitterns at Minsmere!

Bitterns mating Photo credit: Les Cater

Enthusiastic visitors!

Visitors at Strumpshaw Fen from Holy Trinity Church, Norwich

Back row, left to right: Caroline Verdon-Smith, Jenni Scott, Deepthi Ganeson and Hannah Gray

Front row, left to right: Megan and Bethany Verdon-Smith, Naomi Scott, Clara Gray, Diya Ganeson and Henry Scott

Andrew on a training run in Bollington, Cheshire

The Emily Williamson statue will be placed in Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury, Manchester, where Emily lived when she founded the RSPB in 1889.

Andrew’s RSPB Eastern 400 ride took him to eight RSPB reserves in the six counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire, beginning 23 July and finishing Wednesday 2 August,

Eve Shepherd with her winning design

In December 2020 a competition was launched by author and journalist Tessa Boase and Andrew, in partnership with the RSPB, to design a statue of Emily Williamson (1855-1936). The four shortlisted designs were unveiled on the centenary of The Plumage Act (1 July 2021), the RSPB’s first legislation triumph and the result of Emily’s long campaign.

Brighton based sculptor Eve Shepherd’s winning design was then made available as 20 limited edition 40 cm high bronze maquettes which are also for sale as part of the fundraising efforts for the life-sized sculpture of Emily.

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