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Swim the Eden – Report

In August, three brothers, Robbie, Calum and Jack Hudson, swam the length of the River Eden in Cumbria gaining Cumbrian, British and World Records in the process. StFF supported this adventure with a small grant and helped these boys achieve their ambition and will inspire young people and the local community engage with and value their environment.

Swim the Eden pic


We really couldn’t have done the swim without Sculpt the Future and will be eternally grateful for your support. It is something we will never forget and we think has inspired lots of people to engage in a more sustainable and positive relationship with the environment.

Kate Rew the head of the Outdoor Swimming Society (18,000 members) said that we “had captured the public imagination” and were “the big hit of the

summer”. The BBC said that it was an “incredible achievement” and ITV described it as “epic and engaging”.  Calum Hudson

Read reports  of their success here and here


Why Nature Needs a Seat at the United Nations

StFF Founder, David de Rothschild, is in Paris this week chairing a round table discussion at the COP21 Summit.  

In an online article for Amuse, a digital magazine and video channel published by i-D, David expresses his fears:

Our oceans really are rising and have already risen. It already is hotter and it’s going to get hotter. It’s dry and going to get drier. The familiar shape of continents and countries soon won’t be so familiar, as by the middle of this century we’ll be redrawing the maps as we know it. We are killing ourselves quickly and slowly. We are losing against ourselves. There is no off switch.

I’ve travelled a lot and do what I can to turn this knowledge into positive action. I’m generally an optimist, but I am shit scared.

and offers an idea for how conservation efforts could be approached at the national and international level.

Read David’s article here


Other Funders – Deadline Ahead

Latest news

27/11/2015 – PTES’s Species Conservation Insight Grants – Reminder of February Deadline

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is currently accepting applications from scientific researchers and conservationists in the UK who need funding for projects focusing on endangered species for up to two years.

Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 per year up to a maximum total of £20,000 are available for projects focusing on endangered species for up to two years. Scientific researchers and those working in the field of practical conservation can apply as long as the project leader is based either within an NGO or a university research department.

The funding will be awarded for work that seeks either to:

  • Find the critical scientific evidence that will facilitate the conservation of a species.
  • Provide the answer to a key conservation question, which will enable conservationists to undertake critical conservation action.
  • Undertake the implementation of a key local action which will result in a significantly, positive impact for an endangered species.

High priority will be given to projects that are:

  • Gathering evidence needed to undertake necessary mitigation work.
  • Using scientific evidence to get changes made to local, national or international policy.
  • Devising and testing a new methodology for monitoring a species or group of species.

Applications will only be considered from those working in countries classified by the World Bank as low and middle-income. Preference is given to applicants working in their own country rather than UK or other western nationals working abroad.

Priority is also given to applications for conservation and research work on species classified as endangered, critically endangered and extinct in the wild by the IUCN.

Preference will be given to applicants who have a proven, successful history working on the species and/or in that region.

The Trust recommends that applicants allow plenty of time to go through the application process and should start their application at least four weeks before the deadline.

The deadline for applications is 12 February 2016.


People’s Trust for Endangered Species


Ed Stafford talks to Steve Backshall on BBC Radio 4

In a new series of BBC Radio 4’s ‘One to One’,  Steve Backshall meets StFF beneficiary, Ed Stafford, the first person to walk the 6,000-mile length of the Amazon River over a two-and-a-half year period.  Backshall’s aim is to discover what drives his guest to attempt almost superhuman challenges.

During the interview, Ed talks about being an adventurer and describes his formative years, to profound and fascinating effect.

We hear about his not-particularly-happy time at public school, a rebellious period as a young man and his thoughts on being adopted. He’s a pleasure to listen to, full of wisdom but never self-important:

To put yourself through hardship now is just a way of constantly making sure you evolve.

Ed Stafford

See Chris Gardner’s full review for The Radio Times

Listen to the full interview on BBC iplayer:





Swim the Eden – Update

I wanted to give David and the trustees a quick update on our Swim the Eden challenge.  We’ve got 26 days to go until the first day of our challenge and wanted to thank you again for all your support so far.
Here are some of the key highlights over the past month.

We’ve had a very large number of people get in touch about coming down to join us during our swim. This has ranged from local school kids who want to share a tin of beans at the end of the day while we’re camping, an elderly woman who swims everyday and has swam in the Eden for 65 years and farmers who want to bring their family down to wave as we swim past. These small gestures go a long way and we’re very proud that we’re inspiring people to reconnect with the natural world right outside their front door.

You’ve helped us generate a lot media interest and we’ve had many outlets contact us, from a CNN reporter who loves outdoor swimming, a Vogue photographer with an interest in siblings and twins, a BBC presenter with no previous wild swimming experience whose been roped in to do a whole day with us and many local newspapers and magazines. This is a huge help in promoting our conservation message and hopefully will make people rethink their own relationship with our natural heritage.

The Outdoor Swimming Society, the UK’s biggest wild swimming community (21,000 subscribers) has tipped our Swim the Eden expedition as this years big swimming challenge and they’ve run a competition for 10 winners to join us on the final 2 days of our adventure.

On a personal level your grant has enabled me to organise and plan what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable adventure and a journey that, alongside my brothers Robbie and Jack, I’ll never forget.
We’ve got an upcoming swim across the Corryvreckan on August 2nd as a training exercise for the Eden. The Corryvreckan is the 3rd largest whirlpool in the world and shipwrecked George Orwell and his brother while he was writing 1984 on Jura, we’ll be swimming straight across it and will be the first brothers to do this. I know David is a fan of unusual adventures and thought he might like that one.
The Corryvreckan Vortex
I will keep the updates coming as we get closer to the start date, back to the pool for me!
Have a great week.
Best regards,



Natural History Museum’s ‘Dippy’ to go on national tour

The Natural History Museum in London reports today that the Museum’s famous Diplodocus, Dippy, will go on tour from early 2018.

The Museum will run an open call to indoor venues in the UK to host the Diplodocus and its ambition is for Dippy to visit every region of the country.


See The Telegraph for more information.

The Great Barrier Reef 2050 long-term plan

New report states:

“Actions under the Reef 2050 plan will ensure the Great Barrier Reef continues to be among the world’s best managed and protected World Heritage areas.”

Click here to learn more.