55,000 Votes for Conservation!

Release date: 18 April 2012

The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to be able to announce the three conservation projects chosen by the public to receive funding from the association this year. A staggering 55,263 votes were cast to select these three projects from the shortlisted projects which appeared online and in magazines across Europe.
Surfers Against Sewage - Beach Clean
Surfers Against Sewage - Beach Clean

The shortlisted projects were divided into three categories, and the three categories of projects featured in different magazines. Nature Conservation projects were showcased in National Geographic Germany. Alpine conservation projects featured in Alpin Magazin in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Outdoor conservation projects featured in TGO (UK), Lift (Netherlands), Bike & Trekking (Netherlands) and Wider (France). The readers of the magazines and the general public were then asked to vote for their favourite project in each category either on the websites of the magazines or the EOCA website. The project in each category with the highest number of votes will receive funding of up to €30,000.

The three winning projects are:

Nature Category: Hnuti Duha Olomouc project – Conservation of Large Carnivores in the West Carpathians
Alpine Category: John Muir Trust project – Steall Gorge Path Repair, Scotland
Outdoor Category: Surfers against Sewage project – Coastal Protection Activists, UK

Hnuti Duha - Lynx
Hnuti Duha - Lynx

Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said “this was an incredibly exciting process, with the top projects in each category vying for poll position during the voting period. Social media played a huge role in mobilising support for each of the projects and we were delighted with the huge interest shown in this process - 95,000 people visited the EOCA website during the first 3 months of this year. We would like to thank the magazines involved, and everyone who took the time to vote. We now very much look forward to funding these three worthwhile projects and reporting back on their successes in the coming 12 -24 months.”

The member companies of EOCA are currently voting on which other projects they would like to receive funding this year from EOCA. These projects will be officially announced at the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen in July.

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The funding that EOCA and Original Buff, S.A. have given Ennerdale's Squirrel Woodlands has enabled us to make a massive step change in our conservation of red squirrels, allowing us to purchase equipment, employ local people and support the local community in extending native woodlands and helping keep red squirrels in the valley. The simple funding process has meant we can focus on doing real tangible stuff on the ground"
Gareth Browning, Wild Ennerdale