Wild Places


A varied selection of projects, all working to protect valuable biodiversity and precious habitats in wild places and landscapes around the world. 

 
Please read though the details below of the projects looking for your vote, and then select the one you would like to receive funding from EOCA.  A difficult choice as they are all very worthwhile projects!

AUTUMN 2021 VOTING WILL TAKE PLACE FROM FRIDAY 15TH OCTOBER TO FRIDAY 29TH OCTOBER AT 12 NOON (BST / GMT+1) / 13.00 (CEST / GMT +2)
 

Looking For Your Support


Conserving Day and Night (Butterflies and Bats) on the Polden Hills, UK.

The project's main aim is to protect the rare, biodiversity-rich limestone grassland habitats across 5 nature reserves along the Polden Ridge. This will benefit wildlife, focusing on many bat species, and the Large Blue Butterfly, the UK’s rarest butterfly. The Large Blue was declared extinct in the UK in 1979 but reintroduced in the 1990’s and it is now estimated that 21,000 adults live on the Green Down Nature Reserve in the Polden Hills. It’s life cycle hinges on the activity of other species. Careful management, including grazing, scrub management and invasive species removal, are required to protect the future of this vulnerable species against threats from climate change and adverse weather. Somerset Wildlife Trust will support nature restoration across 120 hectares including, the installation of 2km of fencing and gates to improve the control of conservation grazing on grassland by sheep and ponies, scrub management, removing invasive rhododendrons and Wilson honeysuckle, installing 20 bat boxes and coppicing along woodland fringe habitat. A track, a stile and information panels will be improved for visitors.


Conserving Namibia’s endangered desert elephant population.

Namibia’s desert elephants are one of two desert elephant populations worldwide, surviving the extreme conditions of Namibia’s arid northwest where annual rainfall averages 150mm. As a keystone species, the elephants’ presence in the desert helps ensure the survival of other species that rely on their feeding habits, water-digging abilities and seed dispersal. They also generate revenue from tourism and create jobs for rural communities. The population has decreased to fewer than 150 today, mostly due to human-elephant conflicts (HEC) over water supplies, loss of habitat, and increasingly dry conditions. The group of elephants that Elephant-Human Relations Aid (EHRA) follow has had 100% calf mortality rate since 2015, and, in 2020, as a result of drought, moved out of their core range into greener but more human-dominated areas where many were illegally shot. This project will incorporate this larger area into its HEC mitigation programme including elephant- focused training/education, protecting human water sources, and understanding the elephants’ migration routes over 1.8m hectares. The ancient elephant migration routes will be protected by installing 3 wildlife water sources and ensuring access to required food and nutrients, and an Elephant Corridor Tourism project to increase the perceived value of elephants to farmers.


Discover the secret world of Sphagnum, UK

Little Woolden Moss is a 107 hectare lowland raised peatland site, which once formed a part of the much larger peat mass. Extracted for peat for over 30 years, and surrounded by land drained for agriculture, this site is being restored to a wildlife haven by Lancashire Wildlife Trust. With just 6% of UK lowland raised bog remaining, this project will conserve one of the last remaining homes for specialised wildlife, such as the bog bush cricket and Sphagnum mosses, re-vegetating over 20 hectares of bare peat with 20,000 plants specific to this rare habitat. Invasive scrub will be removed to stabilise the water table, aiding the transition from carbon emitter to carbon store, and finally carbon sink. Disturbance to nesting birds, including the red listed Curlew, from people straying from the paths will be reduced through a series of seasonal walking maps for the site, guided walks, path improvements, seating and viewing areas.

Ferncliffe

Ferncliffe Mistbelt Forest Restoration project, South Africa

A Rocha South Africa is working with a number of NGOs to restore and conserve the biodiversity of strategic portions of the 250 hectare Ferncliffe Nature Reserve. Overlooking the city of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, Ferncliffe NR is an indigenous portion of threatened and degraded Southern Mistbelt Forest, of which approximately 16,000 hectares of this forest type is formally but not always effectively protected in South Africa. The project aims to engage with authorities to improve the protected status of the Ferncliffe Nature Reserve, as well as create opportunities for volunteers to participate in a forest rehabilitation project via 17 volunteer events. These include citizen science biodiversity surveys to enhance protection of the site, removing invasive species, and planting native tree species

Gouritz

Mountain Fynbos Restoration as an outdoor sport, South Africa

The project is located in South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region (CFR), one of the richest plant kingdoms in the world, supporting over 9000 plant species, 70% of which are found nowhere else on earth. The shrub-like plant Fynbos is the emblematic plant community of the mountain component of the CFR. This project by The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, will restore Mountain Fynbos by addressing the spread of invasive alien plants which suppress the indigenous species, increase wildfire intensity and reduce water supply. It will get citizens actively involved in tackling this major problem, and shift controlling invasive alien plants from being a chore to an outdoor sport in itself! Hikers will seek out the invasive alien trees in remote terrain, add upper body exercise to hiking, and experience elation from crossing difficult terrain. The project will build on existing initiatives and facilitate at least 18 clearing events and at least 5 biocontrol information events, involving between 250 and 300 volunteers over 2 years. At least 30,000 invasive alien trees will be felled, clearing approximately 1200 hectares of infested mountain fynbos, controlling a further 200 ha using appropriate biocontrol agents in 5 remote areas.


Rewilding the Algarve; restoring habitats & reconnecting people, Portugal

European natural habitats, particularly those in southern Portugal have suffered an alarming reduction in species over the past 50 years. Native ecosystems have been subjected to severe degradation and loss of crucial habitat for endangered species like the Iberian lynx, European rabbit and species of vulture. There is an urgent need to halt and reverse this damage, to rehabilitate degraded environments, whilst saving species from extinction. Post-Covid, there will be an even more urgent need to revive economies in rural areas. Through this project, the Whole Wild World, aims to restore and revive the ecosystem of a 210 hectare area of the Algarve. Transforming and restoring the land for the long term preservation and enhancement of native endangered Iberian fauna and flora. Breed and release projects for species such as the European rabbit and red-legged partridge to support nearby populations of Iberian lynx. Native Sorraia horses and herbivores will be introduced, to help restore the native mosaic Montado landscape. The project will help to promote and inspire rewilding practices locally and help to revive the local economy through nature-based tourism.

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If you are an individual who loves the great outdoors and would like to support our projects, please click the donate button below.
The funding is enabling us to repair a damaged section of the iconic Three Peaks long distance footpath and restore an area of internationally important upland habitat. Voting for our project was a simple but highly effective way for our supporters to show how strongly they felt about improving access and protecting the landscape of this wonderful area. Thank you, EOCA!
Don Gamble, Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust