Chris Packham calls for support in the Big Butterfly Count
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The presenter has agreed to be the prize in a contest to help the RSPB raise money to buy the nature reserve. All Chris asks is that readers make a donation to the reserve appeal. Their names will then go into the hat from which five lucky winners will be picked. The Daily Express launched the Horse Common fund-raiser earlier this year while calling for more space for nature as part of Green Britain Needs You campaign.
We need to raise £90,000 which the RSPB says will unlock donations for the remaining £360,000.
So far readers have rallied superbly, pledging about £45,000 including a £5,000 donation from eco-entrepreneur Dale Vince.
The reserve will help rewild a corner of the New Forest.
Chris insists that anyone making a donation, large or small, will get a chance to win the prize to go birding with him.
He plans to meet the lucky winners at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, of which he is president, near Andover where they will be able to get close to birds such as barn owls, peregrine falcons and vultures.
In a video made specially for the appeal, he said: “The Daily Express’ Green Britain Campaign has decided to organise a competition.
“The prize for the competition is… yours truly …a day birding with me, well maybe not just birding but looking at wildlife. And all you need to do to enter is make a donation.
“Now let me be really clear: we would like large donations but the largest donation is not necessarily the one that is going to win because if you make a donation your name goes into a hat and it’s a raffle. Anyone could win.
“We would like you to give us £2,000 but if you only give us £2 you still might be the winner.
“If Daily Express readers are generous enough to give the RSPB the money to buy this area they will be putting their cash into action to help the environment – and helping to create a vital haven for wildlife.
“This is your chance to back the Daily Express campaign to create more space for wildlife and a better world for everyone.”
Beccy Speight, RSPB chief executive, said: “It’s so generous of Chris to offer this amazing prize and we hope the winners have a fabulous and fun time with him.”
Ecotricity and Ecotalk boss Dale, who kick-started the Horse Common appeal with his own donation, said: “The RSPB have an exciting plan for nature within the New Forest and the land at Horse Common is vital to that.
“It will help connect other habitats – woodland and heathland – into a bigger haven for nature.
“My friend Chris Packham has been a big supporter of this from the start.
“I think it’s fab that everyone helping fund raise for this project gets the chance to win some time with Chris and experience first hand his guru-like understanding of our native wildlife.”
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