• Goodbye, Mairi, our servant leader
    February 8, 2015

    mairi johnstone for enewsShe’s done the washing-up, made the coffee, prepared for board meetings and led her team carefully through change. Her name is Mairi Johnstone, CEO of A Rocha UK. And sadly, she is leaving.

    Head of the organisation for the past two years – having previously been its Finance and Administration Director – she moves on at the end of February to become CEO of the Methodist Ministers Housing Society.

    Mairi’s journey through A Rocha UK started at a meeting with former Chair Richard Hall. He visited Mairi early in 2010 to persuade her to become a trustee. She ended up becoming CEO.

    ‘I’d never have thought it was possible for so much to suit one role,’ said Mairi, ‘strategist, lawyer, leader, preacher, manager – all sitting alongside my long held love of the natural world! Did Richard spot all of this?’

    She ...

  • Supporters give £80,000 boost
    February 8, 2015

    the big give for enewsDespite continuing cash pressures on British households, A Rocha UK supporters have managed to raise around £80,000 for the charity’s ongoing work – as well as backing a special project.

    They have given generously in two recent campaigns. They donated £60,000 through The Big Appeal for core funding – in a combination of one-off gifts and increased or new standing orders. They gave a further £20,000 through The Big Give and accompanying magazine appeal for new nature reserve Foxearth.

    The Big Appeal saw 30 staff, trustees and volunteers engaging with supporters via phone and email. The Big Give is a matched funding scheme.

    ‘It’s been humbling to be on the receiving end of such affirmation,’ CEO Mairi Johnstone said of The Big Appeal. ‘I want to thank our supporters for responding so positively. It shows how well they understand the ... Read more...

  • Solar camera at Wolf Fields
    February 8, 2015

    solar camera at wolf fieldsA solar-powered wildlife camera and boxes are being set up at A Rocha UK’s Wolf Fields community garden – to facilitate and film nest-building birds. And they’re just in time for National Nestbox Day on 14th February.

    Education Officer David Melville – along with interns Adrianna Marling and Becky Vickers – recently visited the Southall project to set up the first of many bird boxes that A Rocha UK will be putting up around the site.

    Requiring a degree of creativity and some unusual tree climbing, two boxes were set in place. One open-faced box was aimed at housing robins, and a close-faced box was intended for the local blue tit population. The boxes were placed in a north-easterly direction. That offered maximum comfort to the birds, avoiding both the harsh winds and the glare of the sun.

    ‘The ...

  • Ride to the ‘wild west’ of Lundy
    January 13, 2015

    lundy churchLinking Christian faith with conservation and enjoyment of creation is the aim of a week-long adventure to Lundy Island.

    A Rocha UK are spearheading this special event in May with the St Helen’s Centre. This new facility will promote learning, research and worship on this three-mile-long coastal gem in the Bristol Channel.

    Visitors can enjoy daily activities such as the ‘Rockpool Ramble’ and explore the ecological richness of this distinct place with guided walks and talks. They can also choose from a range of extra activities on offer for those who want to delve deeper into the island’s ecological wealth of the island – such as monitoring spring migration and breeding seabirds.

    A Rocha UK is a partner with the Lundy St Helen’s Centre project. The island’s Anglican church will be renovated and adapted to integrate ecological education, research and worship.

    ‘This is ...

  • Facebookers engage with eco-Advent
    January 13, 2015

    advent calendar picChristmas trees made of driftwood, a festive dinner adorned with cauliflower and broccoli cheese and letting the train take the strain for family gatherings.

    Those were just some of the seasonal celebration ideas that emerged as people let A Rocha UK’s online Advent calendar open new windows on their Christmas festivities. Packed with practical eco-friendly ideas from how to choose a ‘happy turkey’ to recycling Christmas cards, the charity’s unique resource helped families and individuals create a Christmas that was kind on both pocket and planet.

    And some of them responded with further ideas of their own on social media. ‘We’re using the train,’ said one A Rocha UK supporter about their Christmas travel, ‘and the kids are excited about the adventure.’ Others chatted on Facebook about how they used different vegetables to make an unusual spread on the festive table. ... Read more...

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