Our resident barn owl enthusiast and popular Forest Ranger Gerry Oâ€™Brien is set to embark upon a gruelling challenge in support of his feathered friends.
Gerry, who resides at the Forest of Dean location, is undertaking the National Forest Way 75 ultra-marathon, which will see him run an incredible 75 miles over the space of 24 hours in a bid to raise awareness and funds for the Barn Owl Recovery Project, in conjunction with our friends at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
The demanding run will take our Forest Ranger from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire along picturesque trails to Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire, taking in the delights of the National Forest along the way, one of Britainâ€™s boldest environmental projects.
Gerryâ€™s fundraising initiative comes as part of Forest Holidaysâ€™ ongoing commitment to protecting and enhancing wildlife at its locations. Weâ€™ve teamed up with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to fund barn owl adoption packs, money from which is donated directly to the project and helps to protect the future of these striking birds.
For just Â£30, the pack includes a large barn owl soft toy, photograph of the barn owl, fact sheet, a fun â€˜pop-upâ€™ model to cut out and make, adoption certificate plus colouring-in sheets.Â Â
With his own captive-bred owl, The Professor, aiding Gerry to educate guests on his Forest Explorer walks, the Barn Owl Recovery Project is a cause close to Gerryâ€™s heart.
He said: â€œBarn owls are one of Britainâ€™s most loved and iconic birds, but due to the loss of traditional nesting sites are unfortunately falling into decline. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust are looking to actively combat this by building nesting boxes in prime barn owl habitat to boost numbers.
â€œThis is a fantastic cause that is close to me which is one of the reasons Iâ€™ve chosen to take part in the ultra-marathon. It will certainly be one of the most demanding physical events that I'll have participated in and will require enormous mental strength to get through it, but Iâ€™m looking forward to the challenge!â€
Support Gerry in his challenge and help to raise money for the campaign.