55,000 Votes for Conservation!
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.
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
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.
More details on the three winning projects:
Coastal Protection Activists, Surfers against Sewage, UK (nominated by Smartwool). To expand, develop and train SAS’s network of community Coastal Protection Activists who volunteer in coastal regions to carry out grass root actions such as beach cleans, educational talks and environmental campaigns targeting marine litter, climate change, toxic chemicals, sewage effluent and wave protection. At least 30 beach cleans will be held. www.sas.org.uk
Steall Gorge Path Repair, John Muir Trust, Scotland (nominated by Patagonia). Steall Meadow, on John Muir Trust’s Ben Nevis estate, attracts 40,000 visitors a year who come to enjoy a challenging walk through the dramatic Steall Gorge, through native Scots Pine woodland above sheer drops to a spectacular view of Britain's second highest waterfall, An Steall Bàn (The White Spout). The path through this wild gorge is suffering from the effects of heavy use and severe weather, and damage is creating a danger for visitors and adversely affecting adjacent habitats. This project will carry out crucial repairs to reverse damage of the path and the habitats that it passes through. The project will strengthen likely weak spots using volunteers and local input, to ensure continued access and enjoyment of the beautiful, rugged surroundings. www.jmt.org
Conservation of Large Carnivores, Hnuti Duha Olomouc, West Carpathians (nominated by Rockpoint). This project is designed to protect populations of large carnivore mammals (wolves, lynx, bear) in the mountains on the Czech/Slovak border. The project aims to improve conditions necessary for coexistence of humans and wild carnivores, using preventative measures such as electric fencing around sheep pens, bear proof bins, monitoring of populations, guarding against illegal hunting and trapping. It will also ensure long term protection of migration corridors between key large mammal populations through land purchase and reforestation, awareness raising and involvement of locals. www.hnutiduha.cz/olomouc