In March 2018, four intrepid Yorkshiremen journey to Israel to take part in the famous Champions of the Flyway bird race – an international event to find as many bird species in the wilds of the Negev Desert… in just 24 hours! Those four Yorkshiremen are not only representing God’s Own County, however – they are representing FBOG on the global stage, campaigning and fund-raising to save our birds as they battle through the Med. The Zeiss Yorkshire Terriers are FBOG’s Communications Officer and team captain Mark Pearson and FBOG Conservation Officer Rich Baines, as well as internationally-renowned wildlife artist Darren Woodhead (who generously donates his art to our annual report every year) and York birder Jono Leadley (who works closely with FBOG on various projects).
How they fare in the race is in the hands of the gods (and the desert sun), but how they fare in their high-profile campaign to raise funds for international bird conservation is in yours ….
Teams from around the world will gather at this globally-renowned Middle Eastern flashpoint, smack bang in the middle of the Eastern Mediterranean Flyway – one of the the busiest and most diverse of nature’s superhighways on the planet, where multitudes of birds flood north and then south between continents on their epic migratory journeys. But it’s a journey laced with great danger – and countless millions of these avian miracles succumb every season to the brutal travesties of illegal hunting.
Which is where Champions of the Flyway comes in. It’s a bird race, yes, and a hotly-contested one – but it’s really all about fund-raising, and using those funds to directly combat the illegal killing of migratory birds through on-the-ground action, campaigning and education. With a global appeal and having already raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local projects, Champions transcends borders, divisions and barriers – be they geographical, political or cultural – and each team is there to raise as much money and awareness as they can to help stop the slaughter.
Which is where we come in. In these dark days of a Yorkshire notorious for its persecution of wild birds, the Zeiss Yorkshire Terriers are here to represent the true Yorkshire spirit – tenacity, passion, inclusivity, and a healthy dose of sheer bloody-mindedness. In the name of international, grass-roots conservation, we’re flying the Yorkshire flag on the global stage, and showing the world what God’s Own County really thinks about illegal wild bird killing.
Which is where you come in! In order to make a real difference, we need as many contributions as possible, however small or large – every penny counts and will help to save these avian wonders from hunting along their epic, cross-border journeys. Everyone who contributes can proudly call themselves a Flyway Champion, and it only takes a few seconds! THANK YOU for your support – let’s make a real difference for our migratory birds!
Every penny counts – visit our Yorkshire Terriers fundraising page here
… and read all about the project and its previous successes, the campaigns, the teams, this year’s story and much more on the Champions website here.