Entries Tagged ‘Charities’:

Sumatran Orangutans Dying As Fires Burn

Filed in Articles on Apr.03, 2012

Little did I know when I first spoke with Helen Buckland, the UK president of the Sumatra Orangutan Society- SOS last year, offering my help and professional services in order to help and highlight the plight of this great ape and planning our trip to the jungles of Sumatra, that just over twelve months later an area and its Orangutans would be in grave danger of complete extinction at the hands of greed and shocking actions by the government there

Today after several weeks of legal wrangling to save an area of rainforest in Sumatra from burning the government there have refused to make a ruling on the case. Over the last week a man made firestorm has swept through a huge area of the remaining peat swamp forests of Tripa, devastating critically endangered Sumatran Orangutans to the very brink of extinction, possibly within months. To read the shocking ruling please click here. SOS’s website has the full story here.

Critically important, the Tripa peat swamp forests of Aceh, Indonesia, has long been recognized as a UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Partnership priority site for Great Ape Conservation. In the early 90’s these forests are estimated to have contained between 2,000 and 3,000 but today only a few hundred survive. If the current rate of forest destruction and burning continues, even these will be gone completely within a matter of months. The whole of the Tripa peat swamps lie within the Protected Leuser Ecosystem, a National Strategic Area for Environmental Protection in Indonesia’s National Spatial Plan established in 2008.

Sumatran Orangutans are heading towards extinction, and this latest story on Tripas Orangutan tragedy has circulated around the world –Time Magazine, Washington Post, Guardian, The Australian and many more in an out pouring of anger of such a shocking act.  In an amazing response to the tragedy in Tripa, thousands of people all around the world have emailed the President of Indonesia and key stakeholders calling for the law to be enforced and upheld in Tripa. Click here to see the full story and several links in which will help also.

Spotlight Sumatra see’s me going to the island of Sumatra in mid September for two weeks. The principal focus of my trip will be the Orangutans, capturing them within their natural habitat, looking for behaviours to capture and so on while spending time sleeping and tracking them with my guides among the jungle. This shocking news and ongoing problems have brought home though just how important a trip it will be. Not only to capture the amazing Orangutans with photographs but also to report on the problems and issues facing the amazing wildlife that live on Sumatra.

On a personal level though it will be very rewarding helping SOS a charity I’m right behind in helping to show the world this Orangutan is in serious danger. But I am under no illusion I may witness things that will greatly upset me and touch deep inside my sole but I am determined to tell the story and help bring home the faces and stories of the wildlife that live there that I promise. This will help and highlight what’s going on at the same time show our closest living relative to a wider audience.

Helen along with myself are planning exhibitions, talks and much more to bring this great ape into more of the spotlight to help its survival. So hopefully I’ll be able to help so much on all levels, but in the meantime there is the ongoing problems in Tripa and SOS along with all the other agencies around the world are continuing the fight to stop these forests from burning as we speak. To keep up to date please visit SOS’s website and if you can sign the many petitions that are being passed around calling for an immediate stop to this clearance that that would be amazing and I thank you on behalf of the Orangtuans and the other wildlife that’s suffering there.

I cannot put into words my feelings towards the recent ruling and shocking things that are happening there as I speak. I can only help in the only way I know at this present time and that’s highlighting whats going on there on my blog. Once I am there I hope to do all I can to help and let my heart, eye and camera do the talking for me.

My perpetration’s have already begun, with me brushing up my climbing and abseiling skills, where below you can see an old image of myself as part of a rope access team, climbing on a historic building doing repairs to the windows and general maintenance which was my job before turning professional. I’m hoping these and my many other skills will come in good use once I’m on the ground in Sumatra.

Thank you for reading and if there is anything you can help with then please contact Helen at the Sumatra Orangutan Society, many thanks.

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Sumatran Orangutan Expedition

Filed in Charities, In the Press, Wildlife on Apr.27, 2011

In the May issue of the Outdoor Photography magazine there is a full page advert for a wonderful trip I am leading to the amazing jungles of Sumatra. The aim of this trip is to highlight the cause of maybe the first great ape to become extinct should current trends continue. At the same time raise money for the charity SOS- Sumatran Orangutan Society.

This charity is dedicated to the conservation of Sumatran Orangutans and their forest home, where each person on this photo-tour will directly be helping the Orangutan and their habitat, with money from each person booked onto this trip going to the Sumatran Orangutan Society, whose work is to help protect and conserve this area for the future of our closest relative. The principal focus of this photo tour will be the Orangutan, capturing them within their natural habitat, looking for behaviours to capture and so on, as we visit some of the most magnificent forests on Earth, which are also the domain of many other beautiful and stunning animals and birds, where some only live in this part of the world and nowhere else on the planet.

Sadly the ‘Old Man of the forest’ has been subjected to relentless pressures which has reduced the world’s population by as much as 50% during the last 10 years. Hunting for meat and the demands of the pet trade have been contributory factors but the more significant issue has been the large-scale clearance of rain forest throughout this region leaving very few habitats left for these apes.

There are surely few more enduring creatures in the world than the gentle giant of the rainforests, the Orangutan. With around 97% of an Orangutans genetic makeup being the same as a human and where such a close affinity to Homo sapiens is obvious upon gazing into their beautiful faces and watching their behaviour and how they conduct their lives. The evolutionary links with mankind are plain to see after such encounters with this amazing ape that now only live wild in two places in the world, Borneo and Northern Sumatra.

The charity also works in restoring degraded areas inside the border of the Gunung Leuser National Park, working with local government and local communities to restore vital Orangutan habitat that has been damaged by illegal oil palm plantations established within the protected area. So much brilliant work is going on out there to save these animals.  This trip as you can see by the Itinerary will be truly amazing, covering different areas, sleeping in the jungle with its amazing noises and uniqueness all of its own.

There is an amazing film called “Green” the film is an emotional journey following Greens’ final days, a powerful film that has won many awards. The sounds of the jungle are amazing, this trailer transports you there with those amazing jungle noises you will here every morning on this trip.  There are thousands of Orangutans in need of real help in this part of the world, another animal on the very brink of disappearing from our plant.


Helen the UK Director of SOS has done an amazing job and she has had amazing support for this trip from many people, Paramo, the clothing company are offering 10% discount on their range for people going onto this trip. Greys Of Westminster, Practical Photography/Photo Answers, Outdoor photographyAction for Apes and many more have got behind SOS in turn helping this great ape.

So on behalf of the Sumatran Orangutan I’d like to thank all those involved and who have helped.  There are places still available on this trip, so for more details please contact Helen at SOS, or contact Different Travel directly. I look forward to meeting you all in September, many thanks.

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Limited Edition Prints Now Live

Filed in Charities on Jun.09, 2010

My Limited Edition Prints are now finalised and are on sale on my website within the Portfolio. There is three Limited Edition Tiger prints and one Limited Edition Barn Owl there for sale at the moment with more in the pipeline. With only 100 of each of these stunning Limited Edition images available where 50% of the profits from each one will be donated to the 21st Century Tiger,click here and you will see these images on their site also, where 100% of their funds raised go directly to wild tiger projects around the world.

Your purchase will help the conservation of these beautiful animals. The reason I want to do this is after seeing these amazing creatures for the first time in 2010 The Year Of The Tiger in the wild at Ranthambore, I was greatly moved by their beauty and character, with an aura of power and majesty when you see them patrolling their territory.The tigers whole existence in our world today is down to humans,with the real threat of Wild Tigers being extinct ever present, so after seeing these animals in the wild, doing nothing is just not an option for me.

I was empowered and moved by my visit to Ranthambore to do something to help, so by offering these three Limited Editions where 50% of the profits from each image sold will go direct to helping these beautiful creatures mothernature made so beautiful survive in the wild, hopefully helping to preserve them for future generations.

Tiger Drinking

Tiger Hunting

There is a large selection of  images from my recent trip to India available in the India category within the Portfolio section also,where I was able to capture some lovely moments I had with these stunning animals.I have a week long Photo-Tour next May,working with the very best guides I have forged very good working relationships with there, enabling us to be able to capture these beautiful moments for our guests where we have 3-4 spaces available.The trip will be up on my Workshops soon or for the latest information join up to our Newsletter which is on our homepage,by just leaving your name and email,address.In the meantime I hope you purchase one of these amazing Tiger Prints which will help these beautiful animals directly with your money,a big Thank You on behalf of the Tiger.

Tiger Drinking


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Lone Poppy

Filed in Charities on Nov.21, 2009


The charity Help for Heroes was launched in October 2007 in response to the desire of ordinary people to do something practical to help our wounded servicemen and women. As individuals we are powerless to prevent war and we feel helpless that we are unable to stop our men and women from being killed and wounded. By joining together as Help for Heroes, we are doing something practical to help; we are doing our bit. Help for Heroes is very simple; we are strictly non political, we recognize that wars happen under any government, and we are non critical, preferring to get on with the job rather than talking about rights and wrongs

Lone Poppy

 My image  ‘Lone Poppy’ has been donated to the charity Help For Heroes’  by myself to help raise money for this brilliant charity which helps wounded servicemen and women when they come back home to their loved ones.As an ex-soldier myself  I have wanted to help this cause for sometime and capturing nature as helped me do just that. ‘Lone Poppy’  is a poppy on it’s own in a field full of wheat,for nearly a mile square there was no other poppy growing,its bright colour shone amongst the colour of the wheat almost like a symbol of hope,and remembrance.Its a small step for doing my bit to help these injured servicemen and women who have given their all and now need a little help back.All money from the sale of this image on my website will go direct to this charity,and you will be able to purchase it with a choice of 3 frames.The image is also available as a canvas in 3 different sizes,and each photo/canvas will be seen by myself and signed to ensure the highest standard

Their message is simple: it does not seek to criticise or be political, they simply want to help and to do so by asking everyone to do their bit to raise money. Once that money is raised, they go to the experts in the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force for guidance as to how best to spend it. It’s then their  intention to spend all they raise on the practical,and direct support of those wounded in the service of our country. So if you can help please click on the following link;  Doing Your Bit’  and read through the various different ways you can help out.Thank You
















A funny photograph of me in my army days just enjoying a laugh with my comrades during a break while on active service, I have replaced the original text with the name of this image and where you can buy it from, just a bit of light hearted fun.But I hope you can help this great cause and Thanks again.


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