One week to go…

I type ‘one week to go’ with an equal measure of trepidation, excitement and relief!

Trepidation for the obvious reason; the team propelling ourselves over 700 miles in just 14 days! Excitement because I get to spend 14 days with excellent friends pushing our previously experienced limits. Relief as we are finally, after months of training, so close to leaving! 


We have done our last kayak training together and this weekend will see us clock our last training walks and rides. Thereafter, we will be stretching and eating well; ensuring we get to the start line in as best condition as can be hoped.  


I also type this on the eve of the Maltese referendum on Spring Shooting. Commencing our walk knowing there is one less barrier to the European Turtle Dove population’s success would be a huge lift. For both Turtle Doves and for our morale. Fingers crossed the voting Maltese make the correct decision. 
As we endure each day, please think of us and support our efforts and in turn Operation Turtle Dove
You can do so via the following:
Drinking Dove Step ale; available as listed on the BlackBar Brewery website or from Beautiful Beers. 


Perhaps add a Dove Step Twibbon to your social networks?
Most importantly, equal only to raising awareness of the plight of Turtle Doves, please support our fundraising efforts via the JustGiving page.
The support via our JustGiving Page is inspiring and at this stage of our trip humbling. It is gratifying to see the support for our trip and Turtle Doves. We will do our very best to do you proud. 
Amongst the many hugely valued contributors are my old friend Jim who furthered our fundraising efforts whilst drinking a Dove Step ale in the West Midlands.
Equally awesome are Ace Surveyorsskilled ecological surveyors from Bridge of Allan, who have significantly bolstered out fundraising total. Ace Surveyors Managing Director Andy Carrol had the following to say of his company’s support: 

Every now and then, you meet people who are doing great work for conservation or wildlife or both. Then you sometimes meet people who are doing crazy stuff to try and help support a cause or species. One of my most treasured memories as a kid was being taken to Norfolk and seeing and hearing turtle doves, they are awesome birds! 

Unfortunately they are declining at an alarming rate and as they are not a ‘sexy’ flagship species may well be overlooked by people. Two friends (and a few others I suspect!) are embarking on a series of adventures (walking, cycling, kayaking) to try and raise funds for habitat creation (amongst other things). This is the second time they have embarked on such adventures, not for themselves but to try and give one of our iconic farmland birds a bit of a leg up!

Every pound you can spare could make a difference, they have a target (as always in these situations). Here’s your chance to find out more and help them help the turtle dove.’

In fulfilling our desire to raise awareness for Operation Turtle Dove a number of organizations have shared the Dove Step word and we are eternally gratefully to Rare Bird Alert, the Suffolk Ornithological Group and the East Anglian Daily Times.


Everything we have trained, worked and lived for over these last months will be realized from next Saturday, 18th April. Please do follow our progress via this blog and if you are able support our fundraising efforts for Operation Turtle Dove please do so.
The Dove Step team. 

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