Never Give Up

Turtle Dove by Mohamed Al Mazrouei

Today is the start of recovery and a chance to reflect on the last 14 days. We will do that collectively and drop a few posts on here in due course.
Until then a huge thank you to the Dove Step 2 supporters for tipping our fundraising over-target. As a team and across four events in four years the Dove Steppers have now raised over £7.5k for the RSPB and Operation Turtle Dove.
Across the two Dove Step journeys this year and last, in 27 days of output, we have covered well over 1000 miles. That’s 1000 miles of self propulsion and concerted endurance for Turtle Doves.
This figure doesn’t allow for the many more miles of training walks, rides and paddles which must cumulate into a despicable total! 
My first reflection is more of a statement! But a vital one; ‘Never Give Up‘. Usefully this is the Dove Step moto and emblazoned on our artwork by Dove Step artist Gyr Crakes. This is great although it makes it impossible to stop even if your whole body is screaming for you to do so! 
Throughout the first eight days of kayaking and cycling the daily effort was considerable. Pushing through waves and currents at sea then posting daily mileages well over 100 miles on land!
The walking leg added another dimension to the endurance; pain. This year’s journey has been largely on roadside tarmac and cycle paths. This has an incredible abrasive effect if you are walking marathon distances with average times at the ten hour mark!
Even Sir Rob ‘ever ready mountain goat‘ and ‘master of the miles‘ when it comes to walking suffered blistering, muscle pain and fatigue. 
I suffered the first couple of days as my muscles struggled to adjust from the huge cycling output to huge walking output! Then for the last few walking days I suffered because of how far we’d pushed it in the first few days! 
Still, we never gave up. Nor will we give up on Turtle Doves. Whilst there is a wealth of species very worthy of our attention and an equal number of campaigns; we like Turtle Doves
I feel this is a good reason to do our utmost for a species. Turtle Doves also have the advantage of been indicative of our ailing farmland birds, migratory birds on the Afro-European flyway and those wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed they are subject to almost all the conservation issues at large; habitat destruction, changes in agriculture, legal and illegal shooting and changes on the wintering grounds. 
Last year our fundraising was used to install 9ha of Turtle Dove friendly habitat in the eastern region. I will catch up with Operation Turtle Dove this week and establish how best these years funds may be used. One thing for sure is that the more we can offer the more that can be done! So hopefully the generousity of Dove Step 2 supporters will allow for more on the ground change.
With thanks for following, reading, donationing and supporting and remember:
Never Give Up! 


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