In 2018, Chessington World of Adventures Resort reached worldwide with support for charities close to its Zoo’s heart. The Chessington Conservation Fund (CCF), founded by the Resort in 2012, donated over £90k last year to help protect the future of nature and wildlife through conservation work and education worldwide, in the local community and at its Zoo in Surrey.
March 2018, saw Chessington welcome four Amur tigers from Kolmarden Wildlife Park in Sweden. With approx. 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, CCF supported charities protecting the future of these majestic animals, committing over £20k to tiger conservation efforts - specifically to WildCats Conservation Alliance and a project to develop an effective human-tiger conflict resolution strategy in Northeast China, where the Amur tiger is commonly found.
Last year CCF also continued its support for charities it worked with previously, including the World Land Trust, a charity which has funded partner organisations around the world to create reserves and give permanent protection to habitats and wildlife. CCF donated £10k for rangers for its two current land purchases in Ecuador and has recently purchased another two areas of land in Ecuador for £27k as well. These areas of land are home to a range of animal species including the vulnerable orange throat tanager. They also have the highest levels of plant diversity in the world, which is threatened by habitat destruction by mining.
In addition CCF continued to support Dambari Wildlife Trust, based near Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Dambari Wildlife Trust is a non-profit conservation and research organisation which among other works protects the animals and wildlife residing in the Matobo Hills World Heritage Site and the Matopos National Park, including White rhino. CCF donated £31k towards Dambari’s education programme, which runs conservation clubs with five rural secondary schools where pupils are taught how to set up sampling protocols and use them to monitor key organisms, with the ultimate aim to identify local problems (e.g. unsustainable harvesting of resources or human-wildlife conflict) and develop appropriate community-based natural resource conservation interventions.
Chessington’s Zoo Keepers voted in 2018 for CCF to extend support to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation as well – the only not for profit organisation in the world that concentrates solely on the conservation and management of giraffe in the wild throughout Africa. CCF pledged £5K, which went towards increasing the dwindling giraffe population of 35 in Kidepo Valley Nation. In August 2018, 10 giraffes were successfully translocated from Murchison Falls to Kidepo valley by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the Ugandan Wildlife Authority.
CCF also continued its work in the wilds of Surrey, working alongside the Surrey Wild Life Trust, becoming a Gold Member - projects it worked on include hedgerow heroes.
2019 has already seen CCF support various projects too from Coral Gardening, Wildlife Vets International and Limbe Wildlife in Cameroon.
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