Family’s fun on the river to help charity

A family looking to help protect wildlife on the other side of the world is aiming to make a difference closer to home.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 28 May, 2019, 16:06
Lynette Friend with her sons Rhys and Zak, who are fundraising towards volunteering at the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka.

Lynette Friend, her husband and three sons are joining fellow volunteers at the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka early next year.

Lynette and her sons Rhys and Zak, who will be aged ten and eight at the time, will be volunteering from January 26 to February 8, with her husband and youngest son joining when they can.

The family is aiming to raise £2,500.

And as part of its efforts, it has organised a raft-building fund-raising event on Sunday, from 1pm to 3.30pm, at Morpeth Riverside.

Participants will be challenged to paddle their raft up to Oldgate Bridge.

It is suitable for families and individuals. Children under eight should be accompanied by an adult onto the river.

All equipment, safety briefing, buoyancy aids and helmets will be provided by Lasp Outdoors.

Booking is essential. It costs £12 for children under 12, £15 adults, with a family ticket at £30, plus booking fees.

For more information and booking visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/raft-building-fundraiser-on-river-wansbeck-morpeth-tickets-59299899596For more on the fund-raising visit www.seaturtlefriends.com

The Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project monitors sea turtle activity and protects the local nesting sites as turtles are at threat from human activity, including egg poaching, beach front developments and harm as a consequence of being caught as bycatch.

Lynette said: “We will be involved with night time monitoring of nesting activity, maintenance of hatcheries, beach works and cleans, all of which are crucial to the success of the project.

“In addition, we will be sharing knowledge about the sea turtles with locals and tourists on site, which will educate people to better understand the species and how it performs important roles in our ecosystems.

“As a species that has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, we feel action now is needed to save it, most of which are endangered, from further decline or even loss.

“My two older sons, in particular, are at a very influential age and I feel their hands-on experience with the project will be a real asset to their development.

“They are currently involved with the fund-raising events we have planned and this is allowing them to see the extent of work that is involved with fund-raising, plus the generosity of people within their community.

“Whilst away, the children will play an active role with all aspects of the project and inevitably develop knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the sea turtles, risks affecting them, project delivery and the local community, including experience of other cultures.”