From the Forest of Dean to the Rainforests of Peru

17 June 2014

Students reach fundraising target of £18,000 to embark on expedition.

A Level students at Gloucestershire College’s Royal Forest of Dean campus have finally reached their fundraising target in order to embark on a once in a lifetime expedition to the Amazon rainforest in June.

The scheme, known as Operation Wallacea is an organisation that focuses on various biological and conservation research programmes in remote locations across the world. The purpose of this particular expedition is to aid with preserving the Amazon, in which the students will be contributing to a research project that monitors key species, which has been running over the last 25 years.

To make the trip possible, the students needed to raise a total of £18,000. They started fundraising over 18 months ago, taking part in various events and initiatives, including a 50 mile sponsored walk, bag packing in local supermarkets, raffles, cake sales and other events for current college students to enjoy. The support from local businesses has also been remarkable; After a presentation to bosses at GlaxoSmithKline in the summer of 2013; the company donated £3000 to the students to aid their trip. Gloucestershire County Council has also made a generous contribution enabling them to reach the necessary target amount and making the expedition a reality

RFD Student, Luke Engel aged 17, said, “I am so excited to be heading to the rainforest, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. People tend to think it’s a holiday that we’re going on, but I can assure you that’s definitely not the case; it is a conservation expedition and we will be supporting an established team with their scientific research. Even though I know it’s going to be extremely challenging and hard work, I can’t wait to go!”

This expedition was available to anyone studying at Gloucestershire College’s Royal Forest of Dean campus and is generally a biannual trip. This type of activity is just one of the many enrichment opportunities available to students at GC to help build their practical skills and knowledge alongside studying for their qualification.

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