Support Dorset rewilding project, Wild Woodbury, through 2022 races

We’re really excited to tell you about a new option we’ll be offering at our races in 2022, to help support a wonderful local project.

We’re always looking for ways to make our events more environmentally conscious, and one area that we’ve been looking at is our finish-line goodies. Some of you have expressed interest in having the choice to not receive a goody bag after your race, and instead contribute towards an environmental project – and this is something that we’d been considering too. We are keen to be able to offer this as an option, and have been researching various schemes that are available.

We know some races do already offer this kind of environmental pledge, to have a tree planted in lieu of a t-shirt for example. However, it was important to us that if we did have an option to opt out of a goody bag, that the contribution would be made to a project that was local and of benefit to Dorset. It’s taken a lot of time to find just the right option, but we’re really proud to be able to announce that we will be supporting Dorset Wildlife Trust in 2022.

Specifically, we will be making contributions to Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Dorset Appeal, which is raising money for a community rewilding project in Bere Regis called Wild Woodbury.

About Wild Woodbury

Here is a bit more information about the project from Dorset Wildlife Trust:

Earlier this year, in an ambitious bid to tackle the ecological and climate crises, Dorset Wildlife Trust acquired 170 hectares (170ha) of land near Bere Regis for a large-scale rewilding project.

We urgently need your help to get to work on this exciting project. Our plan is to rewild 150ha of the site – including 11ha of new woodland and 30ha of new wetland – but we must carry out vital baseline monitoring and feasibility studies first. Rewilding and rewetting the site will help create a wilder Dorset by cleaning water, storing carbon and developing new wildlife habitats – and our aim is to share what we learn with others, making the site a model for future positive change in land use. 

With your help, Wild Woodbury can make history, in Dorset and beyond.

And here is a video to watch to find out more.

There has been a great response to the appeal and the project so far. When the appeal target is met, the Trust will be able to kickstart work on site and will continue to raise funds as plans develop over the coming months and years.

Your options

So, how will this work? Well, when you enter one of our races for 2022, you will be able to tick a box to opt out of your goody bag. At the end of each event, we’ll tot up how many of you have taken this option and make a bulk payment directly to Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Dorset Appeal for the development of Wild Woodbury. It also means that we will only order in enough goody bag stock for those who do still wish to receive it.

One thing that we really want to say is that we know that you do love the goodies we give out at the finish line. And quite rightly too! You’ve worked hard to earn them. There is no pressure at all to opt out of the goodies – we’re simply providing an option so that every runner can decide for themselves. Our goody bags are always sourced from local businesses that we also love to support – we’ve had biscuits, cider, beer, fudge… all from Dorset-based companies. Some races also include a t-shirt or a muff as part of the goodies.

All runners will still get a medal – we think our medals are a big part of White Star Running and we know how much you treasure them. If you really don’t want a medal, we completely understand and you can just tell the team not to give you one. 

Therefore, your options for 2022 will be:

  1. Collect a medal and all your yummy Dorset goodies/t-shirt/muff as usual. We will provide a link to the fundraising project if you want to make a personal contribution, but this is completely optional and is offered for those who may wish to.
  • Tick to opt out of the goodies when you enter the race, but still get your medal. The cost of the goody bag will instead be donated to the Wilder Dorset Appeal. This option must be taken when purchasing a race place, as we will only order the correct number of goodies for each race.

Find out more or contribute to the appeal via: https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/WSRdorsetrewilding

Featured image © James Burland / Dorset Wildlife Trust

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