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Cheshire lad sets off on the trip of a lifetime

Last modified: 11 September 2012

Red-eyed tree frog peering through leaf

Tesco and the RSPB ‘Together For Trees’ Rainforest Reporter sets off to the Gola Rainforest National Park.

Gareth Jones, 28, from Alderley Edge, Cheshire, has won the opportunity of a lifetime to embark on an intrepid expedition to the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone this Sunday 9 September through the ‘Together For Trees’ environmental partnership between Tesco and the RSPB.

Gareth was chosen as the ‘Together For Trees’ Rainforest Reporter after a rigorous competition selection process, which saw him win through to a national final in London and claim the fantastic prize.

Tesco and the RSPB announced their partnership earlier this year, to increase awareness of deforestation and raise essential funds to support on-the-ground conservation work. So far more than 160,000 customers have signed up to donate their Tesco green Clubcard points.  Tesco is also donating £75,000 from the sale of special ‘Together For Trees’ bags.

While in Gola, Gareth will be reporting back on the conservation work the RSPB and its partners are carrying out to help protect the rainforest. Teamed with Gola Rainforest staff, Gareth will be helping on community development projects including digging boreholes to provide clean water, as well as carrying out wildlife surveys, building visitor trails, and visiting local school projects.

Ahead of his expedition Gareth said: “I am really excited to head out to the Gola Rainforest National Park on behalf of the ‘Together For Trees’ partnership. To gain first-hand experience by helping with the important conservation work happening in Gola is an amazing opportunity for me. I am really looking forward to visiting the local hospital, schools and villages around the forest, where I’ll be staying to learn more about their unique culture.”

Josh Hardie, Head of Corporate Responsibility for Tesco commented: "Gareth really impressed us with his passion for conservation and the environment and we believe he is the perfect candidate to highlight the fantastic work being carried out in the Gola Rainforest National Park. We are very proud to support the RSPB's important rainforest conservation work through our 'Together For Trees' partnership and look forward to Gareth's blog posts and videos which will give a first-hand account of how our customers are making a difference.”

Jonathan Barnard, the RSPB’s Head of Tropical Forests, said: “It’s fantastic that the Together For Trees partnership is helping us to raise vital funds for rainforests. Not only are rainforests important places for some of the planet’s most vulnerable wildlife, they also provide homes for indigenous people and are huge carbon stores so saving them is vital for so many reasons, including helping to counter climate change.

“I’m really looking forward to accompanying Gareth to Gola and showing him some of the amazing work that we and our partners have been doing out there. I hope that he’s happy to muck in and get his hands dirty!”

Tesco and the RSPB are also working together to reduce the effect of Tesco’s own supply chains on tropical deforestation. Tesco customers can help in many ways, from donating their green Clubcard points, donating Clubcard vouchers, or donating directly to the RSPB. 

To learn more about how to get involved with the partnership and to follow Gareth's blogs, video and images straight from the rainforest, visit www.togetherfortrees.com.

How you can help

We've come together with Tesco to help save rainforests all over the world. But we need your help. You can donate quickly and easily online, and you can donate green Tesco Clubcard points and Tesco Clubcard vouchers to the campaign too.

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