Wednesday, 17 April 2024
Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Weeping Willows mark £50,000 pledge for Wildlife Aid Foundation

TWO Weeping Willow trees have been planted by Surrey Freemasons, to mark a £50,000 pledge they have made to the Wildlife Aid Foundation’s re-wilding project near Leatherhead.

Founded by Simon Cowell MBE (known to many for his TV program Wildlife SOS) the Wildlife Aid Foundation grew out of Simon’s overwhelming passion to protect wildlife. During the past 40 years, they have been rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing recovered wild animals, and now deal with more than 20,000 wildlife emergencies every year.

The Foundation has purchased 20 acres of land in Surrey, to create a wildlife corridor with vital habitats. This will include a visitor centre and world-class wildlife hospital, to enable everyone to discover how to protect, support and live alongside the UK’s wildlife.

The project, on the banks of the River Mole in Leatherhead, and just a few minutes’ drive from the M25, is taking shape fast. Three lakes have been created, which are already attracting new wildlife. Thousands of saplings have also been planted, with the Surrey Freemasons Weeping Willow trees now standing guard at the far end of the main lake.

The £50,000 pledge, of which over £30,000 has already been raised, will be used for planting across several acres around the new Willow trees, to create an area of natural beauty which people can enjoy for generations to come.

The project, however, has taken on a greater sense of urgency, as Simon Cowell was diagnosed with lung cancer in June. He is therefore on a mission to raise awareness and complete the centre and surrounding nature reserve, for the benefit of local wildlife, people, and future generations.

Paul Crocket, who is a member of the Surrey Freemason’s Executive team and works for the Masonic Charity Foundation, has been a driving force behind Surrey Freemason’s pledge and support.

He said:

“When I first met Simon, I was completely taken by his absolute resolve to improve the environment, not only locally but across the planet. His dedication to conservation and the promotion and support of our natural habitat is something to behold. That is why, when we talked about the re-wilding project that his charity has embarked upon in Surrey, I knew that it was something which Surrey Freemasons should support.”

Simon Cowell said:

“I am determined that the new Wildlife Aid Centre will forge the way in growing our knowledge, changing our behaviours, and making all of us embrace the responsibility we have towards the wildlife and its habitats with whom we share this world.”

You can read more about Simon’s diagnosis and his mission to complete the project, at: https://www.wildlifeaid.org.uk/simons-last-wish.

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