18 August 2016

We’d like to introduce you to Ross Edgley, one of our amazing Act for Wildlife supporters. Ross is an athlete adventurer, chief sports scientist at THE PROTEIN WORKS™ and is considered one of the world’s most travelled fitness experts.

 

As you can probably guess from the title of this blog, this man is going pretty far to help raise awareness and funds for our orangutan conservation work! He tells us more:

“The work Chester Zoo do is amazing. From saving endangered species – the scimitar-horned oryx being a favorite of mine – to combatting deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra; their projects are of profound global importance and every inch of the zoo is run by ‘undercover’ superheroes who work with this admirable, quiet modesty!

“I’m what some people call an athlete adventurer. This means I’ve a tendency to set physical challenges to raise awareness and money for some truly deserving charities and causes. This year began as I ran a marathon (26.2 miles) pulling a 1.4 tonne car for Children with Cancer. I then decided to climb a 20m rope (repeatedly) until I’d climbed the height of Everest (8.848m) for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

“But both of these seem tame compared to my latest stunt. On the 19 July I decided to strap a 50kg Marine backpack to myself and cover 1,000 miles, in a month, barefoot. Why? It was my hope my fitness-based lunacy would raise awareness and funds for Chester Zoo’s Act for Wildlife campaign and its sustainable palm oil project.

“This is because when travelling (eight countries in eight months visiting everywhere from the Brazilian rainforest to Bangladesh) I became painfully aware of the mass-scale unsustainable farming taking place and the need for ethical agriculture. Fast forward a few years and returning home I became part of the founding team at THE PROTEIN WORKS™ (Europe’s fastest growing nutrition brand) and as a team we identified the expanding unsustainable palm oil industry as one of the biggest threats facing regions in Borneo and Sumatra and the species that inhabit it.

“This is because palm oil is used in around 50% of packaged supermarket products. For us at THE PROTEIN WORKS™ this includes our vegan protein snacks, which is why as well as solely using palm oil suppliers who are Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified, we decided to take it one step further. That’s when my 1,000 mile marine month was created to show our commitment to supporting the market transformation to a fully sustainable palm oil supply, to help reduce the industries impact on the environment and to help protect beautiful wildlife like orangutans.

“The weather has been kind with mainly blue skies and green grass. The terrain has been a little less forgiving as you’ll see from the newly hardened soles of my feet and a missing toenail on my right foot.

Ouch! That looks painful…

“But the highlight has to be running around the zoo among the animals with my backpack. Having a rhino, giraffe and few orangutans as my training partners for the evening was a workout I’ll never forget and I want to say a big thank you to the entire Chester Zoo team for making it possible.

 

“With a few days left I’m now in the home straight and need a sprint finish to complete the 1,000 miles at the Bear Grylls Survival Race. Once I do, there will be time for some mini celebrations, all before I embark on my next adventure…”

To follow Ross’s 1,000 Mile Marine Month and support his challenge, visit his Just Giving page, here or follow him on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.