Generous Steamship Group customers have donated a milestone £60,000 to the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust over the past three years.
The grand total, revealed this week, is down to kind-hearted customers making a voluntary donation to the charity’s fundraising efforts when booking travel via www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk
Donations began in April 2019 and have now topped a massive £61,054.
Julian Branscombe, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, said:
“The Wildlife Trust works so hard to keep Scilly special – providing better public access, improving the isles for wildlife and conserving our rich archaeological heritage.
“Our partnership with the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is vital to us, and we know that the focus of our work is what so many visitors to the Isles of Scilly really cherish.
“We couldn’t do all this without support from the travellers who have generously donated when they book Skybus flights or passage on Scillionian III. Thank you very much indeed!”
Stuart Reid, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said:
“We really are delighted to be supporting the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust in this way. Our passengers are attracted to the islands because of their unspoilt beauty, so it’s no wonder they donate so generously to the Wildlife Trust.
“£60,000 is a significant amount of money and it just goes to show how much our customers value the fantastic work the Wildlife Trust does. We are passionate about supporting these unique and beautiful islands in any way we can.”
With the Trust managing all the unenclosed land on most of the islands, land-management is a huge part of its work.
Generous support from customers is invaluable in allowing the Trust to employ its hard-working ranger team, and the Trust’s four-legged workforce – a small herd of Red Ruby Devon Cattle, a native breed well suited to the climate and the island’s rough-grazing.
A typical day for the rangers will start with checking on the cattle, followed by mowing paths, repairing steps, vegetation management to keep wetlands wet or keep coastal heaths free of invasive non-native scrub.
Without this constant work, the many ancient monuments around the coast of the Isles of Scilly would become overgrown and damaged by roots, impenetrable vegetation would prevent access to coastal walks and the many beauty spots, and unique species – such as the Dwarf Pansy, Orange Bird’s-foot, Least Adder’s-tongue Fern and Gilt-edged Lichen – would all die out, rendering them extinct in the UK.
The Steamship Company gives back around £1 million per year to the local community, supporting a huge range of groups, good causes, sporting events, subsidised travel for island residents, medical flights and off-island freight.
Last month the Steamship Group announced it would be supporting for The Island Haven – a charity aiming to provide a place to stay on the mainland for islanders undergoing medical treatment – in the same way.
With more than 200 employees, including engineers, mariners, pilots, front line workers and office staff, the Steamship Group is one of West Cornwall’s biggest employers.
It has been delivering for Scilly for more than 100 years, connecting the islands with the rest of the country. Established by islanders in March 1920, the business has grown into a major air and sea operation, transporting more than 200,000 passengers and 15,000 tonnes of freight a year.