Ryan installing the RFCX Guardian
It was such a great opportunity and honour to showcase our work on the Remembrance Sunday edition of the BBC's CountryFile at home at the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. The program contacted the team through Ken Hames MBE from Alabare, the Charity based in Plymouth, which conducts excellent support work for veterans. They particularly ensure that housing issues and support are given to veterans and their families. Ken Hames MBE, a former Special Air Service Major, TV presenter, expedition leader has been incredibly supportive in signposting veterans into the Secure Forests research and development stages of the Land Management and Wildlife conservation programme.
Joe conducts a safety brief with Ryan before climbing
The aim for our team in the program was to showcase the capability that our veteran community has, and how they can be utilised in the support of both UK and global conservation projects.
During the filming, the Countryfile team met some of the key players such as Ryan, Joe, Ian and myself. We had the opportunity to tell our personal stories and why conservation is so important to us and our families!
From my perspective many years ago, I met an inspirational character Dr. Hugh Milroy OBE, BTh, MA, Ph.D, DCL (h.c.) who is the Chief Executive of Veterans Aid (VA)
Hugh said to me that simply, "what a veteran needs is somewhere to live and a sense of purpose". This has been something that has resonated with me, and is true for all those leaving the Armed Forces.
Conservation of rainforests has always interested me since as part of my military service, I had the opportunity to go to some of the most spectacular and beautiful forests in the world, mostly carrying a "big pack"! This passion and the spirit of adventure that the rainforests provide, are also why the team love what we do!
This love of the Forest and ambition to provide opportunities for veterans and the former "blue light" services, is the essence to the project. There are many highly trained individuals from these communities, that have very specific and useful skills that we want to bring together, in projects both at home and abroad.
Talking with Margherita Taylor the BBC Countryfile presenter, gave us great confidence and encouragement that, we are moving in the right direction. Margherita was extremely impressed by the technology and its capabilities to provide "live and near live" warnings of threats within the Forests and other areas. As part of the program we showed her the RFCX.org Guardian sensor and also demonstrated the Ecometrica platforms, monitoring rainforests 5ooo miles away in Central America.
Richard demonstrating the Guardians functions to Margherita the presenter of Countryfile
The demonstration culminated with Ryan a former Army Commando and Joe a former Royal Marine Commando and amputee, install the Guardian sensor 80ft in the tree canopy.
We feel that the show demonstrated what we can do as a "Force For Good" . Showing that the veterans have incredible skills and talents in the world of conservation. They just need that chance, that sense of purpose!
The Secure Forests Land Management and Wildlife Conservation program will be launching in the spring of 2023. We are working with the Duchy College to provide a skills package that will provide selected veterans who are "ready for work", with a great opportunity to learn new skills and potentially work on some significant rainforest projects around the globe.
Thank you to Margherita, James and Rhys from the BBC Countryfile team and of course Ryan, Joe and Ian Berry.The Mount Edgcumbe Country Park Team.
Special mention to Liz Waugh and Simon Reed from https://www.coastmarcoms.co.uk/ for all your work behind the scenes we really appreciate it!!
Link to the show:
We are taking veterans from:
" National Security to Natural Security".
For more information contact the team at: Tellmemore@secureforests.com
Thanks to: Ian Berry, Tilly, Margherita, Ken, and Richard