Peach Heroes join campaign to save the last frontier of the Maasai Mara
27th February 2014: Twelve Peach Heroes from the award-winning pub company have just returned from the heart of Kenya after joining a campaign to help save the frontiers of the Maasai Mara Reserve, one of the natural wonders of the world.
Peach co-founders Hamish Stoddart and Lee Cash, Peach director Jo Eames and a team of pub managers, chefs and marketeers – together with the company’s butcher and buyer – spent seven unforgettable days and nights sleeping under canvas or the stars in a life-changing experience to plant a forest in a week in a new conservancy project, the Enonkishu Conservancy, on the northern boundary of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
Peach has been fundraising for over six months for the project, using a percentage of the takings from Caesar salads, one of its most popular menu items, and sponsorship collected from a 200 mile round trip of all sixteen of its pubs to collect over £1 million Kenyan Shillings for African wildlife and conservation projects. The group presented a giant cheque to the leaders of the Enonkishu Conservancy in Maasai Mara during the trip.
The Peach Heroes also got to work to plant some 20,000, two inch trees and build a fence around the conservancy, helping to shore up what’s been termed the ‘Last Line of Defence’ for an area of land under growing threat. Peach has always had a close connection to the region, having been involved in sustainability projects in Kenya since the company first started. Peach co-founder Hamish Stoddart also has a strong personal link and love of the country, as he explains.
“This is a personal one for me – I believe in making a difference somehow. I’m passionate about Africa and in particular the Maasai Mara, and whilst we do lots at home to support great projects in food, education and sports, we’ve chosen the Last Line of Defence and the Enonkishu Conservancy to be our focus this year.
“It’s been my dream since we started Peach to do something significant to help this beautiful yet increasingly fragile part of the world, and we’ve been planting trees in Kenya for over ten years now. But, with changes in the environment and land use accelerating, it was time to take real action to preserve the last great land migration in the world.
“So we took on a really big task, with a team of us going to Kenya to plant a forest in a week and I’m really proud that we’ve been able to do it,” he says. “Being in business is not all about making money. It’s also about educating and inspiring people, be it our employees or our guests, to live life in a better and more enjoyable way. I hope we’ve done a little bit of all of that, too.”
To get involved or to find out more about the Last Line of Defence and the Enonkishu Conservancy, please go to the Peach Foundation web site, www.peachfoundation.co.uk