As a company with its beliefs founded upon the welfare of birds and the well-being of the environment, it goes without saying that we care passionately about the world, its wild places and its wildlife. We do our best to operate all of our tours in an environmentally responsible manner - not just by our behaviour and actions in the field, but by utilising conservation-minded local agents as well as local services such as guides, eco-lodges and local produce in the places we visit. Our Sustainable Tourism Manager is Brian Small.
It's an inescapable fact that air travel is a major cause of global warming. We take the issues of climate care seriously, and encourage all our travellers to negate their share of the damaging CO2 emissions created by their flights by making a donation in proportion to the length of their journey. Unlike some companies however this is not mandatory as we prefer to give you the freedom to make a personal decision how much to give, and whom to give it to. We will be more than happy to suggest appropriate organisations.
Many of our tours take place in countries where the whole idea of conservation is in its infancy and we must take care to be seen to act responsibly, especially by local people. We do our utmost to minimise disturbance to the birds and wildlife that we take groups to see.
We believe not enough emphasis is placed upon the positive aspects of eco-tourism, which can far outweigh the negatives as long as care is taken to minimise our impact. Tourism has a vital role to play in supporting local peoples, as well as fostering an enlightened attitude towards wildlife and the environment. Indeed, tourism can be a major factor in saving an area from harm or destruction caused by damaging industrial or agricultural practices, poaching and forest clearance. In the same way, we believe that our tours to countries such as Iceland and Cyprus - where we are vehemently opposed to whaling and the slaughter of wild birds respectively - serve to promote the cause of conservation such that these practices may eventually be stopped.
Our Commitment to Conservation
- We actively support conservation through sponsorship and donation, as well as through our actions, our advertising in wildlife magazines and our support for important fund-raising events such as the British Birdwatching Fair right down to recycling our household and office waste.
- Our restyled slim-line brochure is also much greener - representing a saving of well in excess of 500,000 pages per year as well as saving energy, using less trees and significantly reducing waste, too. Our brochure is printed on Regency or similar FSC accredited paper, providing assurance that this paper is manufactured from material sourced from forests certified according to strict environmental, social and economical standards. It is printed using vegetable oil-based inks from renewable sources, and the cover section is laminated using Eco-print laminate which is sustainable, compostable and recyclable.
- Many of our leaders have a background of working for conservation bodies such as RSPB, BirdLife International and English Nature, as well as various county wildlife trusts. By employing skilled local guides and utilizing eco-friendly lodges on many of our tours - in Bulgaria, Hungary, Gambia, Sri Lanka, India, Costa Rica and Brazil to name but a few - we help to support local economies and demonstrate the importance and value of the natural world, as well as to encourage conservation in developing countries where it matters most.
- Many of our business partners are active in conservation at home. For instance, our Hungarian partner Sakertour has been supporting owl conservation through the funding of a nest box project in the Carpathian region for more than a decade now, as well as working closely with the Hortobagy Environmental Association. In Ghana, our ground agents have established a fund - PECK (Picathartes Education and Conservation for Knowledge Fund) - to help protect the breeding site of the endangered Yellow-headed Picathartes, and to help local children in the surrounding communities with their education.
- Simply by taking a flight to our destination, we are contributing towards greenhouse gases and climate change. Many of our customers contribute towards 'carbon offset' schemes designed to mitigate the effects of global warming and we are doing our bit in respect of our leader's flights, setting aside £5 per leader for all short-haul tours and £15 per leader for long-haul tours. Our offset contributions will be used to support worthwhile conservation projects such as those designed and managed by the World Land Trust and other conservation charities.
- The British Birdwatching Fair - the world's largest annual gathering of birdwatching enthusiasts - is a major fund-raiser for conservation, having contributed in excess of one million pounds to selected areas of worldwide ornithological importance identified by BirdLife International. Over the years, our financial support for this event has included help for projects in Morocco, Ecuador, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, Sumatra, Cuba, Peru and Thailand as well as for globally threatened seabirds, BirdLife's Preventing Extinctions Programme, Ethiopia's endemic birds and BirdLife's Flyways Programme - including (in 2012) raising funds to support conservation action in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
- Landfill site operators pay tax when they bury waste - and some of that tax is made available to conservation charities like the RSPB, through the Landfill Communities Fund. Last Christmas, we made a donation in support of The Nature Trust (Sandy), the money sent being equivalent to the amount of cash saved by sending Limosa's overseas customers and suppliers as well as our UK business partners an e-card for Christmas, rather than mailing them a traditional greetings card. For every £1 given to The Nature Trust (Sandy), the RSPB may receive 10 times that amount from funding made available through the Trust.
- Other donations and support we have given over the years include RSPB, BirdLife International's Threatened Birds Programme and the Eastern Cuba project, British Trust for Ornithology, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Oriental Bird Club (Green-billed Coucal project, Sri Lanka and Sociable Lapwings, India), Kartong Bird Observatory (Gambia), REGUA (Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu, Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest), SOVS (Spolocnost pre ochranu vtactva na Slovensku) in Slovakia, Sociedad Española de Ornitologia (Spanish Steppes project), and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
- We are Corporate Sponsors of the African Bird Club, the Neotropical Bird Club and the Oriental Bird Club, the funds so raised being directly channelled into international conservation and research.