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‘Gatwick Goes Wild’ celebrates local wildlife with series of events

Jointly organised by both the airport and the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership, the project will offer a programme of events for all ages to explore the wild spaces and nature found on the airport’s doorstep.

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London Gatwick has today announced a new week-long series of events to bring staff and nearby residents closer to the airport’s local wildlife.

The ‘Gatwick Goes Wild’ project has been jointly organised by both the airport and the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership, and will offer a programme of events for all ages to explore the wild spaces and nature found on the airport’s doorstep.

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Planned events include a walk along the River Mole to learn about the plants and animals living in and alongside it, as well as an evening stroll to enjoy the fascinating sight of bat colonies emerging at sunset. Gatwick will also host a ‘Mammal Detectives’ session, offering an opportunity to track some of the larger mammals living nearby as well as meeting smaller mammals, such as harvest mice and bank voles.

A similar week of wildlife events was organised for Gatwick staff and the public in June last year, and its popularity inspired the airport to offer the events again this year.

The sessions will be led by staff from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Surrey Bat Group as well as Gatwick Airport’s Biodiversity Consultant, Rachel Bicker. Rachel, who has a BSc in Zoology and a Masters in Biological Sciences Research, also used to be a volunteer and contractor with the Sussex Wildlife Trust and has even appeared on the BBC’s One Show in her current role at the airport.

‘Gatwick Goes Wild’ will run from Monday 28 May to Saturday 2 June. Spaces for each event will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and all children must be accompanied by an adult. To book a space on any of the sessions, please email: community@gatwickairport.com

Gatwick Airport’s Biodiversity Consultant, Rachel Bicker, said:

“With many species declining across the country, there’s never been a more important time to get out there and engage with wildlife, and from grass snakes to rare long-horned bees, there’s lots of intriguing wildlife to be discovered at Gatwick.

“The airport invests significant resources into protecting and maintaining its environment, and we’re keen to give our local community an insight into how we look after the range of species living on the doorstep of one of Europe’s busiest airports.”

Full programme of events:

Monday 28 May – Wildlife along the River Mole, 10:45am – 1pm
Learn about the species of plants and animals along the River Mole at Gatwick.

Tuesday 29 May – Family Bushcraft and Woodland Adventure, 10:15am – 2:30pm
A series of wildlife-related activities for children and their adults!

Wednesday 30 May – Wildflowers and their Pollinators, 12:45pm – 2pm
Join us on a walk from the South Terminal and learn about the important insects which pollinate our plants.

Thursday 31 May – Butterfly Ball and Grasshopper’s Feast, 11am – 1pm
To the Butterfly Ball and the Grasshoppers Feast. All are invited, both insect and beast!

Friday 1 June – River Mole Bat Walk, 8:45pm – 11pm
Witness bats at sunset emerging from the roof of an old farmhouse and listen to them on a bat detector.

Saturday 2 June – Mammal Detectives, 10:15am – 2:30pm
Meet some of Gatwick’s mammals and learn all about how we find them.

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British Airways Run Gatwick gets another huge boost as Colin Jackson announces his support

Legendary British athlete Colin Jackson will be attending the event on Sunday 13th May 2018

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The organisers of British Airways Run Gatwick have announced that legendary British athlete Colin Jackson will be attending the event on Sunday 13th May 2018.

The Welsh former sprinting and hurdling athlete, who during his career became a world champion, Commonwealth champion, Olympic silver medallist and world record holder, will be showing his support for runners at the very first British Airways Run Gatwick whilst acting as an ambassador for Flying Start, the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief.

Colin is now an immensely popular face in the world of broadcasting, covering all major sporting events for the BBC, and his presence at British Airways Run Gatwick next month will be of great motivation to the thousands of runners set to take on the International Half Marathon, 5K, Corporate 5K and Family Run.

This exciting new event takes place on fully-closed routes through the parks, towns and beautiful West Sussex countryside around Gatwick Airport, with a first-class event village at Crawley’s Southgate Park. The choice of four race distances means that runners of all ages and abilities are being encouraged to get active and enjoy the experience of a big sporting event, and the whole day is expected to be an inspirational day of sport and achievement.

British Airways Flying Start is the National Charity Partner for British Airways Run Gatwick. 100% of the money raised by Flying Start goes directly to Comic Relief, enabling British Airways to help give children in the communities it flies to the chance of a brighter future. So far the charity has raised almost £18 million.

Colin Jackson has always worked closely with Sport Relief and in promoting confidence and activity through sport, making him the perfect ambassador for Flying Start. It is hoped that with his support, many runners will be inspired to #RunGatwick for Flying Start and help to transform thousands of children’s lives in the UK and in some of the poorest countries in the world.

Anyone wishing to run and raise money for Flying Start should email info@rungatwick.com directly. Full information on running for charity is available at www.rungatwick.com/charities-2018/

Race Director Dave Kelly added, “We are thrilled to announce that Colin Jackson will be joining us at the inaugural British Airways Run Gatwick next month. His incredible running achievements and current broadcasting roles make him an inspiring role model for runners of all ages, and we hope that many runners will be encouraged to run at our highly anticipated event this May. For many people, running at such a high-profile event is an ideal opportunity to raise money for a good cause, and Flying Start is an extremely worthy charity reaching out to children all over the world. Places are still available for British Airways Run Gatwick and we are very much looking forward to welcoming runners of all abilities to this exciting new road race next month!”

British Airways Flying Start is the National Charity Partner for British Airways Run Gatwick. The Local Charity Partners for the 2018 event are Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, Carers Support, Neurokinex Kids, Crawley Open House and St Catherine’s Hospice.

The 2018 British Airways Run Gatwick takes place on Sunday 13th May and entries are open to all races. Entry costs £36 for the International Half Marathon and £25 for the 5K or Corporate 5K. The Ambra Corporate VIP Area is available for an additional £12 per person. Entry to the Family Run costs £12 for children aged 4-15 years, and £1 for accompanying adults.

Go to www.rungatwick.com for further details and to sign up.

You can also like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/rungatwick and follow @rungatwick #rungatwick on Twitter for all the latest news.

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