SCHOOLS and businesses across Wirral are being urged to go orange for Orangutans.
The 2014 Go Orange campaign is being run by Chester Zoo this autumn to help save one of the world’s most threatened species from extinction.
The zoo’s Act for Wildlife conservation project needs volunteers from all over the region to organise orange-themed fundraising activities throughout October.
Anyone from schools to individuals, groups of friends, sports teams, social organisations or commercial businesses can take part and just need to think of a zesty way to raise funds.
Although the appeal does not get into full swing until after the school holidays, organisers are keen for teachers and pupils in particular to sign up as early as possible to take part and to put on their thinking caps right now to come up with inventive fundraising ideas.
Schools were key to helping promote last year’s inaugural campaign with many primaries, high schools and colleges organising an array of unusual, fun activities.
The University Academy Birkenhead raised £100 from a sponsored climb on their own orange coloured climbing wall.
Last year’s appeal was a bumper success and raised more than £15,000 to buy camera traps which are now an invaluable aid to conservationists monitoring orangutan behaviour in Borneo.
For the October 2014 appeal Chester Zoo has set itself the goal of raising as much again, but this time the money will be used to help the local community conservation team replant an area where the tree cover has been removed.
This replanting is vital to the future survival of orangutans and other wildlife.
Replanting open areas also helps prevent erosion and silting of this floodplain river system which the local indigenous community depends on as well.
Students from University Academy, Birkenhead, who were among the colleges which supported Go Orange for Orangutans last year.
Chester Zoo development manager, Melanie Cowieson, said: “It might sound like there’s lots of time to go, but with the summer holidays soon upon us, we’re urging schools in particular to start thinking ahead about how they might like to Go Orange for Orangutans when they return for the autumn term.
“While the campaign has a very serious conservation goal, raising money to help it can be so much fun. Last October we found the orange theme really captured people’s imaginations and inspired some great activities.
“People can register and tell us their idea now or simply sign up to pledge their support and let us know nearer the time how they hope to raise funds.”
Anyone who doesn’t have time to undertake an activity can simply make a donation.
To register visit actforwildlife.org.uk/orange. Fundraising ideas and free information packs are available to anyone who registers on the website or by calling 01244 650229.