CAN CERAMICS SUPPORT CONSERVATION?
We recently reached a major milestone in our conservation efforts. I’m delighted and proud to report that as a business Hannah Turner has now donated more than £10,000 to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
The funds go to supporting RSPB projects to conserve and protect puffins, an endangered species in the UK. My puffin egg cupwas the first product in my Conservation Collection, with £1 from the sale of every cup going to the RSPB. This was so successful that I extended the Conservation Collection by adding thewall-mounted trio of flying puffins, with £5 from each set going to the charity, and the puffin salt and pepper set, where £1 of the sale price goes to RSPB puffin conservation.
Atlantic puffins are beautiful seabirds who grace the coasts of Britain during breeding season, nesting in burrows on our clifftops. While the “puffin” name relates to their puffed-up appearance, their Latin name is Fratercula Arctica, which depicts them as little monks in friar’s robes. Quite fitting when you think that one of the main breeding grounds is the Farne Islands, close to Lindisfarne in Northumberland.
You can also find these“little friars” at RSPB sites in North Yorkshire, as well as Scotland and Wales. Recently I received some good news from the RSPB about the puffin population in Skomer Island, Wales. A headcount of the “clowns of the sea” in March found 42,513 puffins on and around the island, up from 38,896 in 2022.This is almost a 10% increase in the puffin population on Skomer, which bucks the sad trend of decline observed in the species globally. This is because a puffin’s diet largely consists of sand eels and herring, but warmer seas are causing mismatches between peak populations of these fish and puffin breeding seasons. A lack of food means poor chick growth.
However, Skomer Island is a designated Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) which prohibits trawling, littering, and disturbing wildlife. This has resulted in an abundance of wildlife and the waters around Skomer are said to be some of the most biodiverse in the UK. Coupled with the absence of ground predators on Skomer, this helps give the puffins a fighting chance of raising their chicks.
Following the success of this project, we have signed a new agreement with RSPB. For the next three years, sales of our puffin products will support the charity’s seabird conservation work at Rathlin Nature Reserve in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Your purchases of our puffin handmade ceramics are helping to support vital work like this, but there is long way to go to turn the tide and ensure that puffins are here for many years to come. They remain on the red list and a recent report warned that we could lose them by the end of this century if we don’t step up our efforts soon.
Our work with the RSPB made me think more deeply about being a business with a purpose, especially in terms of the products we create. I can’t use every product we make to support conservation as our margins are too tight. However, we have extended the Conservation Collection wherever possible, to support other endangered animals. Every monkey egg cup and orangutan egg cup sold supports the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife and conservation charity. £1 from the sale of each monkey egg cup supports the foundation’s Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon, while £1 from each orangutan egg cup goes to their work in Borneo. Furthermore, sales of our tiger money box help support Chester Zoo’s “Living with Tigers” project in Nepal.
None of us can change the world all by ourselves, but we have a responsibility to do what we can. The £10,000 already raised by our customers for the RSPB is evidence that lots of little actions can combine to make a difference. Here’s to raising the next £10,000, with your help.