top of page

To Switzerland for pangolins

Summer 2019

This ride was my son's idea. His favourite animal is the pangolin (also known as the scaly anteater). There is much to love about these endearing creatures, but in Africa and Asia this boils down (literally) to their taste and supposed medicinal properties. Sadly the eight species (four in Africa and four in Asia) are all vulnerable or endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature because of the pressure of illegal poaching and trafficking. In fact, pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world, with one being taken from the wild every five minutes. Every five minutes!


My son decided to do something about this and in early 2019 he said that he wanted to go on a bike ride to raise money to try to improve the pangolin's plight. After discussing some ideas, he and I hit upon riding to Switzerland. This may seem a bit random, but there is a good reason behind it. We were raising money for WWF, and their international headquarters are in a town called Gland on the shores of Lake Geneva. WWF-UK's office is in Woking in Surrey. So we rode from Woking to Switzerland. Simple.


The route worked out at approximately 710 miles, give or take, and took us two weeks.


If you think that the world is a better place when pangolins can go about their lives in the wild, contributing to the natural balance of their local ecosystems, rather than being eaten and used in mumbo-jumbo medicine until there are none of the eight species left, please support WWF in its fight against the highly organised and illegal international wildlife trade. You can find more information here on the WWF website.

This ride raised nearly £10,000 and we thought we couldn't stop there when we were so close. So, in the early winter of 2019 we planned an extra day of riding to see if we could encourage people to dig a bit deeper into their pockets and get us over the £10,000 line. My son and I pedalled from our home to Bath - a distance of 108 miles. It was a long day, starting in the dark at 6.30am and ending in the dark and a rainstorm at Bath railway station just under 12 hours later. With more coverage on local radio and supportive Tweets from the WWF team we generated enough interest to bring in more sponsorship and we raised just a smidge over £10,000 to help the pangolins.

Read an account on the Cycling UK website.

Izaak map copy2.jpg
bottom of page