Team Trust fundraising challenge

Throughout the summer, members of staff from all across the Hawk Conservancy Trust team are coming together for a mega fundraising challenge! From running marathons to taking on Spartan races, our aspiring team be taking on different physical challenges to test their strength, stamina and endurance over the summer months. This monumental effort is all to raise vital funds for our work conserving birds of prey.

Can you help us reach our goal?

Together, our team of challengers are hoping to raise £12,000 to support our work conserving Endangered Lappet-faced Vultures in South Africa. This invaluable funding will help us provide equipment to monitor and protect the trees these birds are nesting in. This includes items such as cameras, solar panels, and fencing that costs approximately £500 per tree.

Between May and October, collectively the team will be travelling 300 kilometres – that’s the equivalent of over seven marathons! This also happens to be the same distance that Dr Campbell Murn – our Head of Conservation, Research and Education – will be trekking on his fieldwork out in Africa this year, working to conserve these birds. This is a fact that is spurring our team on to complete their challenges.

Make a donation on our JustGiving page


Our work with Lappet-faced Vultures
We are working to conserve Endangered Lappet-faced Vulture nests in South Africa!
Africa’s largest vulture faces an unusual threat; elephants have been damaging and pushing over their nesting trees! We’re collecting camera trap footage in Kruger National Park to observe this for the first time so we can understand the reasons for this behaviour. We can then plan how to protect the few remaining trees – every nest is vital, with this species only laying one egg per year.
Find out more about this project

Meet our fundraising team!

Gary Benton

Head of Living Collection

Jurassic Coast Challenge: 100km hike

Gary is no stranger to taking on a physical challenge for bird of prey conservation – in 2016 he ran the London Marathon to raise money for our work! This time around he’s taking on a monumental hike – 100km over two days over the Jurassic coastline.

Denise Coates

Office Administration Manager 

North Downs Ultra Challenge: 25km hike

Newbury 10km: 10km run

Denise really is going to extra mile for our fundraising effort this year! She is partaking in two challenges over the summer to raise funds for our conservation work. She’ll be amassing an impressive distance of 35 kilometres – a fantastic physical feat!

Cedric Robert

National Bird of Prey HospitalManager & Bird Team member

Marathon: 42.2km run

Cedric is well-known at the Trust as a veteran marathon runner, he’s run multiple marathons and took part in the London Marathon in 2023 to raise over £6000 for our Raptor Nest Box Project. He’s back to running more enduring countryside marathons, where the added difficulty of elevation makes this challenge even more difficult.

Jenny Abery

Principal Educator

Climbing more than the height of the Shard: 360m climb

Jenny is taking a different approach while still putting her physical and mental endurance to the test. Having been an avid climber for a few years, she’ll be taking on an elevation challenge, climbing the entire height of the shard (and possibly even higher). This means climbing non-stop for over three hours!

Eloise Trowbridge

Administration and Marketing Assistant

North Downs Ultra Challenge: 25km hike

Alongside her teammates in the Hawk Conservancy Trust office, Eloise will be completing an intense 25km hike across the North Downs. This will be the longest and most strenuous hike Eloise has ever partaken in, so she’s excited to face this new challenge.

Vicky Stacey

Accounts Assistant

North Downs Ultra Challenge: 25km hike

Vicky has the important role at the Trust of making sure all the money fundraised goes to the right place. After the last few years of fundraising efforts from our team, she’s been inspired to get involved! Vicky enjoys playing netball and horse-riding, so is excited to take on this new challenge for the Trust.

Owen Lincoln

Bird Team member

Spartan Race: 5km assault course

Off the back of his incredible 3 Peaks Challenge last year, raising over £14,000 for our work conserving vultures in Asia, Owen is ready to take on a new challenge. This year, alongside Bird Team member James Knight, he’ll be taking on one of the UK’s toughest obstacle courses to run, crawl, climb and push through a 5km sprint.

James Knight

Bird Team member

Spartan Race: 5km assault course

When not working alongside our amazing birds of prey, James is often testing his physical endurance in the water. At just 12 years old, James swum he length of the English Channel for charity! This year James is taking on a new challenge alongside Bird Team member Owen Lincoln where he’ll be taking on one of the UK’s toughest obstacle courses!

Lauren Collins

Marketing and Communications Executive

Tough Mudder: 8km assault course

A self-professed adrenaline junky, Lauren isn’t afraid to get muddy for a good cause! Having previously accomplished a 5km Tough Mudder a few years ago, Lauren is ready to run and jump back in to support the Trust, this time on an even longer assault course.

Ben Cox

Events Coordinator and Bird Team Member

Half Marathon: 21.1km run

Ben has worked at the Trust for over a decade – his passion and enthusiasm for birds of prey is outstanding. So much so, he even jumped out of a plane to raise money for our conservation work in previous years! He’s now taking on a new challenge – lacing up his running shoes to run a countryside trail half marathon alongside Ryan Stephens.

Ryan Stephens

Bird Team member and Registrar

Half Marathon: 21.1km run

In 2022, Ryan Stephens took on his first ever marathon, battling some ill-health to raise over £12000 by running the London Marathon. With that incredible feat under his belt, Ryan is now taking on a countryside trail half marathon that includes the added challenge of elevation gain and adverse trails. He’ll be running alongside Ben Cox.

Louise Cox

Head of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising

Great South Run: 16.1km run

Louise is a reluctant runner, often up before the crack of dawn to hit the pavement. She really enjoys the mental benefits of running, and finds an incredible sense of wellbeing from it. Louise is pushing herself to run her longest run ever at the Great South Run to support this cause.

A whole summer of challenges


Date Activity / Distance Team member
18-19 May Jurassic Coast Challenge – 100km hike Gary Benton
27 May Newbury 10k – 10km Denise Coates
8 June Marathon – 26.2 miles Cedric Robert
6 July Climb the height of the Shard – 360m Jenny Abery
27 July North Downs Ultra Challenge – 25km Denise Coates, Eloise Trowbridge, Vicky Stacey
11 August Spartan Race – 5km Owen Lincoln, James Knight
21 September Tough Mudder – 5 miles Lauren Collins
20 October Great South Run  – 16.1km Louise Cox
2 November Countryside half marathon – 13.1 miles Ben Cox and Ryan Stephens
Help us conserve birds of prey by supporting our Team Trust Fundraising Challenge!
Did you know?
When threatened, vultures sometimes vomit. This is used to lighten their body weight for an easier getaway.
©2024 Hawk Conservancy Trust