BirdLife Malta holding annual fundraising walk on Sunday

Seven-kilometre route to start and end at Simar Nature Reserve
Participants in last year’s walk. Photos: BirdLife Malta

BirdLife Malta is holding its annual fundraising event for schoolchildren, parents and nature enthusiasts on Sunday, March 3. The event was scheduled to take place on February 25 but had to be postponed due to inclement weather.

The aim of Walk for Nature 2024 is to raise enough funds to purchase a GPS tracker for rehabilitated birds and professional binoculars for events.

Tagging released birds provides insights into migration behaviour and essential scientific data on birds previously shot in Malta. Each tracker costs a minimum of €1,000. The events team also requires new binoculars to enhance the accessibility of birdwatching for participants. These are priced at least €200 each.

Sunday’s route will be approximately 7km long, starting and ending near Simar Nature Reserve in Xemxija. The walk begins at 8.30am at the picnic area outside the nature reserve.

The aim of BirdLife Walk 2024 is to raise enough funds to purchase a GPS tracker for rehabilitated birds and professional binoculars for events.

The circular route will take participants through Pwales Valley, passing from near St Ann Chapel and heading to L-Imbordin hamlet, then on to Miżieb Woodland Public Reserve, Bajda Ridge on the outskirts of the Manikata hamlet, heading to the Manikata aqueduct passing through agricultural fields, back to the pathway through the pine trees of Miżieb, down to the megalithic remains on to a heritage area, and finally down the old Roman Road to Xemxija Bay.

It’s an easy-to-moderate walk, but caution is advised as it could be slippery if wet. Children under eight years must be accompanied by adults. Bicycles and scooters are not recommended.

Each participant will receive a goody bag, while participants raising at least €10 will also get a colouring book; €20 allows a choice between two books, and €30 earns one a wagtail or shearwater pin badge.

The goody bag includes BirdLife’s new LIFE PanPuffinus! comic book created by Daniel Collin, a straw set and a pencil bag sponsored by the environment ministry’s ClimateOn Malta campaign.

The route for Walk for Nature 2024. Map by Victor Falzon

A prize-giving ceremony at the picnic area outside Simar Nature Reserve will include awards for the biggest fundraisers. The first prize sees the winner attending the release of a rehabilitated bird on Comino (child and one adult). The runner-up will participate for free in BirdLife’s annual shearwater boat trips (child and one adult), while the third prize consists of a nest box and a bird identification book.

One can also participate in the event’s social media campaign and win a nest box together with a set for chemical experiments. All one has to do is to produce a creative video on ‘The importance of bird conservation and their habit in Malta’, encouraging donations for conservation. One then has to add the following link: https://birdlifemalta.org/donate, upload it on their Facebook page and tag the BirdLife Malta Facebook account with the hashtag #W4N24. The winner will be determined based on the maximum number of reposts.

In order to participate in the walk, fill in this form. One is also to download a sponsor sheet and take it along with them together with the money collected.

Participation is free for those who raise funds. The event is open to all.

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