It was the moment of truth, time to unveil the Flight of the Swans Expedition to our potential backers and expedition experts. And what a place to launch it, at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
It felt like we were walking in the footsteps of all the great explorers that have gone before us. And as if we needed to feel more inspired, Sir Peter Scott’s diaries from his first expedition to the Arctic Russian Tundra where he studied the Bewick’s swan, were on display.
After months of preparation and planning – and many more spent thinking about it, our expedition was finally becoming a reality.
We had around forty guests made up of trustees, WWT staff, supporters and friends. Potential investors in the expedition came to see what we were all about and we were especially excited to meet the team from the Transglobe Expedition Trust.
Explorer Ann Daniels said:
"It’s a fantastic concept, a great challenge. A lone woman out there, it’s brave, Sacha’s really going to have to dig deep.”
Geoff Hilton, WWT’s Chief Scientist, did an inspiring speech about the importance of the work of WWT both in conservation and exploration and we were able to show a moving personal video from one of our flight partners in Russia as he explained to us, in Russian (with subtitles!) how important our expedition is to him and his country.
Polar Explorer, Pen Haddow, who gave a rousing presentation for our corporate audience, said:
“It’s no longer sensible to rely on a small number of conservation groups to do the heavy lifting that can be done by businesses and brands. They have the big budgets and massive marketing resources.”