Saturday, 16 January 2010

New Species found in Borneo -Saturday 16th January 2010

There's a story on the BBC website about scientists finding a new species of bird in Borneo. The spectacled flowerpecker, a small, wren-sized, grey bird was found by scientists working in Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah, Malaysia, last summer. Raleigh helped improve infrastructure in this area for many years. 

Discoveries like this show just how important preserving areas of woodland can be. As part of its current environmental work in Borneo Raleigh is improving access to Imbak Caynon where scientists have found up to three new species a day. 

To find out more on the flowerpecker go to:

Friday, 15 January 2010

Welcome to Field Base

Field base is the hub of all the activity that goes into making a Raleigh Expedition successful. From one large house in Kota Kinabalu a group of eleven people are planning all the supplies, transport, medical plans and communications strategies for the next three months. When the expedition starts a minimum of three people will be in the house at all times in case of emergencies.

So let’s look through the keyhole...

And now to introduce some of the people living in field base: 

Jim Clements is Country Director for Borneo and oversees all the work that Raleigh does. Jim is responsible for setting up all expedition projects,maintaining government connections and sourcing sponsors.

“Mardy” Mac Macarthy is Raleigh’s Country Programme Manager. A permanent member of staff he oversees and organises all the expeditions. Mac is responsible for the safe delivery of all expeditions and training. 

Sarah is deputy Programme Manager she works alongside Mac to plan the programme of the expeditions and support all the groups out in the field. Sarah is a volunteer and this is her second expedition in a row. Proof if any were needed that Raleigh expeditions are fun. 

Also joining Raleigh for the second time in a row are the 3 members of the logs team. Aydan and James were both venturers on Borneo 9 K and have decided to stay on for another three months as volunteer managers. They are joined by Nicki who is spending another three months on the logistics team. The logs team spend lots of their time on the road moving kit to the right people at the right time. The team also supply rations making sure all the venturers and managers have enough to eat.  

Nicki                                                                                       Aydan                 


Yo is Raleigh’s media and host country venturer co-ordinator. Another permanent member of staff she recruits Malaysian participants for expeditions and works to raise the profile of Raleigh in the local press. Born in Borneo Yo is a fountain of local knowledge and also acts as translator when the team are out and about.

Kathryn is a member of the medical team. When the expedition starts one medic will be based in the field office to be on hand in case of emergencies, the rest will be out on projects alongside the teams. Catherine is currently preparing medical kits and making sure all the venturers will be safe when out in the field.

Loli is perhaps the most important person at field base and our resident chief. Cooking two delicious meals a day she keeps the people at field base happy and fat.

Next up is Charlie our expedition photographer

Tom our Finance officer

 And finally me Claire the Communications officer I’ll be updating this blog as well as preparing the official Raleigh magazine and t-shirt.

Next week we are expecting twenty more people when the volunteer manager’s arrive. Fieldbase is going to get very crowded...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Return of Pablo est ta Cat

Expedition 10A Borneo got off to a flying start yesterday with the arrival of the advance expedition team and the return of Pablo est ta Cat. Pablo has played a vital role in the success of previous expeditions, boosting morale, chasing feet and terrorising local rodents.

Missing for two weeks it had been feared he was gone for good, but these fears were confounded when he was spotted outside and returned home.

The advance expedition team is made up of 9 volunteers and 4 permanent members of staff who have now started the mammoth task of organising the expedition. 10A Borneo is made up of 120 Venturers and 30 volunteer managers so there is a lot to do!

Next time find out more about field base and the team who live there.