You can download the full version of the Born Free Foundation Trustees' Report + Audited Group Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012 here >
It gives me great pleasure to introduce the charity’s Trustees’ Annual Report, which sets out for our supporters and the general public what the Born Free Foundation has achieved in the past twelve months, and our future plans.
It has been another busy year, with many important developments in our charitable work. The economic environment continues to be difficult, so it is particularly encouraging that our income and project expenditure have held up quite well.
The section covering the charity’s Strategy and Plans on pages 4 to 7 highlights how we are delivering our charitable objects and our Chief Executive comments in detail on our projects and key achievements on pages 8 to 17, summarising our animal welfare, conservation and education work.
So far as our Trustees are concerned, we were very sorry to see Dianne Thompson CBE retire from our Board after five years’ valuable service. In her place we were fortunate to appoint Adam Batty, a young lawyer with a background in corporate governance and a lifetime’s interest in wildlife conservation. As a result of Dianne’s departure, Peter Ellis was appointed to replace her as chair of our Finance & General Purposes Committee.
I should like to highlight three particular aspects that for me demonstrate the range and quality of what we do:
- Our work on EU Zoos has been ground-breaking. This year saw the publication of the bulk of the EU Zoo Enquiry country reports and the preparation of our Summary Findings which was presented via an exhibition at the European Parliament in April 2012. This work has received a very positive reception both from the European Commission and from many Members States and holds out the prospect of significant improvements for wild animals in captivity in the EU through enhanced training and capacity-building and the effective enforcement of the EU Zoos Directive and associated national legislation.
- Further progress was made at Ensessakotteh in Ethiopia, a 77-hectare site where, through Born Free Ethiopia and in partnership with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority and Born Free USA we provide rehabilitation and lifetime care for injured and orphan animals as well as animals confiscated from illegal trade. There were a number of new arrivals and we will soon be expanding our education and community activities.
- All our work depends on the quality of our fund raising efforts, particularly in these difficult economic times where many charities are competing for donations. Our Marketing and PR teams show great creativity in generating support, as typified in June 2011 by the memorable Savoy event to celebrate Virginia McKenna’s 80th birthday.
More details of these and other projects will be found on subsequent pages, but of course none of our achievements would have been possible without our loyal and generous members and adopters and our many Patrons, sponsors and donors.
Finally, I would like to thank our staff, our excellent volunteers and my fellow Trustees for their continuing hard work and dedication. Will Travers and his senior team – Alison Hood (Campaigns Director), Anne Tudor (Marketing Director), Shirley Galligan (PR Director), Simon Allen (Operations Director), Stephen Chandler (Finance Manager) and Jo Wakefield (Office Operations Manager) – provide first class leadership. But we are exceptionally fortunate that we have so many talented long service employees, and that our new recruits have blended in so well.
Chair of Trustees
11th September 2012