With a combined age of over 180, Ricky Gervais asks animal lovers to support Hampstead couple ‘Going Bats for Wildlife’ during lockdown.

Longstanding Born Free supporters, Angela and Martin Humphery (age 89 ½ and 90 ½), are taking on a remarkable new challenge during lockdown in a bid to raise vital funds to help shut down wildlife markets across the globe.

The duo are hoping to raise £1million for Born Free, to support our efforts to persuade the World Health Organisation (WHO) to shut down wildlife markets, regarded by many experts as the source of the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Advised to get ‘out and about’ by their GP after Martin’s recent open-heart surgery, the couple saw this as a great opportunity to start fundraising and will complete a daily one hour ‘fast trot’ around a 3km circuit on Hampstead Heath for two months.

Angela said: “We have been avid supporters of Born Free since the charity was established in 1984. When this devastating pandemic – believed to have originated in wildlife markets – struck, we wanted to do whatever we could to stop the horrific trade.

“Stuck in lockdown, we weren’t sure how our fundraising could begin but then, thanks to the inspirational Colonel Sir Tom Moore, it seemed only fitting that we too could push ourselves to the maximum on our daily walks - trying to raise just a fraction of what he did but this time for the beleaguered wildlife on our planet. We know that supporting Born Free’s efforts is one step we, as members of the public, can take to help get wildlife markets shut down for good.

Virginia McKenna OBE, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought home once more the immense risks that commercial wildlife trade and consumption pose to human society. The warning signs have been there for years, but we have failed to learn from past mistakes. We cannot afford to do so again. We are calling on the WHO and other key agencies to work with governments, non-governmental organisations and all stakeholders to secure a safer and healthier future for wildlife and people alike. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful support of people like Angela and Martin and this incredible fundraising task they are undertaking.”

If you would like to support Angela and Martin, you can make a donation through their JustGiving page.


“My friends Martin and Angela, who have a combined age of 181, are doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the fabulous charity, Born Free. Check out the link. Please donate. Stay safe.”




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