by Kathy James

And now for the suspense…

I now know why those people cry on X-factor and other such programmes. Realising their dream is just moments away and in the hands of a panel whom they’ve had just moments to impress. Standing outside the Natural History Museum in London today (my favourite indoor place might I add) I was overcome with emotion at the idea that I could realise my dream… to go to the rainforest and report back. Although the competition itself, for the RSPB/Tesco collaboration ‘together for trees’ is a recent development, my wanting to broadcast environmental news has been a lifelong ambition and why you see this page in front of you now. The emotion I felt was mixed, to be so close to a dream and not achieve it and also the what if I win excitement. Either way, it has been a fabulous experience of which I am proud to have taken part in and today’s London final was an AMAZING experience; not least because of the people who I met today.

The other finalists were a fantastic bunch and we chatted as we each went downstairs for a grilling from the panel. The panel consisted of Ed Stafford (Explorer and Together for trees representative), Ruth Giradet ( Tesco Corporate Responsibility and Community Director), Adam Vaughan (Editor of the Guardian Environment site) and Dieter Hoffman (RSPB Head of International Country Programmes) – what a dream?! It was billed as a grilling, but I enjoyed every second and wish I had at least twice as long to convey exactly how much I thought I could do this opportunity justice. Twenty minutes is a very short time.

We had one more short task to complete, which was an all-finalist discussion under observation by the panel, before we were treated to the ‘Animal Inside Out Exhibition’ at the Natural History Museum. We scrutinised the insides of squids as the panel, no doubt, sat about scrutinising us. They’d have had a hard job i’d say with such strong candidates in attendance.

Alas, I do not yet know my fate.

There is a startling fact that has kept cropping up as I prepared for this competition… an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is being destoyed every four seconds. That’s the sort of statistic we all hear banded about, but please just think about it as you read this again… an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is being destroyed every four seconds. That is almost incomprehensible to me. Whichever lucky soul gets to go and report from the rainforest on behalf of together for trees is going to have a huge impact on public awareness of the rainforests’ plight and this is fantastic news and makes it a very worthwhile expedition in my eyes.

Thanks for reading,

Kathy x

4 responses

  1. antiquityandadventures

    i sincerely hope you win

    May 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    • Thank you! Me too. I will of course let you know as soon as I do…

      May 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

  2. Hi Kathy – hope the suspense is over now!

    It was great to meet you back on the beach at Cemlyn today. Your identifications of the different terns were wonderfully clear, and we’ve now concluded that the white-headed tern we thought we saw was actually one with its head towards the sun so we couldn’t see the black top! The other bird we discussed wasn’t a dunlin but a knot – we saw it clearly in the Collins when we got back to the car. And yes, the other little bird on the far beach was a ringed (not little ringed) plover.

    We had a terrific day. To watch the terns nesting, swooping overhead with their mouths full of little fish and chattering over their nests on the island, was quite magical. We went on to South Stack to see the choughs and the nesting guillemots, and got wonderful views over the Lleyn. I’ll continue to follow your blog…

    May 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    • Hi Alison,
      It was lovely to meet you too.
      Cemlyn (and South Stack) are magical places so I’m pleased that their magic was working on you yesterday.
      I will keep a look out for those white-headed terns just in case!

      May 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

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