David Buckle, retired Chief Executive of South Oxfordshire Council, joined his first Earthwatch expedition in 2005. The expedition saw him travel to Madagascar to monitor the health of lemur populations, a task which required the group to hike through the jungle for 6-7 hours a day, recording the animals’ every move.
“It was really enjoyable, there were eight of us and it was very communal” he recounts. “The jungle was tremendous and we had to monitor what the lemurs were eating and doing, if one did a poo we would have to find it for analysis!”
After returning from the expedition, David had renewed motivation to improve the council’s environmental performance. Under his leadership, the council overhauled the ways it collected waste and trebled its recycling performance to become top in the country.
“I’d always had an interest in wildlife, but I wanted to find a trip where I was actually contributing to something, rather than just looking”