DRUSILLAS Park in Alfriston is launching its first ever Virtual Race for Conservation.

This October participants are invited to complete a distance of 2.5k, 5k or 10k to raise money for their conservation Charity of The Year, The Sloth Conservation Foundation (SloCo).

The Sloth Conservation Foundation is a non-profit UK registered charity based in Costa Rica, that aims to protect sloths in the wild through conservation initiatives and scientific research.

Deputy Managing Director, Cassie Poland, said: “We are so excited to be hosting our first ever virtual race.

“We are working in association with England Athletics and Run Britain.

“The race is open to anyone who wants to take part and there are no entry requirements so it doesn’t matter your age or ability, anyone can get involved.

“We were so disappointed to have not been able to host any of our planned fundraising events this year due to coronavirus.

“So, we are really hopeful people will jump on board and take part in this amazing race for sloth conservation.

“Even if you only do the smallest distance you will still be making the biggest difference to sloths in the wild.

“Lots of Drusillas staff are taking part in the run and we hope the public will join us too, in what should be a really fun race for sloth conservation!”

Drusillas Race for Conservation will take place between 5th – 11th October 2020. Participants can choose from distances of 2.5k, 5k or 10k and they have a week to complete their selected distance.

There is no specification for how the race is completed, the distance can be done all in one day or spread out over the course of the week.

Drusillas has designed their race to be inclusive of everyone, so participants can run, walk, cycle, toddle, scoot or wheel their way to the finish line. The race is virtual so it can be completed in any location!

There are only 250 places available and entries will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Anyone who wants to take part should send their name, email address, how they plan to complete the race and their chosen distance to marketing@drusillas.co.uk. An email will be sent out to confirm their space. The deadline for applications is 12pm on Friday 2nd October 2020.

Drusillas Zoo Animal Manager, Mark Kenward, said: “We are so excited about this virtual race! To take part there is a mandatory minimum donation of £5 per person to The Sloth Conservation Foundation, which must be done via our charity page, but we will give details of how to donate to all successful applicants. The sloths will be very grateful if people would like to donate more than £5 too! If you do want to fundraise more money or donate more money, we would be extremely thankful!”

“Sloths are facing the most devastating reality in the wild, so we really want to do what we can to raise funds and support for SloCo.”

Drusillas has been working hand-in-hand with SloCo over the past few months to help them work towards achieving their conservation goals. The foundation was created by Dr Rebecca Cliffe, one of the world’s leading experts in sloths.

SloCo Founder and Director, Dr Rebecca Cliffe said: “Sloth populations are in decline throughout South and Central America as they struggle to adapt to the urbanisation of the rainforest. Saving the world’s slowest mammal from extinction now requires innovative and long-term conservation solutions that target both human and sloth populations.”

“One person at a time, one day at a time, and one project at a time, we all have the ability to make a serious difference that will leave a lasting impact on the world. We are at serious risks of pushing our sloth species to extinction, it is heart-breaking to see the impact we are having on these amazing creatures.”

The Sloth Conservation Foundation has seven primary conservation programs that help to protect sloths in the wild, to read all about these programs please visit www.slothconservation.com

Zoo Animal Manager, Mark Kenward, said: “Sloths need our help now more than ever, so by donating even a little you can help us make a huge difference to the survival rates of sloths in the wild. Let us learn lessons from everything that has been going on globally and use it as motivation to take positive action and save our wildlife before it is too late.”

All participants will receive a virtual certificate, a feature in Drusillas newsletter and a special thank you from The Sloth Conservation Foundation in Costa Rica!