The guest speaker for this year’s Skal UK Summer Garden Party is Paul Gardner, Group Marketing Director for the Mantis Collection of luxury hotels. Paul is a Board Member of the Wilderness Foundation, a conservation charity that is fighting for the protection of wildlife throughout Africa, and he is also working with the survival expert and television personality, Bear Grylls on the global launch of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy.
This event takes place on the evening of the 23rd July at London’s Kensington Close Hotel, starting at 5:30 pm with canapés and a welcome drink. Paul Gardiner will then speak about the plight of the rhino in Africa (The Changing Face of the Rhino) as well as his journey through the travel industry and his exciting new venture with Bear Grylls.
The Wilderness Foundation is affiliated to the UK’s Tusk Trust and both organizations are raising funds to save the African rhino from extinction. South Africa is losing a rhino to poaching every 8 hours and the death rate of these magnificent animals now almost certainly exceeds their birth rate. Their horns are sought after in the Far East, especially China and Vietnam and the Wilderness Foundation is working on a major demand reduction campaign in Vietnam with one of that country’s biggest pop stars, Thu Minh.
Mantis is a family-run and privately-owned collection of five-star properties and it is a recent winner of the coveted title of Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand. It has also been named as the World’s Leading Conservation Company in recognition of its dedication to conservation, restoration and its support for local communities.
In England, Mantis’ properties include the stylish Draycott Manor Hotel in Knightsbridge and the Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham. In Scotland, Mantis is involved with Alladale Wilderness Reserve, located in Sutherland, the heart of the Highlands.
The President of Skal UK, Alison Partridge, says, “Although this is a Summer Garden Party, we all look forward to hearing about the very serious and vitally important work being undertaken in Africa by the Wilderness Foundation and TUSK. There is nothing more precious to us than the earth’s natural resources and the welfare of the communities we visit.”
For more information about Skal and its 2014 Summer Garden Party, visit www.skaluk.org