Trees For Life
Aiming to re-wild the Scottish highlands so it can be enjoyed for future generations, Trees for Life have planted more than a million new trees since their inception. Their Conservation Weeks see volunteers help out with planting as part of the organisation’s main restoration project, the 10,000 acre Dunfreggan forest located near Loch Ness. Meanwhile, Forest Discovery Weeks teach volunteers skills such as plant identification, wildlife tracking and foraging. Each week is led by two experienced guides, and cost £550 per person, including full accommodation. The work can be physically demanding, but it’s incredibly rewarding. Both weeks get booked up quickly, so be sure to reserve a spot well in advance.
Consider this your opportunity to experience a different side of Thailand. Set up as part of the 2004 tsunami relief effort, Andaman Discoveries encourages tourists to uncover the beauty and ruralness of the island, while also supporting indigenous communities and wildlife. The company organises tours of the picturesque Koh Surin National Park, which is home to white sandy beaches and the largest coral reef in Thailand, as well as the native Moken community. Visitors can also travel to the Similan Islands for exotic fish spotting, snorkelling, diving lessons, visits to ethical elephant sanctuaries, jungle sleepouts and island hopping tours. All the proceeds go towards supporting local development and preservation, as well as providing the Moken community with additional income.
The rural Bulungula Lodge is located on South Africa’s beautiful Wild Coast and is owned and managed by the Xhosa community from the nearby Niqleni village. Guests can explore 6km of untouched sandy beaches at Bulungula, where, between July and October, dolphins, exotic birds and fish can all be spotted. The lodge will also organise activities for guests run by the local villagers, including herb gathering, foraging, horse riding, fishing and guided history tours, where your money will go straight to where it’s needed most. Bulungula is also Fair Trade certified and eco-friendly, powered by solar panels and with hot water sourced on site.