Sudbury teenager fundraising to join rainforest conservation project in Peru

Flora Bagnall is fundraising for a conservation trip in the Amazon
Flora Bagnall is fundraising for a conservation trip in the Amazon

A Sudbury teenager is on a fundraising drive to raise money to study conservation techniques in the Amazon.

Flora Bagnall, from Groton Street, will be travelling to Peru in July as part of a five-week project to help carry out research into conservation and sustainability.

The 18-year-old will join a group of volunteers from The British Exploring Society to work with the Crees Foundation at Manu National Park.

Flora is keen to pursue a career as a conservation biologist after she graduates from a zoology course, which she is due to start at Bristol University later this year.

She learnt about the expedition at a conference she attended to find out how to get into the industry.

“I went there for inspiration and I came across this opportunity to go to Peru,” said Flora.

During her research in the rainforest, she will carry out surveys on various species while collecting data to chart declining populations.

“I’m really looking forward to experiencing a totally different environment and seeing all the species of animals and plants,” said Flora.

“I would really like to see a jaguar, but I don’t know if that’s possible because they are so rare now.”

The trip will take Flora away from her creature comforts and will involve sleeping in a hammock at night.

“I like a challenge and I like challenging myself physically,” said Flora, who has battled an eating disorder since the age of 13.

“I have come a long way. And if I can conquer that, I can conquer anything.”

Flora has so far raised half of her £3,000 target to cover the cost of the trip.

She has used her entrepreneurial skills to make door stops and paper weights out of rope, inspired by her passion for sailing.

In May, Flora will take on the Edinburgh Half Marathon, with half the proceeds going towards her trip and half to Anorexia and Bulimia Care, a charity which provided Flora with vital support during her recovery.

On her return from the Amazon, Flora will attend a dinner where she will present her findings to The Royal Geographical Society.