A team of bankers in Milton Keynes flew to the rescue when bird defenders at the RSPB needed money to pluck some rare eggs to safety.
Lloyds Bank’s Wholesale Banking & Markets, in Silbury Boulevard, arranged £15,000 for an emergency rescue operation organised by the RSPB, which has its headquarters in Sandy, Bedfordshire.
The charity, which has been a Lloyds Bank customer for more than 40 years, needed to charter a helicopter at short notice to transport three spoon-billed sandpiper eggs to safety in Chukotka, which is situated in a remote tundra on the easternmost edge of Russia.
The spoon-billed sandpiper is one of the most endangered species in the world.
The funding was organised at short notice in conjunction with RSPB’s local branch in Biggleswade.
Spoon-billed sandpipers are tiny wading birds with a uniquely-shaped beak. Research suggests that there are as few as 100 breeding pairs in the world. Scientists predict the species could be extinct within a decade.
Following the rescue operation, the now hatched chicks are residents at a specialist breeding centre at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge.
The RSPB is now working with its partners to help tackle the problems facing spoon-billed sandpipers on their breeding and wintering grounds; once this has been done, the offspring of the captive birds can be released back into the wild.
Steve Hemingway, at Lloyds Bank’s Wholesale Banking & Markets team in Milton Keynes, said: “We were extremely happy to be able to provide the RSPB with this unusual funding request within a tight timeframe. There is a real feel-good factor amongst the local team who work with the RSPB; especially on this occasion, as our funding facilitated a successful outcome for such a worthwhile cause.”
Conor Jameson at the RSPB added: “The help and support that we received from the Lloyds Bank team in what was undoubtedly an unusual situation, was faultless. The team provided us with the emergency funds at such short notice and outside of working hours – they fully recognise the financial support that charities need and for that we are extremely grateful. The operation was a success and the chicks have now grown into full-feathered young birds.”
Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets, part of the Wholesale division at Lloyds Banking Group, provides comprehensive financial services to businesses, from those with over £15 million annual turnover to those with turnover in the billions. It has over 26,000 corporate clients, ranging from privately-owned firms to FTSE 100 PLCs, multinational corporations and financial institutions.