Guest blog – Why I am a lifetime member, by Jackie Hunter

Since I was very young (far too many years ago!) I have been fascinated by Nature. I read voraciously because I was a bit of a sickly child and this explains why I read ‘On the Origin of Species’ whilst at school and became fascinated with the Galapagos. It was my dream to go there and when I went, they did not disappoint. From the first day we arrived at San Cristobal, with seabirds soaring above and sealions littering the harbour, we knew this place was special. From there we sailed for seven days upon the Endeavour, first visiting Espanola, then Santa Cruz, Santiago, Genovesa, Fernandina and North Seymour. Espanola was my favourite place although all the Islands we visited were different and amazing in their own way. It was a bit like the first time you meet your future partner – you can remember everything about the occasion. For me it was the cheeky mockingbirds, the blue-footed boobies doing their booby displays (even my non-nature loving husband was incredulous – ‘their feet, they’re so blue!’). Of course the highlight has to be seeing all the different finch species that Darwin had drawn upon to shape his theory of evolution. I wonder now, as we shape our environment, how we seem to be turning nature on his head – adapting nature to our needs rather than adapting ourselves to our environment.

The blue feet of a blue-footed booby © Jonathan Green

Close up of the feet of a blue-footed booby © Jonathan Green

This history of the islands is fascinating and I think that Ecuador has done a fantastic job of stewardship – I am sure that if the islands had been under UK control they would not have fared so well. When we returned home I became a Life Member of the Galapagos Conservation Trust as I believe that the charity plays a key role in helping conservation on the Islands. The wonders of the Galapagos, in the skies, on the ground and in the surrounding sea, continue to inspire me and will do the same for everyone who visits these precious islands. If we don’t protect Galapagos, we aren’t worthy inhabitants of this planet.

If this blog has inspired you to become a life member, then visit our membership page for more information. Gift memberships are also available for friends or family.