About Charles Darwin Reserve


Land uses over time
The Darwin connection

The Darwin connection

Chris Darwin

Late in his life, the great naturalist Charles Darwin wrote; 'I feel no remorse from having committed any great sin, but have often and often regretted that I have not done more direct good to my fellow creatures'. This poignant quote from my great-great-grandfather inspired me to use my inheritance from him to rectify this omission in his life.

My wife, Jacqui and I began by researching how our 'fellow creatures' were faring. We were horrified by what we discovered. Did you know that we are plunging into a 'mass extinction spasm' - a short period in Earth's history (normally less than a few thousand years) when more than 65 per cent of all species become extinct?

The fossil record shows that there have been at least five mass extinction spasms. These catastrophes occur due to massive habitat changes. The meteorite that slammed into the planet during the Cretaceous caused one such event and wiped out the dinosaurs.

Professor E O Wilson, one of the most respected biodiversity experts, estimates that we are losing between two per cent and six per cent of the planet's species every ten years. The cause is massive habitat destruction from land clearance. If these figures are right, well before the next millennium party begins, over 65 per cent of the Earth's species will be long gone.


Jac and I decided to use Charles Darwin's money to try and slow this terrible decline. The best solution seemed to be to buy high conservation value land before it, and its inhabitants, were destroyed. We found what we were looking for when Bush Heritage discovered Whitewells Station.

Jacqui and I believe that if Charles Darwin was here today, he would be delighted that his money was being used to protect this property, which has been named in his honour.

We are convinced that if we do not act now, future generations will look back with dismay at the destruction of the natural world that we presided over. By creating the Charles Darwin Reserve we have all helped to slow Earth's sixth mass extinction spasm, and help to save the animals and plants with which we share this beautiful planet.

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