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3 May 2023

Nine-year-old Evie knits for seabirds appeal

Written by Sarah Burnett
A smiling young girl sits on a rocky shore, holding up a stuffed toy puffin in front of her.
Evie Maclean, seabird donor
Inspired by the Trust’s Save Our Seabirds appeal, nine-year-old Evie Maclean from the West Highlands enlisted her school and village to raise funds.

Evie spent several days knitting bags and pom-poms, which she then sold around her school and village to donate to our Save Our Seabirds campaign. Staff across the Trust have been impressed and inspired by her ingenuity in raising money to support the cause.

The threats facing Scotland’s puffins and other seabirds first came to Evie’s attention when she spotted a letter about our charity’s seabirds appeal in the post. ‘Daddy didn’t read the letter at first but then I read it to him,’ explained Evie, who decided not only to take action herself, but also to involve her school and her village.

Having used her knitting wheel to make the colourful pom-poms and bags, she hand-drew posters and spent a Saturday cycling around the village to put them up, advertising her bags at 50p each and pom-poms at 10p each. The next week, she took all her knitted items to school, having enlisted the headteacher to put out an email to parents asking if pupils could donate money. A great response on the day meant that Evie collected £54 to donate to our appeal.

Her father Ewen Maclean said: ‘This is Evie’s first charity fundraising event but she has always been fascinated by animals and birds in particular, and loves making sure the birds in the garden are well fed. We made bird boxes last summer and she is always thrilled to see the blue tits making their homes.

‘She is delighted with the National Trust for Scotland’s appreciation for her hard work and for her determination to get others interested in Scotland’s seabirds and the threats they face.’

Ellie Owen, Senior Seabird Officer at the National Trust for Scotland, added: ‘We were very touched when Evie wrote to us, asking us to please help save the seabirds with the money raised, as well as sending us a puffin picture she had drawn. It truly made our day.

‘Over one million seabirds live in places cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. The challenges facing them are serious, including avian flu, climate change and predators such as rats. That’s why we’re working so hard to protect them in different ways, including monitoring and research into avian flu and taking measures to protect them against the threat of invasive predators or new diseases.

‘Evie has been so inventive in supporting our appeal and helping us to protect our seabirds. We’re so grateful for the efforts she made to raise money and – very importantly – tell other people how they too can help to protect Scotland’s wonderful seabirds.’

“Knowing we have the support of people like Evie gives us all the more motivation to keep working to improve seabird conservation in the special places we care for.”
Ellie Owen
Senior Seabird Officer at the National Trust for Scotland
A woman wearing a red helmet and red floatation jacket stands on a rocky ledge beside a sea inlet. Large rock stacks stand just off shore behind her.

If you’d like to follow Evie’s example and support the National Trust for Scotland’s Save Our Seabirds appeal or find out more about it, please check out our dedicated campaign page.

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