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Local club Marathon runner to save North East squirrels

Date 30 Apr 2007

A club runner who competed in the London Marathon last weekend used the opportunity to raise over £800 for endangered red squirrels in the region. Toni Chaplin-Armer, 42, who completed the 26-mile endurance race in 4 hours and 25 minutes, prepared with Quakers Running Club in County Durham. The club is known for the work it does with beginners, and is the only club in the area to have been made a Flora London Marathon Running Club Partner.

Toni said: “I couldn’t have completed the race without the support and motivation of Quakers. Less than two years ago I smoked 40 cigarettes a day and could barely run for a bus. The race itself was unbelievably tough but I am honoured to have taken place in one of the greatest races in the world, the atmosphere was incredible.”

The donation will go towards Save Our Squirrels, a charity run by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the largest single-species conservation project taking place in the UK at present. Toni first became involved with the charity via her role as Operations Manager at Eshott Hall Estate in Eshott, Northumberland. The area is home to 75% of England’s red squirrel population currently under threat from grey squirrels migrating north. The estate runs training courses for local farmers and landowners on how to control the pests, manage their habitats to benefit the red squirrel through carefully planned felling and replanting of forests.††

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