A school-boy from Poole is planning to cycle 10 miles to raise money to help wildlife affected by the Australian bushfires.
Four-year-old Marley Keen saw coverage of the bushfires that have devastated 12.4 million acres of land in eastern Australia on the news at school and wanted to help.
Speaking to BUzz earlier today, Marley’s dad, Ben, said: “Marley’s very much a kid who loves the natural environment. I think the idea for him of the wildlife out there being affected by the fires really touched his heart.”
A GoFundMe page set up by his mum, Sonja, on Saturday has already surpassed its original fundraising target of £100. It currently stands at £665 from donations by nearly 50 people.
Ben told BUzz Marley is “very, very proud of himself and is really happy with how people have responded.”
He added: “We’re super, super proud parents. The fact he came out with the idea to do it and he wanted to help the wildlife is lovely, he’s a lovely young lad.”
Marley has been busy training for the big day in Wareham Forest over the weekend but has been riding a bike since he was three.
“He really enjoys it but he’s also very good at it. When he turned four we did our longest bike ride at eight miles. So we chose a bike ride but made it a challenge he hasn’t done yet,” Ben said.
Having surpassed the target, Ben told BUzz the proceeds will now be spread 50/50, between the original charity, the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), and a smaller charity.
Ben added: “It’s lovely to support a big charity, but some of these smaller sanctuaries which are also putting in a huge amount of effort and might be forgotten.”
Marley will be embarking on his ride on the 25th of January (weather permitting). Donations can be made here.