Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has provided substantial sponsorship for a major project to highlight the merits of the United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories.
The international businessman and philanthropist has supported Stewart McPherson, the naturalist and explorer, who has, over a three-year period, visited all of the Overseas Territories to film and photograph their wildlife, landscapes and cultural heritage for a three-part BBC documentary series.
Lord Ashcroft has specifically provided the funding to enable Britain’s Treasure Islands, a book that accompanies the documentary series, to be donated free of charge to every secondary school in the UK and the Overseas Territories – that’s 5,350 schools in all.
Lord Ashcroft, who has donated a substantial amount to charitable causes, said: “I am delighted to give my backing to this exciting and worthwhile project which combines two of my great passions – education and travel.
“I congratulate Stewart McPherson on completing this wonderful assignment and I am delighted to play my part in enabling secondary school students to read about the wildlife, landscapes, peoples and cultures of the UK’s Overseas Territories. This book is packed with informative and interesting information, including areas relating to GCSE and A-Level curriculums.”
In the past, Lord Ashcroft has funded several multi-million pound educational projects, with support for ventures both in the UK and abroad. He has also personally visited nearly 150 countries, including several of the UK’s Overseas Territories.
There are 14 British Overseas Territories, and many were former colonies. They are under the sovereignty of the UK but do not form part of the UK itself.
Britain’s Treasure Islands is a beautifully-produced, 700-page, coffee-table book full of colour photographs. It is being published in association with the three-part documentary series of the same name that was shown on BBC4 earlier this year.
Stewart McPherson said: “It’s unfortunate that so few Britons are aware of their country’s overseas heritage. I completed the Britain’s Treasure Islands documentary series and book with the aim or raising awareness on the subject.
“The UK Overseas Territories are an amazing side of the United Kingdom that few know exist. Scattered across all seven seas, the territories comprise an area seven times the size of the British Isles and are home to 350,000 British subjects, as well as lush tropical rainforests, arid deserts, polar ice fields and pristine coral reefs.”
See a short film on Britain’s Treasure Islands, including Lord Ashcroft’s involvement in the project.
The documentary series can be bought on DVD and the book (including a special collectors’ edition) can also be purchased.
Stewart McPherson has produced 42 “mini-documentary” films exploring the territories that can be watched free of charge online.
BRITAIN’S TREASURE ISLANDS – MINI-DOCUMENTARIES
- Introduction Overview of the UK Overseas Territories https://youtu.be/gl9As81DiDE
- Filming the Britain’s Treasure Islands TV documentary series https://youtu.be/W2_yNNE-mCw
- Stewart McPherson’s lecture at the Royal Geographical Society https://youtu.be/xOt93lM2F2I
Mini-documentaries about each of the UK Overseas Territories
- Ascension Island – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/XpLeHUCuY8c
- Saint Helena – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/qIsI6paJYZs
- Tristan da Cunha – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/Fspkfxcrfwc
- Falkland Islands – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/DzOIb4D8SQE
- South Georgia – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/oHZUibDpWuk
- British Antarctic Territory – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/_V88voefIQk
- British Indian Ocean Territory – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/nnDKVZQhCbI
- Pitcairn Islands – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/yJZQyhx13AA
- Bermuda – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/oIxF74vcfzM
- Cayman Islands – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/TrSetBtLAB8
- British Virgin Islands – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/z1lvLLG1Csg
- Montserrat – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/BFnetjV8W2c
- Anguilla – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/Bf3E6pD1nHM
- Turks and Caicos Islands – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/JR_vLHHCO10
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/t4vqTl3EozM
- Gibraltar – wildlife and heritage https://youtu.be/F4ueaYy9TRM
Mini-documentaries about specific subjects on particular UK Overseas Territories
- Ascension Island – natives and aliens https://youtu.be/F0xMAIFgPg4
- Ascension Island – supplying the garrison https://youtu.be/8BUDEUwx0hE
- Saint Helena – wirebird conservation https://youtu.be/dlXg5zrBIlA
- Saint Helena – plant conservation https://youtu.be/bL-pAsNHLdY
- Life on Tristan da Cunha – the World’s Most Remote Inhabited Island https://youtu.be/n4ElF8awm90
- Tristan da Cunha – the Monster Mice of Gough Island https://youtu.be/wT14Q7pZJzo
- Falkland Islands – Jimmy the ex-whaler https://youtu.be/alaCe4LbWyo
- British Indian Ocean Territory – coconut crabs https://youtu.be/JCkNSWz-IDc
- British Indian Ocean Territory – seabirds https://youtu.be/quksfCDxbGE
- British Indian Ocean Territory – underwater https://youtu.be/cTJd_WW_NHI
- Pitcairn Islands – Henderson Island’s wildlife https://youtu.be/6jK3As_VAjc
- Life on Pitcairn Island – home of the descendants of the mutineers from HMS Bounty https://youtu.be/vPZHzfRXzjA
Mini-documentaries about systematic wildlife groups across all of the UK Overseas Territories
- Terrestrial Invertebrates of the UK Overseas Territories https://youtu.be/16AuBMsI_GY
- Amphibians and Reptiles of the UK Overseas Territories https://youtu.be/JrFeLvyJ0Io
- Plants of the UK Overseas Territories https://youtu.be/JimYKMzLaqY
- Mammals of the UK Overseas Territories https://youtu.be/lnthUbLaBFk
- Birds of the UK Overseas Territories https://youtu.be/A0irRRrUbKk
- Marine Life of the UK Overseas Territories https://youtu.be/Bu5TydBKFFo
- Conservation Lessons of the UKOTs https://youtu.be/8VIK87Gd134
- Islands of Evolution https://youtu.be/dP7nFXkOg48
- Overview of the Britain’s Treasure Islands book https://youtu.be/OYgKyuC3xVY
- Shipping 5,000 books to all UK secondary schools COMING SOON
- Overview of Britain’s Treasure Islands TV documentary series https://youtu.be/ynR40R50Unc