Pelican partnership takes off, as regal birds nestle under Royal London's wing
11 June 2015
Royal London Group - the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company – has been appointed Pelican Partner by the Royal Parks Foundation, for the next three years. The new partnership, which will run from June 2015 to March 2018, is a first for the Royal Parks Foundation, and designed to help conserve the presence of London’s most regal birds.
As Pelican Partner, Royal London will support the colony’s feeding costs and veterinary care and help preserve their habitat in St James’s Park. During the three-year term, the mutual will also sponsor a programme of wildlife education for Park visitors of all ages. The partnership will also enable the Royal Parks Foundation to install a new visitor information panel and donations box to generate future sustainable income for the colony.
Commenting on the partnership, Emma Hill, Head of Brand & Sponsorship at Royal London, said:
“Given our affinity with these beautiful and majestic birds, we were delighted when the Royal Parks Foundation invited us to support their welfare and promote their amazing legacy. This partnership brings our brand to life more than we could have ever hoped at the outset. The Foundation’s dedication ensures everyone has the opportunity to get close to these spectacular birds and to learn more about their wonderful and quirky behaviours in the heart of London.
“We put a pelican at the heart of our brand because it is a proud and dignified creature, which represents the role of 'provider'. Having served as a heraldic symbol of generosity for centuries, their regal connection aligns with our heritage which began in 1861. We can’t wait to start working with the Royal Parks Foundation, to help keep the magic of St James’s Park’s most loved residents alive for many more people in the years to come.”
Sara Lom, Chief Executive of the Royal Parks Foundation, added:
“Pelicans have a special connection with St James’s Park, stretching back to the reign of Charles II. We are delighted to welcome Royal London who share a similar proud heritage, to be our Pelican Partner. These spectacular birds are stars of the Park and delight visitors from all over the world. Every day the pelicans parade on the lawn of Duck Island Cottage to receive their daily ration of fish. Thanks to Royal London, we will be able to share more of their fascinating natural history with park visitors – the new eye-catching information panel will really enhance the Park experience.”
NOTES TO EDITOR:
2. Five Great White pelican facts (source: Royal Parks Foundation):
- The pelican’s wingspan is second longest of all living birds (after Great Albatrosses) from 226-360cm.
- Adult pelicans have pure white plumage, a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs.
- The beak of the male pelican grows in a long downwards arc, and females have shorter, straighter beaks.
- Male pelicans are bigger than females: males can weigh up to 15kg, and females from 5.4kg to 9kg.
- The St James's Park pelicans' favourite fish are mackerel, herring and whiting.
3. First introduced to St James’s Park, London, in 1664 as a gift from a Russian Ambassador to King Charles II, the pelicans continue to delight the Park’s 16.8m visitors every year. Over the years, more than 40 pelicans have made the lake of St James’s Park their home. Many have been gifts from foreign dignitaries and wildlife organisations. Much loved current residents - Tiffany, Isla, Vaclav and Gargi - have been enjoying the Park for many years, but as this existing colony grows older, new pelicans are vital to maintain the heritage of having pelicans in the Park. Visitors to St. James Park can see the pelicans being fed daily between 2:30pm and 3pm.
4. The Royal Parks Foundation is the charity for London’s eight Royal Parks. Established in 2003, it raises funds to support the magic of the parks for 77m visitors a year to enjoy. It costs more than £30m every year to keep the Royal Parks clean, beautiful and bursting with life. With ever decreasing budgets, support from the wider public and strategic partners is vital. The charity supports a wide variety of projects from wildlife conservation and landscape restoration to community sport and art. The Royal Parks are: Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Green Park, The Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Kensington Gardens, Bushy Park and Richmond Park. More information at: www.SupportTheRoyalParks.org/about
About Royal London
Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with Group funds under management of £86.3bn. Group businesses serve around 5.3m policy holders and employ 2,859 people. (Figures quoted are as at 31 March 2015). The Group is currently moving all of its UK businesses under a new version of the Royal London brand. The Group's independent wrap platform will remain branded Ascentric.
For further information please contact:
Nancy Baynes 0207 506 6508
Clare Bowen 0207 036 8057