Nicholas Locke was born in 1960 and schooled in the UK. 'I had distant memories of holidays in Brasil where my family had emigrated in the late 19th century. My great grandfather Hilmar Werner had acquired an estate near Rio de Janeiro and I returned when I was 19 years old to do an apprenticeship with my Uncle,' says Locke. He will be one of the five speakers at the virtual event that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund.
He found paradise under the forested mountains with clear water streams cascading down from bromeliad covered granite domes, so after two years he retuned to the UK to do a technical course in farm management, returning to develop a farm that his father had just inherited.
Rare bird species
The farm prospered and Locke married Raquel, an Argentine woman who loved being in the countryside. With his uncles' early death, Locke administrated his estate and came later to acquire it from relatives. However, the forests called Locke and when a British park ranger came to observe birds in 1996, he also recognized the necessity and potential of a Park. He rediscovered the Rio de Janeiro Antwren, known from a single specimen which brought international focus to the area. International visitors were interested in a long lasting protection status and the NGO Guapiassu Ecological Reserve, aka REGUA, formerly finally started its life in 2001.
Today, we own 7500ha of Atlantic rainforest, plant thousands of trees and employ 35 full time staff, to guarantee long term protection to the Atlantic Rainforest.
Locke and his family employed a Dutchman and his Brazilian wife to develop REGUA and he taught them the ropes before returning to the Netherlands in 2005. Locke and his wife were then invited to administrate the REGUA reserve by its Board of councillors. Today the NGO owns 7500ha of Atlantic rainforest, plants thousands of trees and employes 35 full time staff, to make a much needed conservation success story that essentially guarantees long term protection to the Atlantic Rainforest, the Guapiassu catchment, which is located barely two hours from Rio de Janeiro.
Locke is one of the five speakers during IUCN NL's inspirational online journey around the world on Thursday November 19, from 15.00 to 16.30 CET. Join this online event to discover the unique conservation stories of five passionate nature conservationists.