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Michael Benedito raised £4,010.55 from 81 supporters


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Closed 31/08/2018

raised of £3,855 target by 81 supporters

    Weʼve raised £4,010 to save a world renowned collection of rare Stanhopea orchids, with extensive conservation value and scientific interest.

    Londres, Reino Unido
    Funded on Friday, 31st August 2018

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    This crowdfunding campaign is to meet the costs of re-locating one of the world’s largest and botanically rich collections of rare Stanhopea orchids. The aim is to safeguard this vital collection and use it for future conservation, research and educational purposes, thus inspiring the younger generations to be aware of our planet's natural heritage and associated biodiversity.

    Stanhopea is a genus of orchids from Central and South America. They are notorious for producing one of the strongest fragrances known in the plant kingdom. The flowers are also very peculiar: they have an intricate architecture and are born in hanging spikes that grow directly downwards.

    Mr. Dick Hartley and his wife Denise have a great passion for Stanhopeas and began to grow these fascinating orchids in 1965. By 2001 their collection was recognised as the largest of its kind in the UK, thus being granted National Collection Status by the Plant Heritage Council.

    We now know that it is the most comprehensive Stanhopea collection in Europe and having spoken with similar growers in Australia, USA and South America, it is likely that this collection could well achieve a unique status worldwide, due to its size and diversity.

    Over the last 50 years, Mr and Mrs Hartley have developed an intensive hybridisation programme and many of their Stanhopea crosses were made and registered for the very first time ever. Records are further complemented by a spirit collection of preserved flowers. They have also won many awards while exhibiting their blooming orchids in plant fairs and shows across the UK.

    Nowadays, the Stanhopea collection comprises a few thousand specimens that are being cultivated in two large greenhouses which create the tropical environment necessary for these plants to thrive in cultivation.

    Last year, an arrangement was made to re-locate the collection to the Island of Madeira, after failed attempts to find a new suitable place within the UK or mainland Europe. Nobody was able to provide the necessary space needed for a collection of these proportions, as well as the tremendous heating costs involved when running tropical greenhouses in temperate climates.

    Madeira Island is famous for its mild climate which is also suitable for many tropical orchids including Stanhopeas: the plants are able to thrive outdoors without the need of a greenhouse or artificial heating in winter.This ability to grow them in the open air year round is a way to safeguarding the amazing life's achievement of Mr and Mrs Hartley.

    As botanists and professional horticulturists, we have the gift to perpetuate living plant material through time... and a collection like this can easily outlive any of us, provided it receives adequate care.

    In a world where tropical rain forests are consistently cut down and destroyed for the palm oil industry, many plant species need our help to prevent their imminent extinction. They need to be preserved for generations to come and serve of inspiration for a new era of young horticulturists.

    This crowdfunding campaign is to help with the expenses associated with the re-location of the collection. The plants are going to be accommodated in cardboard boxes, which are stored within a 40ft metal container. Then, the container will be driven by land from Stoke-on-Trent to the sea port of Leixões (mainland Portugal). From there, the plants are shipped in a vessel to Madeira Island by sea.The duration of the entire journey is about 7 to 12 days and it is due to happen in October 2018. The breakup of the costs is as follows:

    • Land ransportation in a truck by a professional freight company: 3714.47£ (This includes the rental costs of the 40ft container and sea transportation too).

    • Transit taxes and fees: 119.32£

    • 170 bespoke cardboard boxes (Dimensions: 620x1030x550mm) and packing material: 790.50£

    • Fees/Comission charged by 231.22£

    • Total: 4855.21

    Fortunately, no extra paperwork is necessary to ship living plants within countries of the European Union. If the crowdfunding campaign is successful and exceeds the main target, any extra funds will be used to create a physical structure to hang the baskets, to fit a suitable watering system and to invest in the long term maintenance costs of the collection.

    In the next 2 to 3 years, the aim is to create a space to display the plants, which will be open to the general public year around. This way, everybody can enjoy up close the seductive beauty and experience the powerful fragrance these flowers are capable of emiting.

    Another important objective is to continue the breeding program established by Mr. Dick and Mrs. Denise Hartley, in order to create all the primary crosses within the genus Stanhopea. Meanwhile, the collection will also be the main resource for a PhD study which will cover the entire genus, adding more crucial information about the ecology of these fascinating plants.

    Lastly, all the endangered species will be propagated in a consistent manner, thus securing their conservation and long term survival ex-situ.

    For videos and more information about the collection, please visit the Foxdale Orchids website.

    Thank you for your time and please do help us to spread the word. A personalised guided tour of the collection will be offered to the 10 largest pledges, upon the inauguration of their new exhibit in Madeira Island.

    With kind regards, Michael Benedito

    UPDATE 1:

    Dear all,

    It has been 2 weeks since the beginning of the campaign and we had achieved already 31% of the total amount!

    I also had received a very kind donation of £1000 (£500 from Lady Alexander of Weedon and £500 from Mr. Spencer Ray) which were deposited straight into my bank account.

    The total crowdfunding amount was readjusted to include this very generous donation! To every person who contributed to the campaign financially (also by spreading the word) my huge THANK YOU. I’m very grateful for all the support!

    I will also be doing a short amateur documentary of the stanhopea move in October, as a way to show my appreciation for all the support I’m receiving. Thanks again! Michael.



    • Michael Benedito3 years ago
      Michael Benedito

      Michael Benedito

      3 years ago
      Update from the Page owner

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    • Michael Benedito3 years ago
      Michael Benedito

      Michael Benedito

      3 years ago

      Dear All. We had raised 84% so far and currently under 600£ to reach the full amount! My uttermost gratitude to all those who co-operated by sharing/donating for this cause. I've received a direct donation from Mr Nélio Caldeira to my bank. Also my thanks to the following associates of the Portuguese Orchid Club, who kindly contributed for the total amount of 620€ Ana Maria Sá, Teresa Almada, Miguel Ribeiro, Ina Dias, António Ribeiro, Alice Romeiro, Madalena Pereira, Ana Pereira, Susana Cravo, José Nunes, José Santos e Ana Cabanas.

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    • Michael Benedito3 years ago
      Michael Benedito

      Michael Benedito

      3 years ago

      Dear all, It’s now the third week and the campaign has already reached more than half (56%) which translates to 2163£ raised! I can’t emphasise how grateful I am! Honestly, it is now clear this issue is of great interest and concern to more people than I initially thought. To those of you who approached me with difficulties donating online, you can always transfer the funds directly to my bank account and I will acknowledge you. Please message me at michael(dot)benedito(at)gmail(dot)com for further details. Kindest regards Michael

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    3 years ago

    Michael Benedito started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 8/29/2018 05.33



    • Matthew Fletcher

      Matthew Fletcher

      Aug 29, 2018

      Good luck, would love to visit when you are up and running in Madeira


    • Danilo Slaviero

      Danilo Slaviero

      Aug 27, 2018


    • Catriona and Paul

      Catriona and Paul

      Aug 26, 2018

      Wishing you every success with this amazing venture!


    • David Scherberich

      David Scherberich

      Aug 26, 2018


    • Anonymous


      Aug 24, 2018

      Michael: Annie and I believe in you and your orchids. Thank you and good luck.


    • Margaret Young

      Margaret Young

      Aug 23, 2018

      Best of luck Michael.

    • Rene Stalder

      Rene Stalder

      Aug 22, 2018

      Good luck Michael,this orchid collection will be safe in your hands, i hope to visite your botanical garden in the future.


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    About Crowdfunding
    About the fundraiser
    Michael Benedito

    Michael Benedito

    Londres, Reino Unido

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