Students raise $1000 for falcon trust

A 20-minute sketch of a falcon by Blenheim wildlife artist and Rapaura School parent Nicolas Dillon fetched more than $1000 for the Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust during a Falcon Friday fundraiser at the school.

Mr Dillon, the father of Sophia and Archie Dillon, did the sketch of advocacy falcon Wilson while in his children's class during a visit by the trust in May.

After applying the finishing touches later, Mr Dillon donated the painting to the school to raise money for a falcon sponsorship.

But parting with the painting proved too much for staff and pupils at the school.

Instead, all pupils brought a minimum donation of $4, which raised a total of $1053 for the school to adopt its own falcon, Dash, sponsor a legacy falcon, reared in captivity and to be released in the wild early next year, and keep the painting.

Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust programme manager Sara Kross said the school's fundraising effort was "absolutely fantastic". "It just shows that falcon conservation is well and truly going forward for future generations," she said.

Money raised would go towards the trust's falcon breeding and release programmes.

The trust received the cheque at a special school assembly on Friday, when pupils also sang their We Love Wilson song.