In my 68th. year, I have decided to row Solo from Gran Canaria near the West coast of Africa over 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to St. Lucia in the Caribbean. This is a completely independent unsupported row departing in January 2023.

Only one man in history has ever rowed this route Solo to St. Lucia & that was over 25 years ago. (There may be a good reason for this !!)

This is just an adventure to support the Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust.


I would like to say a big ‘Thank you’ to everyone who has already donated so generously to this great cause.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!
Training to row an Ocean

Being escorted out of Newtown creek into The Solent!

Save the Red Squirrel from Extinction

Rounding The Needles

Supporting the
Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust

Target £100,000

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!


The IOW Red Squirrel Trust an update from Chair Miss Helen Butler, BSc, MBE:

The Trust continues to look for woodland to purchase to help conserve our nationally important population of native red squirrels. The trustees have been touched at the amazing amount of support shown to Simon Howes and his goal of rowing the Atlantic single-handedly to raise funds for The IOW Red Squirrel Trust. We are very grateful to all of the very generous supporters who have contributed to help us get nearer to achieving our goal. Woodland appears to be a very popular buy at present and there is fierce competition for any well-located woods that come on the market, so we need all the help we can get.

Having a base where people can visit the charity and learn about red squirrels is expected of us and we fall short at present. Woodland is ideal for our charitable purposes of conserving the red squirrel and educating the public about red squirrels, their habitat and the flora and fauna they share it with. We have been trying for over 10 years to secure the right woodland at a price we can afford but this appears to be a huge challenge. When suitable woodland does come on the market, it is generally out of our price range. Another option is to buy land next to existing woodland and plant it up with trees. The squirrels could be encouraged to visit a hide on the woodland edge, using feeding stations, so people can see squirrels before the trees have grown.  

If we can secure a woodland (or land), a hide and a small meeting room for educational and scientific use would help us fulfil our charitable aims. Electricity for heating and plugging in microscopes plus making refreshments is a basic requirement and a point to consider when purchasing a property. Planning permission for a holiday unit, such as a shepherd hut, within the woodland could be sought to provide an income, which would help to pay an administrator. The Trust could apply for a Heritage Lottery grant once we have the land but they will not help with the purchase of premises.


The Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust is a small charity focused on the conservation of the UK’s indigenous red squirrels; here on the Isle of Wight and beyond; through increased understanding and awareness of their needs and habits.

Knowledge is power and we aim to put that power firmly in the hands of those who seek to ensure the future of these beautiful creatures, their habitat and the environment. 

Red Squirrels are designated an endangered species and are under constant threat from the destruction of their woodland habitat throughout the British Isles.  This has contributed to the reduction of the number of red squirrels over the years.


The Isle of Wight is a unique stronghold for Red Squirrels in the UK due to having the Solent as a barrier to grey squirrel invasion.  Despite squirrels being surprisingly good swimmers and not being averse to hitching a ride on a log or boat the Solent is a little too wide for even the most determined grey squirrel to swim across and thankfully the same applies for our Island reds!

However, rapidly increasing development of The Island’s green spaces coupled with tree loss due to this development (and the impact of modern farming methods) woodland cover and vital hedges linking woods together have decreased.  This has led to small isolated populations of red squirrels being wiped out in poor seed crop years and these groups will not be replaced if ‘corridors’ of hedges and and areas of woodland are not protected or replaced. 

This means that it is now more crucial than ever to protect the natural habitat of these beautiful, indigenous creatures and their fellow woodland wildlife. 

To this end The Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust is currently focused on raising the funds to secure a substantial area of woodland as a freely accessible safe haven for the red squirrels of The Island and we gratefully welcome all support offered to assist us in reaching this ambitious goal.


The Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust
Charity Number: 1112374


Contact Simon Howes

8 + 5 =