Conservation Award Presented by Lady Amelia Windsor at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

SALOME, a leading fashion brand dedicated to promoting ethical and sustainable practices, hosted the Biodiversity Ball at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh on Friday, May 10th. The event was held in aid of the Cross River Gorilla Project (CRGP), with patron Lady Amelia Windsor in attendance.

The Biodiversity Ball brought together a diverse group of individuals, including conservationists, activists, academics, and university students. The main focus of the event was to review the research conducted by students from the volunteer-based group Students Against Species Extinction (SASE). The students, representing three different countries and two continents, presented their findings to CRGP, their current partner charity, through display boards and video presentations.

Special guest Lady Amelia Windsor presented the Golden Gorilla Award for Conservation to Dr. James Stewart and his Mass Communications team at Nicholls State University. Dr. Stewart and his team have been working on a project called “Tale of Two Habitats,” which aims to highlight the similarities between global conservation efforts and open up a global conversation on the topic. Their work has also helped introduce CRGP and their initiatives to the United States, as well as establish a sustainable membership program.

Simon Milne, RBGE Regis Keeper, praised the passion and dedication of the SASE students in their approach to global conservation. “We have a steadfast commitment to fostering tangible positive outcomes for our precious natural world, and that is fueled by huge amounts of passion among our teams,” said Milne.

Students from Newcastle University and the University of Edinburgh collaborated with students from Nicholls State University’s Mass Communication department to explore the challenges faced by CRGP in their mission to save the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla. Their presentations offered potential ways forward in various fields to progress the charity’s current initiatives.

Georgina Lound, a media student from Newcastle University, expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to work with an international team and cross-departmentally within their universities. She believes that the experience has not only enhanced their careers but also deepened their understanding of the complexities and challenges of species extinction and the importance of protecting biodiversity.

The Biodiversity Ball also marked the launch of CRGP’s GROW campaign, created by media students from Newcastle University, which aims to provide sustainable membership options to optimize the charity’s impact and outreach.

The event was attended by notable figures such as Sabrina Barlett and her boyfriend Lachie Stewart, Whitley Award winner for conservation Louis Nkembi, British poet Degna Stone, and CRGP chair John Daniels. The night was sponsored by Summerhall Distillery, and guests were treated to a spectacular view of the Northern Lights from the RBGE.

Sadly, there are less than 300 Cross River Gorillas remaining in the Lebialem Highlands, making them the most critically endangered species of primates in the world. SALOME, a brand ambassador for CRGP since its inception in 2016, remains committed to conservation and the fight against species extinction. SALOME’s founder, Kellie Daniels, is also a member of the board of directors at CRGP and contributes as a communication consultant for the charity. Daniels is also a corporate communications lecturer at Newcastle University and the founder of SASE.

For more information on the event, please contact Event images can be found at

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