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Goals plant trees: playing for fun


A viral video featuring animated football playing badgers has been restored in support of Football for Forests, a non profit dedicated to tackling deforestation through football. 

 

Renowned animator Mr Weebl has released a 20th anniversary edition of Football Badgers to encourage fans to back the cause ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 kick off. 

 

Football for Forests gives football lovers the chance to ‘help their team help the planet’ by donating a sum of their choosing for every goal their team scores. 

 

Fans can go online or download the Football for Forests app to select their team, pledge an amount to donate per goal, then sit back and watch as those goals help to plant trees. 

 

In its start up year, F4F has helped to restore the equivalent of more than 56 football pitches of forest and it hopes that ‘Euro fever’ will draw in more supporters to have an even greater impact. 

 


The inaugural Euro 2004 Football Badgers was based on Mr Weebl’s original Badgers video, which has more than 32 million views on YouTube and was listed as one of the top five internet fads of all time by PC World. 

 

The Euro 2024 edition sees the beloved badgers joined by various rainforest inhabitants in football shirts urging fans to ‘save the forest’. 

 

Bristol based Mr Weebl, whose real name is Jonti Picking, hopes the video will encourage more people to get behind the cause. 

 

‘It is been 20 years since the football badgers’ debut and I wanted to celebrate that milestone by raising awareness of an issue that is very close to my heart,’ said Jonti. ‘The equivalent of 17 football pitches of forest are destroyed every minute – that is shocking.

 

‘Badgers has always had a unique way of reaching people and it makes me happy that on its 20th anniversary it is being used for something really fun and positive.’

 

James Atkins, co-founder of Football for Forests and director of Planet Super League, said: ‘Football Badgers is a classic and we are grateful to Jonti for bringing it back, to help us connect people’s passion for the beautiful game with the urgent need to protect our forests in such a fun and unique way. 

 

‘Football can bring people together like nothing else and we want to harness that incredible community spirit for the greater good. 

 

‘Who knows – maybe doing a good deed could also create some ‘football karma’ and bolster your team’s chances.’ 

 

Football for Forests works with Trillion Trees, a partnership between WWF, BirdLife International and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), to protect and restore forests all over the world. 

 

Work is underway restoring forest in the central Andes of Colombia with Football for Forests and the charity hopes to expand its restoration activities beyond Colombia as support grows. 

 

The Football for Forests app is available on App Store or Google Play. For more information visit https://footballforforests.org/

 

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