Plymouth University graduate competes for Christmas number one

An enterprising graduate who runs his own sustainable clothing company has turned his talents to music in a bid to beat the X-Factor singers to the Christmas number one this Christmas.

Using his eco connections, former Plymouth University Business student, Rob Drake-Knight, has teamed up with wildlife broadcasters Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham, to raise money for charity.

It forms part of a campaign by Mr Drake-Knight’s eco fashion brand Rapanui, The Badger Trust and a group of charitable organisations and celebrities aiming to raise public support to stop the proposed Badger cull of 2013. The campaign also calls for support for Queen guitarist Brian May’s petition to the government to stop the Badger cull.

All royalties from the single ‘The Present of Life’ will go directly to the Badger Trust, which promotes Badger welfare. Rapanui have also created a limited edition t-shirt for the Badger Trust.

Sir David Attenborough, whose voice features in the single, said: “The government commissioned a scientific study into culling eleven thousand badgers. And the results, of that independent scientific study, were that culling is not a viable policy option."

Chris Packham said: "The battle for the coveted Christmas number one spot is always tough but one we are ready for. It will be difficult going up against the X-Factor but we'll give it a good shot. It would be an amazing achievement.

“85% of our countryside is farmed, and farmers are therefore major custodians of wildlife and sustainability in the UK. Farms are also businesses. It's understandable that a farmer on the verge of bankruptcy might look to drastic measures to reduce their losses, but science shows the cull isn’t the answer. If we supported farmers more and bought their produce, perhaps they'd lend their ear to environmentalists a little more easily. British consumers can help British badgers by supporting British farmers.”

Co-founder of Rapanui, Martin Drake-Knight, said: “At Rapanui science and sustainability is at the core of what we do and sustainability is about science, not emotion. The badger cull is another example of the need for science to lead the way. This Christmas we decided to lend help and in doing so, make the issue more accessible for young people.”

Jeff Hayden, of the Badger Trust, said: “Young people are the future. They will inherit the earth and our responsibilities to it. This charity single and t-shirt collaboration is a great chance for us to bring the conservation of Badgers, plus wildlife conservation in general to a young, energetic audience. That can only be a good thing”

The single is available for download at

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