Thame pub bosses to bring new life to Kenyan nature reserve

Serena Toh (left) and Evelin Rae from The Thatch in Thame
Serena Toh (left) and Evelin Rae from The Thatch in Thame

Two Thame pub managers are flying to Kenya this week to help protect the Maasai Mara game reserve.

Evelin Rae and her number two at The Thatch, Serena Toh, will join other employees of the pub’s parent company in a week-long effort to plant a forest to the north of the reserve.

The project is being undertaken because thousands of acres of grazing land and forest on the edge of the Mara are being lost every year.

By planting 20,000 new trees and building a fence the group hope to reverse some of the damage done.

Ms Rae said: “I know Serena and I are both ready for the challenge and can’t wait to get on the plane.

“We were both thrilled and honoured to be picked for the trip.”

As well as planting trees, they will be taking part in activities to promote sustainable farming, forestry and tourism in Kenya.

This will include digging fence holes, building a game-viewing platform, ear-tagging and milking cows and catching a catfish in the Mara River and then cooking and eating it.

Ms Rae said: “We know it’s going to be tough and physically hard work, but we’re really ready for the hiking, the planting and all the tasks ahead of us.

“I’ve never been to anywhere like Kenya before so for me personally it’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m all set to go.”

The Thatch has pitched into parent company Peach’s drive to raise money for the project by donating a percentage of takings from dishes on its menus and by doing activities such as sponsored cycle rides. In total around £7,000 has been raised for the project.

You can sponsor them by going to or ordering the pub’s Caesar Salad, 25p of which will go to the fund.