Michael Carnegie



Conservation News - Progress Update

More information about the conservation work I have been doing can be seen by following the links on the side.


Feb 2021 - £1300 Donated to Chipembere Rhino Foundation


After receiving encouragement from Dr Ian Player and the Wilderness Leadership School I developed a marine wilderness education programme in Cape Town linked to surfing. I was invited by Dr Tony Butt to speak about this work at the Global Wave conference 2011 in Spain and France. In 2012 I began working in the UK during the UK summers as a lifeguard and doing talks to raise awareness for SA conservation. I received an enthusiastic response from UK students wanting to help with conservation in Africa.

Encouraged by Dr Tony Butt and Grant Cleghorn, involved with Patagonia (clothing) I began plans for registering a charity with the objectives of working with students to help conservation in SA and buying land on the coast for conservation. As the poaching crisis (especially rhino) became more serious I felt I would like to help and began talking about this situation in my presentations. I did talks at a number of venues including GWC 2015, the Cornwall College Newquay, Surfstore Africa, Rhodes University, Gone Outdoors (Patagonia) CT, Patagonia Manchester, the Doghouse in St Merryn and Kleinemonde, E Cape.

My application to register a Marine Wilderness charity was unsuccessful. I had stated at the time of fundraising that if the objective of starting an independent charity was not successful money raised would be donated to people doing similar work.

While in E Cape (SA) I visited Amakhala (private game reserve) and met people involved with conservation in the area. I was advised by Dr William Fowlds (wildlife vet) that the best way students could help would be to raise money for anti poaching equipment. I have donated the money raised so far (£1300) to Chipembere, based at Amakhala who work with Dr Fowlds to do rhino conservation in the E Cape on reserves close to the coast.

I plan to work with students to do further talks and fundraising to help SA conservation.

More info:
Painting prints Paintings for wildlife
Amakhala Foundation

Dr Ian Player

Porthcothan 17:50



May - Aug 2018 - Patagonia talk (Manchester) & Charity night (Doghouse)

I was contacted by the Patagonia shop in Manchester and invited to display my art and do presentations at their shop. I did a talk and displayed my art on 31 May and then joined a few NGOs in the shop to engage with the local community on 2 and 3 June to tie in with a festival taking place in their street. In return for free beer and coffee during the talks etc people left donations which Patagonia very generously allowed me to take for my charity.

On 2 August we held a charity night at the Doghouse in St Merryn combined with a lifeguard get-together. I did a presentation. This was followed by a raffle draw. Prizes included the painting, Porthcothan 17:50, prints of this painting as well as the Harlyn Painting, a bodysurfing hand gun generously donated by The Pitt Surf Shop in St Merryn and two back packs generously donated by Patagonia, Manchester.

Food was provided at a barbecue in the courtyard.

The night was well attended by lifeguards and locals and a great success.

Altogether £1 200 raised by sale of prints, raffle, Patagonia donation, and other donations.

Nov 2017 - March 2018 - Art, conservation and education in SA

9 Mile Project - Strandfontein

Outer Kom - Cape clawless otters

Presentation at Gone Outdoors - Cape Town

At the beginning of Nov 2017 I returned to SA. I had a meeting in Cape Town with Grant Cleghorn, the owner of the Gone Outdoor shop representing Patagonia in South Africa goneoutdoor.com

Grant was interested in helping me take my conservation work further. Gone Outdoor have been supporting the 9 Mile Project, a youth and community development programme which uses surfing as a platform to impact and transform at-risk youth in coastal communities. 9milesproject.org

Grant put me in touch with the 9 mile team. I did a basic kelp outdoor lesson at the beach and a kelp painting lesson at the 9mile base at Strandfontein. All went very well and we plan further lessons when I return from UK at the end of Oct 2018.

I did a painting of the Outer Kom with Cape clawless otters which has gone down well with Kommetjie locals. The plan is to sell prints of this painting to raise money for the Marine Wilderness Charity. Grant Cleghorn (Gone Outdoor) and Mike Schlebach sealandgear.com have offered to help me sell prints in SA through their shops.

On 1 March I did a presentation about my conservation work at the Gone outdoor shop which went well.

I am now back in the UK and have the painting of the Kom otters with me as well as four others. My plan is to make prints of Simon at New Pier, Yacha at New Pier, North Beach Bottlenose Dolphins and a painting of Harlyn which is still to be completed.


Oct 2016 - Sept 2017 - Developing ties and registering a charity

In Oct 2016 I did a presentation at the Cornwall College, Newquay (linked to Plymouth University) and received an enthusiastic response from students studying Zoology, Marine Biology, conservation etc wanting to help with conservation work in Africa.

I visited Plymouth University where I spoke to people involved with environmental science and biology etc student placements who were keen to link with projects in South Africa where students could do work experience. I then returned to SA where I visited a number of conservation projects. I put Plymouth University in touch with suitable projects as well as with people from Rhodes University Environmental Science dept who were keen to work with international students to help with a variety of their projects.

At meetings with people from Plymouth and Rhodes universities we discussed working with international students to help with conservation work on privately owned land, developing an education centre and raising money with the ultimate ambition of buying land to be managed for conservation.

Marine Wilderness Charity

As a start to fundraising in Sept 2017 at the Tredrea, Porthcothan we began raffling a painting, Porthcothan 17.50. Prints have also been made and print sales have gone well. I plan to do further paintings and sell prints of these to raise money.

I am applying to register a charity in the UK so that we can take fundraising and the conservation plans we have been discussing forward within a formal arrangement that is officially recognised.

Porthcothan 17:50

More info: Marine Wilderness Charity Painting prints Marine wilderness

Oct 2015 - Cornwall College. Presentation and Skype Links to SA

The Cornwall College - Newquay
Following the Global Wave Conference on 16 Oct I spoke at the Cornwall College, Newquay (Plymouth University) where I received an enthusiastic response from students wanting to become involved with conservation issues in South Africa.

On 21 Oct I arranged a Skype link up with South Africa so students could learn more about conservation issues in South Africa and what they can do to help.

We were able to talk to Matthew Zylstra in SA and this was successful in starting the ball rolling with developing an interaction between international students and conservationists in SA.

On 1 Nov I return to SA so plan to develop things further with the college from SA.


The Global Wave conference (13 to15 Oct 2015) was hosted by Surfers Against Sewage at the Bedruthan's Steps Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall and the Palace of Westminster, London.

This was the fourth and most ambitious GWC bringing surf conservationists together from all over the world to discuss conservation issues and work together to find solutions.

I spoke about my work, conservation issues in South Africa and what I have been doing to try to help the situation.


David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition - June 2015

The Mall Galleries - London

The painting, Hartlaub's Gulls was entered into the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Wildlife artist of the Year competition. It was selected for the exhibition of shortlisted entries at the Mall Galleries in London (29 June to 4 July)

I attended the opening of the exhibition and prizegiving on 29 June. The painting did not win a prize but was sold early on the opening night for £ 1 500. Half of this will be used to fund DSWF Projects.

Hartlaub's Gulls

At the event I was able to meet people involved with DSWF projects.

WAY Exhibition paintings  
Paintings for wildlife page

Conservation talks at Cornwall College

I have spoken to the Cornwall College - Newquay about doing further presentations etc on my conservation work. At this stage the plan is to do a series of talks in October.

I hope to start with a basic presentation to students studying Zoology, conservation and marine sciences etc, lecturers and the people arranging overseas trips and work experiences.

I plan to talk about the work I have been doing and about possibilities for students wishing to visit South Africa for work experience and post grad studies.

I would then like to arrange link ups between students and lecturers in UK and people in SA using Skype so that people can talk about possibilities and learn more.

Visit to Eastern Cape (SA) - Dec 2014 to Feb 2015

Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area - Eastern Cape

From Dec 2014 to Feb 2015 I stayed at our family cottage at Kleinemonde in the Eastern Cape.

While working in UK the past few years I have found many students interested in helping with conservation issues in SA. During my stay in SA this summer I have spent time checking out projects and talking to people about possibilities for overseas students in SA.

Rhodes University
I was able to speak to a number of encouraging and good people involved with environmental projects and working with international students. Either post graduate students or students completing their practical training.

I spoke to Jennifer Gush from the Amakhala Foundation, Mike Powell from Rhodes University Environmental Science Dept, Wayne Vos from the Conservation Academy and many others. I have made plans to do Skype link ups once back in UK so students can talk directly with those involved with a big variety of conservation projects in South Africa.

Mike Powell put me in touch with people involved with projects along our coast so on my way back to Cape Town I stopped in at the Living Lands project in the Baviaanskloof (a wilderness area inland from Jeffreys Bay) where I was shown around by Julia Glenday.

I then drove on to Plettenberg Bay where I met Matt Zylstra who is involved with Wildlands studies and the Earth Collective Network. It was great to find that friends that I started out with from the Wilderness Leadership School are involved with these projects.

I feel that this has all been very good progress. I plan to do more talks at the universities once I return to UK in April 2015 and so I now have good contacts to put students wanting to help with SA conservation in touch with.

If I am able to help international students link with good projects in SA where their efforts will be productive then as a next step I would like to work with them to arrange work experiences, develop my conservation work and run projects at a later stage.

Amakhala Foundation -
Conservation Academy -
Living Lands -
Earth Collective -
Wildlands Studies - http://wildlandsstudies.com
Jobs for Carbon -

Painting of Dr Tony Butt and Visit to Spain - Nov 2014

Asturias Coastline - Spain
In 2014 I did a painting of Dr Tony Butt. After working as a lifeguard with the RNLI in Cornwall during the UK summer I travelled to Spain where I spent a week with Tony. We drove to San Sebastian to deliver the painting to the Patagonia shop where the painting is displayed (Tony is sponsored by Patagonia)

Dr Tony Butt
I have wanted to link with people in Europe to develop my conservation work further. During my stay in Asturias and along the journey to San Sebastian Tony introduced me to many good contacts.

We surfed at a break near to where Tony stays in North West Spain and here I was introduced to Oscar Garcia.

Oscar has an NGO, Coge 3 which focuses on marine plastic pollution. He has leased a building where he is developing a very ambitious surf conservation centre.

Oscar has made me an ambassador to his organisation. He is planning a conference for early 2015 to which I have been invited although it looks like I will need to start work in UK before the conference takes place.

Dr Tony Butt
Coge 3 website
Oscar Garcia

Presentation at Cornwall College - Newquay - 22 Oct 2014

While working in the UK it has been my plan to build on the environmental education work I have been doing in SA to help make people in the UK more aware of conservation issues in SA. I hope to encourage people to help with conservation in SA and hope that this will lead to me working with international people to develop my projects further and do meaningful conservation work in SA.

On Oct 22 I did a presentation as a guest lecturer on my conservation work at the Cornwall College, Newquay to the surf science students. Cornwall College is linked to Plymouth University.

The presentation went very well and I received an encouraging response from students interested in helping me develop my SA conservation work.

I have been asked to do further presentations at the college (possibly other colleges and Plymouth University) There has also been interest in doing interactive Skype lessons between Cornwall and SA.

I had hoped to do a Skype lesson between Cornwall College and Amakhala with Jennifer Gush but was not able to arrange this in 2014.

While in SA between Nov 2014 and ApriI 2015 I plan to look at becoming involved with and developing projects in SA that will be suitable for international students to help with. I also plan to prepare constructive interactive lessons and once I return to Cornwall in April 2015 I hope to continue working with students in UK.

Cornwall College, Newquay


Linking with mainstream South African Conservation issues - Jan 2014

Amakhala Game Reserve
While working between SA and Cornwall I have been talking to people about possibilities of developing an interaction between people overseas and in SA to help with conservation issues I have been talking to people arranging responsible tourism about possibilities of working with their groups visiting SA.

I have been looking for groups to partner with to develop interactive lessons using the internet (Skype)

I have also wanted to link with people dealing with the mainstream conservation issues of SA because there has been an increase in conservation problems such as elephant and rhino poaching etc and I would like to be working with some connection to people dealing with these issues while continuing with coastal issues.

In Jan 2014 I visited he Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. I have spoken to Dr Jennifer Gush who works as ecologist on the reserve and runs various award winning projects with the Amakhala Foundation. She works with environmental education and poverty upliftment in the local communities and would like to do interactive lessons using Skype. I hope to put this into practice once I return to Cornwall.

Amakhala also has a successful volunteer programme so linking with the Amakhala is also an opportunity to learn more about working with international people visiting SA to do conservation work.

I hope that during an interactive lesson people in SA and Cornwall will be able to learn from one another and that this will lead to further lessons and interaction to help with conservation.

More info can be seen on the Marine wilderness page
Education interaction between SA and Cornwall - 2012/13

Polzeath Beach - Cornwall
Following the Global Wave Conference (Oct 2011) I have wanted to develop ties with international conservation groups and also develop a base outside of SA to work from. In 2012 and 2013 I worked as RNLI lifeguard in Cornwall during the UK summer and during this time was able to discuss ideas with UK conservationists.

I was able to visit SAS (Surfers Against Sewage), The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and others conservation groups. I was also able to do a rock pool survey with the National trust and attend a few of their events at Polzeath Beach.


I discussed plans with SAS and others about doing interactive environmental lessons between Cornwall and SA using the internet (Skype)

I have also been talking to groups arranging responsible surf tourism to South Africa about working with their groups in SA to do conservation work.

I plan to return to Cornwall in 20 I4 and hope this year to do at least one interactive lesson as a start to developing a constructive interaction between people in SA and UK to do conservation work.

Global Wave Conference - October 2011 - France and Spain

You can see the talk I gave at the Global Wave Conference by clicking on the link below.

Michael Carnegie - GWC Presentation - Connecting to Nature through Surfing

Biarritz - France

In Kommetjie I met Dr Tony Butt, big wave surfer and oceanographer. He was arranging a conference in Europe with Surfridder Foundation to bring people together from around the world to discuss surfing conservation issues.

I was invited to speak at the conference and my subject was connecting to nature through surfing.

The conference was a great opportunity to link with international conservationists and at the moment I am working to develop my work internationally with groups I met there.

Surfrider Foundation Europe
Save The Waves Coalition
Surfers Against Sewage
Wildcoast - Costasalvaje
Surfbreak Protection Society NZ
Salvem O Surf Portugal
World Surfing Reserves
Surfers Environmental Alliance

Marine Wilderness

Walk from Gifkommetjie to Platboom - Cape Point reserve

With encouragement from Dr Ian Player and others linked to the wilderness leadership school I have been developing a marine wilderness education programme.

In Cape Town while employed by the Save Our Seas Shark Centre and the KELP Project and helping develop their education programmes I put marine wilderness ideas into practice using experiences in the outdoors along the coast to encourage a love and appreciation of nature.

I am now developing my marine wilderness programme independently

I have done Marine Wilderness outings with Eziko Museums, WESSA, SANParks, EarthChild and others.


Earthchild group at Gifkommetjie

More info about the marine wilderness work I have been doing can be seen on th
Marine wilderness page

Surfing Environmental Education

Muizenberg - Surf school in memory of Pierre Du Plessis
Rock pool lesson with Isiqalo

World Surfing Day with Isiqalo

During the time I worked at the Shark Centre I was developing a surfing environmental programme working with surfers to deal constructively with conservation issues along our coastline.

Part of this was developing an education programme linked to surfing.

In 2010 I worked with Glenn Bee to arange a surf school in the honour of Pierre du Plessis, Glenns tow in Partner and close friend who died unexpectedly.

In memory of Pierre Surf School - Day 1&2 In memory of Pierre Surf school - Day 3

I Have also worked with Isiqalo who do surfing lessons with young disadvantaged people

I have done environmental outings to the Cape of Good Hope Reserve and kelp painting with these groups

More info about the surfing conservation work I have been doing can be seen on the Conservation history page

Save Our Seas Shark Centre and KELP - 2008 to 2011

From the time I moved to Cape Town in 2008 I worked at the Shark Centre as asssistant educator and with KELP (Kelp Environmental Learning Project) helping my brother, Adam, with setting up and running the project.

I helped developed an education programme for KELP and SOS and also began developing a surfing environmental education programme while at SOSSC.

Since leaving KELP and SOS in 2011 I have been developing my education work independently.

More information about the work I was involved with at the SOS Shark centre can be seen on the SOS Shark Centre page

More info about work I was involved with at KELP can be seen on the KELP project page

Conservation work history

There is more info about the consevation work that I have been involved with on the Conservation history page

Photos by Ken Eaton, Lisa Harrison, Patricia Issertes, Tim Conibear, Terry Corr, Jenni Courtney, Steven Challinor, Rhodes University and others.