Two members of the Leominster-based Pinstone team recently embarked on a transformative conservation journey to the South Rift Valley in Kenya.

The PR and marketing agency made a significant donation to a remote farming community in Africa as part of their goal – as a certified B Corp business – to give back to both people and the planet. 

They took the opportunity to gain first-hand insight into the project they supported.

Sponsoring a two-kilometre fence that comprises of beehives positioned along the fence line, it’s designed to protect local farmers’ crops from the intrusion of elephants that can lead to human-wildlife conflict.

Catherine Linch, the founder and MD at Pinstone, emphasises the significance of this trip for the company: “As an agency we are proud of our heritage, working with clients in the farming, environment and food supply chain sectors, and it’s why we choose to support charitable farming initiatives.

“This project benefits an overseas community directly and complements the support we give to farming related causes in the UK.

“Our fence is designed to make the bees swarm when disturbed by invading wildlife,  creating a natural deterrent that sees elephants, that can cause widespread destruction to farmland, to immediately retreat.

“It’s an innovative approach that helps a traditional community in a very remote area” says Catherine.

Pinstone’s Kate Hepplewhite accompanied Catherine on the trip and says her eyes were opened to the challenges faced by farmers in this region.

“During our time in Kenya, Patrick from SORALO (South Rift Association of Landowners) explained that elephants are not the only troublesome species for the local farming communities. 

“Lions, hyenas, leopards, and even valuable cattle during times of drought can pose challenges, leading to potential conflicts between herders and wildlife,” she says.

“It was enlightening to hear directly from people who have suffered due to crop devastation caused by elephants or losses of their animals due to other predators.

“It’s easy for these communities to overlook the conservation value and how ‘big game’ contributes to the region’s economy. But it’s understandable, as crops and livestock are literally lifelines for the community.”

SORALO’s community engagement project has been instrumental in fostering harmonious coexistence.”

Catherine, who founded female-led agency Pinstone 19 years ago, also shared her experience of meeting women rangers during the trip.

“In traditional African Maasai communities, it is uncommon for women to pursue careers in conservation, so it was incredible to meet these women rangers who are pioneers in breaking barriers and promoting gender equity within their roles.

“Meeting them and hearing their stories was a privilege. They demonstrated exceptional dedication and capabilities in patrolling the vast South Rift Valley region.

“This group of women serve as role models for aspiring female rangers, and we hope to have made a positive impression that will encourage them to pursue their life and career goals.”

The journey undertaken by Kate Hepplewhite and Catherine Linch reflects Pinstone’s commitment to environmental stewardship and supporting communities in need. 

Read why Pinstone became B Corp certified in 2023: Why choose B Corp status for your business – Pinstone