Future 50 List
Matthias Hammer
Biosphere Expedition

Conservation holiday group Biosphere Expeditions is a not–for-profit company which organises volunteer holidays for people who want to provide valuable support to important conservation projects.

Typically lasting one or two weeks, but also offering taster days in the UK, the projects offer a wide choice of destinations including Malaysia, Namibia, Slovakia, Australia and Peru.

Trips see holidaymakers help survey populations of animals such as cheetahs, snow leopards, sharks and dolphins.

The coming year holds various ambitions, said founder and executive director Dr Matthias Hammer.

'We want to make progress in the areas of our scholarships programmes and community work.

'We have historically focused on the research surveys but have increasingly become more active in involving both local and international students in our projects through a developing scholarship programme.

'And we have become increasingly active with local communities, particularly through involvement of school children through visits of local children to research bases and through representatives from our bases going and talking to school groups.'

These activities had attracted significant additional corporate sponsorship funding, added Dr Hammer.

As well as offering hands–on assistance to important scientific research, a large percentage of volunteers' contributions to the trips go to help fund the projects.

Based in Norwich, the company also has offices in Germany, France, the US and Australia.

Location: Norwich
Sector: Tourism
Turnover: £500,000
Staff: 16
Website: www.biosphere
we have become increasingly active with local communities