A MALTON teenager is preparing to embark on an eight-month conservation trip around the world.

Louis Laird, 17, who is studying for his A-levels at Malton School Sixth Form, will be travelling to Borneo, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, before starting a career in the Army.

Louis has raised the £2,000 by working part-time at a Malton butchers for the Borneo part of the journey where he will be helping with the Orangutan Conservation Programme.

“I have been working over a year and a half at the butchers to raise money for travelling,” he said.

“My mum (Michelle) went to school with Denise Arksey, who moved from Rillington to Borneo, and asked if I was interested in the Orangutan Conservation Programme.

“I’m excited to explore the rainforest, learn more about the tribes people in Borneo and experiencing the culture - the programme is for great cause.”

After taking his A-levels this summer in maths, physics and computer science, Louis will spend two months in Borneo from October, before travelling to Australia in the New Year.

Staying with a relative, Louis plans to explore different parts of Australia from the Gold Coast to major cities. When asked if his mum, Michelle, might miss him, he added: “I guess she will.”

Denise Arksey, a veterinary nurse originally from Rillington, and her husband Hajat run the Borneo Conservation Orangutan Programme, which involves the planting of different trees to provide food for wildlife and replace their disappearing habitat.

Denise said: “We are very excited about the new programme, which will be starting in April 2020.

“A large majority of travellers no longer want to just visit a destination; they want to contribute their time and get involved in community and wildlife conservation projects to make a difference.”

To mark the 10th anniversary of building their tree houses, visitors are being offered the chance to go to Borneo and experience life in the rainforest for a month-long programme costing £2,000.

Through the Borneo Conservation Orangutan Programme, the couple hope to enhance the relationship between humans and nature, especially orangutans. The programme price includes accommodation, all activities and meals, but not the flights.

For information, email dajatjohar@gmail.com