Edward Whitley

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"Every year Edward, a 31-year-old former banker, and the rest of the Whitleys unload about half a million pounds from the family's brewing fortune. ..

"Edward Whitley spends at least two days a week like this, working for the Whitley Trust. It was established in 1961 by his grandfather, who set aside a wad of shares in the family firm, the North-west brewers Greenall Whitley. The profits were to be used solely for animal protection...

"For more than a quarter of a century the Whitley Trust bundled along, supporting donkey sanctuaries and cats homes, not aware that anything as exotic as the Small Blue butterfly in Hampshire might require its assistance. And then, in 1988, Edward Whitley was made a trustee.

"At the time he was working in the City. 'The golden era of banking,' he said. 'There was huge money to be made, it was so easy. I worked in corporate takeovers, great fun.'

"On taking up his position, Mr Whitley immediately backed a proposal that the trust's low-yielding brewery shares be sold and the money reinvested in a wider portfolio which gave enormously better returns. Thereafter the family had some real dosh to dispose of.

"About the same time, Mr Whitley was having some success with his hobby: writing. He wrote a book called Graduates, a series of interviews with people who had been to his college at Oxford. It gained him a commission to write an article about eccentric English zoo-keepers for the Spectator. The first was Gerald Durrell, of Jersey Zoo." [1]

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  1. Beer money for the butterflies, independent.co.uk, accessed June 15, 2010.