A QUICK OVERVIEW OF I.C.A.N.    ican21@hotmail.co.uk


"Click" here for latest news regarding this journey

The aim of I.C.A.N. is to buy land to benefit and continue the activities pictured below while helping nature conservation. If you are interested in ANY of these subjects I.C.A.N. is for you. People introduced their own ideas - you can too !  I.C.A.N. is for motivated positive and active people of all ages. This gives huge variety so there is something for everyone with the 

International Conservation Awareness Network

HELP NEEDED TO RUN THIS SITE - Scroll to the bottom of this page for info

The following pictures are a selection from the 1970s to the current year including the annual camps and other activities - I.C.A.N. is a network of volunteers. 

My name is Friar West and I formed I.C.A.N. which evolved from a chance meeting at Sidmouth in Devon while on a sea canoe adventure in 1977.  I'm planning a canoe marathon to help I.C.A.N.  achieve it's aims and help endangered Greek Monk Seals and wildlife.

Since ICAN's concept it has been supported, visited or sponsored by various UK and world champions & record breakers. Also by local and international companies, the Police, Royal Marines, universities and schools; some are mentioned below. Despite such support we have failed to achieve our main aim which is to buy land.  Time is running out, please help if you can.

By owning land we can give people a chance to do permanently what we could only do briefly at our annual camp on rented land for 28 years.  Click here for LATEST NEWS - 2019 -   Totnes Times and a new charity.


This photo Greece 2017.

Finally after fifteen years of setbacks, problems and injuries I made my long promised return to repeat my 1986 Peloponnese journey, this time to promote ICAN. See latest news for more photos


Wild seal cards for sale 

 "click here" to see 

"click" here to see more photos Camps

"click" here to see Friar's Himalayas


Could you please consider associating yourself with or supporting in some way  one or other of my proposed ventures?     All photos taken by myself. 

The first is a possibly final and unique epic sea journey in an open canoe to raise awareness and funds for the second, a centre for the public to practice the activities pictured here.

Many people would like to make or learn how to do such things as are pictured here but have nowhere to do it. An I.C.A.N. site would offer the public a chance to practice while ultimately helping the natural environment.    

I.C.A.N. is a voluntary network helping conservation.        "Don't wait for it to happen, try and make it happen."

"click" here for photos

CLIMBING: An I.C.A.N. site should have a climbing wall. Doug Scott has been an inspiration to the climbing world, let I.C.A.N. perpetuate this and it is safe for kids who love these walls too. 1: Children on a climbing wall. 2: 2009. Friar about to fall off !   3: Late 1970s.  Friar on Stanage Edge, Peak District.  4: 2010. Friar, Haytor, Dartmoor.  5: 2006. Swiss Sarah climbing up to a cave.  6: Sarah going down !

"click" here to see   INTERNATIONAL WALKS   album


Because I.C.A.N. does not only include nature we will convert any benefits from your visit to help the environment if we can. For example, finance from the martial arts purchased a marquee which aided almost everything else. Music was enjoyed by many and hundreds went to an illustrated lecture  - (slide show) I organised with Doug Scott CBE who generously gave half the money to I.C.A.N.




What is the point of endless films on TV about environmental destruction?  Are they only seen as entertainment or are they to motivate action?  If the latter is the case I would like to invite any makers of such films to support my efforts to build upon what they have frequently inspired me to do  please.

I am simply an individual who has wanted to do something instead of only talking about it and I have a social conscience.  If you agree with what I am trying to achieve or are interested in any of the above could you please help in some way?   This may also help you. See bottom of this page for some suggestions.




I want to do what could be a world record breaking canoe venture to gain publicity and funding for the I.C.A.N. project.  Please could you sponsor some aspect of this project in return for publicising your name or company.  



The WWF In 1993 asked me to help conserve the endangered Mediterranean Monk Seals. I hope to collect data useful for conserving these seals and other species of wildlife during my proposed canoe venture.

For more details "click" here. 

Canoeing is much more dangerous for me now because I have labrynthitis in my blood. This is unpredictable, with sudden and complete loss of balance.  It is an incurable virus and not uncommon. The sufferer is often barely able to move, not even able to crawl. It can last up to three weeks with vomiting. Therefore I fitted outriggers to my canoe but this offers greater wind resistance. Even so I'm very enthusiastic to go ahead.


No seat, kneeling down up to fourteen hours a day. After exporting my canoe to Greece I named it "life" in four languages, I can say a couple of words in eighteen.



Benefits of sponsoring all or part of the canoe marathon

Your name would be printed all along the deck covers and displayed on both sides of two 5 metre canoes,  and on the vehicle transporting them to beaches and rivers from Plymouth in Devon, to Poole in Dorset, and Europe overland to Greece.

Mainly, the canoes are put ashore on most fine days upon the packed beaches of the cosmopolitan Torbay area known as the "English Riviera".  Here they are seen by countless local, national and international tourists.  Their unusual design attracts attention and I could promote your name by giving leaflets or samples.  Your advertising would continue free beyond the year of the marathon.

Any media reports featuring the canoes would also show your name.  In the past there have been countless media reports and some samples follow.  Three film companies have expressed an interest in this venture. 

Best wishes continue to be received including ( either in person or on behalf of )  BBC's "Countryfile" team.  Neil Oliver, contributor to BBC's series "Coast".  Ellen MacCarthur, world record yachtswoman. Stephen Fry,  broadcaster, conservationist.   Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, tv chef and animal welfare campaigner. David Suchet, actor and others.  Excerpts from some letters follow.

The estimated cost for which sponsorship is needed is between three and four thousand pounds.  This will be a repeat of, but further than, a three month canoe journey which I made in a remote area of Greece in 1988.  Rest assured that although some parts of Greece have holiday areas what I do and the way I do it is no holiday. Last time it was more alarming than a lone three month trek through the Himalaya and the jungles of Nepal.

Only one canoe will be use on the marathon. Advertising space on the canoe will be allotted proportionally to the sponsorship sum donated. Ultimately,  ICAN needs about 50,000 for land. If anybody wants to sponsor THAT their name would be permanently on the site. 









David Suchet plays Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot.  In Britain David is a famous actor with profound ability which he has polished to perfection. I wrote to him after seeing a TV film of him saving turtles. Thank you David.    Doug Scott had previously donated two pictures of Mount Everest which are not done justice by my black and white poster.  One is a photo by Doug, a leading photographer of mountains.  They are personally hand signed by the late Sir Edmund Hilary, Sir Chris Bonnington, Doug Scott CBE, Rebecca Stephens and Graeme Lothian.  Hilary was the first to summit Everest.  These pictures are now fetching very high prices.  Money from the sale of these MUST be an investment for the future.  Offers are invited. 



From the Secretary to Neil Oliver 

Robert Searle 

Factual Management Ltd

Excerpt from a letter from the above

"Your cause is definitely a worthy one. I cannot count how many times I have seen a television programme that concludes without letting the viewers know how they can help!  

I wish you every success in the future and Factual Management is spurring you on"




Why do I do this? Answer; BBC Radio4 - 720am 10th May 2010 quote: "Virtually every species on Earth is threatened, 1% of species extinct annually". My concern attracted "Devon Life Publications" to help by printing A4 2000 colour posters and Doug Scott's tickets free of charge. 

Speedfit sponsored I.C.A.N. We can't speak highly enough of the versatility and flexibility of "John Guest Speedfit Systems" or the unbelievable generosity of this international company. Without Speedfit we could not have made our giant solar panels year after year or educated school children on how to make smaller versions.  Frankly we do not honestly know why Speedfit is not used for all plumbing  everywhere. We tried other brands including copper but none were anywhere near so good.  

Inadvertently we subjected John Guest's fittings to tests of endurance far beyond anything they could have been designed to do. We took apart and reconnected the joints and bends time and again for over ten years. They were exposed to direct sunlight and every stress plus all kinds of water pressure and heat and used throughout our kitchens. There was never even one single failure. Actually we had decided Speedfit was the best before they helped us and after they had helped they never asked for anything in return. Sincere thanks.




To help raise funds,  can I make you a canoe like this or leather craft like this ?  I made the above collection of bags for the British Archery Champion in the 1980s.  I was invited to join the Guild of Master Craftsmen.


1:      If you are a well known person please endorse the canoe idea in writing.

2:      Find a film company for me.

3:      Help get my canoe to Greece. Make no mistake, just because some parts of Greece are holiday resorts,  where I go and the way I do it, it's no holiday.  Would you like to share costs or transport to Greece?  Or do you know any person, company or group who could help in some way?  Thank you.

4:      Sponsor a certain amount of money per kilometre paddled.

5:      Sponsor some aspect of the venture and your name or company logo will go on the canoe. Previous exploits have had endless publicity. Some examples follow.  I would exhaustively endeavour to publicise this for any sponsor. Also on the trip I would "push the envelope" to gain as much publicity as possible for any sponsors and I.C.A.N.

6:       I would put myself in harms way to secretly film illegal environmental or animal harm.

          Estimated cost of getting the canoe and myself to Greece and back by road including ferries, fuel and some help 2500.


I.C.A.N. land will be put in trust to form a "Nature Centre" to make  a practical and realistic contribution to environmental conservation through and with the many activities outlined here and on the main websites and other literature.

1:      If you are a well known person please endorse the I.C.A.N. idea in writing.

2:      We need land ( about 5-10 acres minimum ) and everything is a means to that end.  Can you donate money for this? Or buy it and keep it in your name allowing us to use it with the option to purchase from you when we can. Some money has already been raised.

3:      Organise awareness and fund raising events such as shown above eg;  musical events, fun bike or canoe runs, stalls, sporting events, computer work, photocopying or any idea of your own. The I.C.A.N. constitution allows us to pay you for help.

NOTE: I was once employed by Bristol College to get official recognition for volunteers under the ASDAN scheme.  70% of employers prefer those who have previously done voluntary work. This can improve your CV.  I can advise you.

In 1992 I attained a 2:1 environmentally related honours degree.


If you are genuinely interested in any aspects of the above, more information follows in very great detail. Part of this is in the  form of a letter which I recently sent to relevant people who have hosted or concerned themselves. with conservation related TV programmes  asking for their support. 

Thank you to Geoff Powell - www.geoffpowellart.co.uk - for helping me to beat the Spring deadline for this website which he constructed voluntarily. Thank you to Doug Scott ( CBE )  See his websites for his wonderful humanitarian work in Nepal www.canepal.org.uk/  and climbing site  www.dougscottmountaineering.co.uk/  Also see www.blackrhino.org/ for John Gripper's ( OBE ) Black Rhino saving efforts and humanitarian work in Zimbabwe.  Thanks to Danny da Costa for teaching me how to fly in his Judo lessons and for so much help at the camps.  For all other help and supporters please use the link above "form of a letter."  A genuine and sincere thank you to these other supporters which in some cases has been for over twenty years.

Help needed to run this site due to very serious illness of the two people  who have kindly done all the website and email work for me since I started the ICAN concept.  I am no good with computers but I have done everything else.  Don't worry, everything will keep going and a sure way to contact me is to write a normal letter to 

Friar,  ICAN,  The Post Office,  39, Fore Street,  TOTNES,  Devon. TQ9  5HN.   

I always reply, if I don't I didn't receive your letter.