Actions for Animals

 
Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa

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  1. Gardening brings health benefits, new study shows

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    Want to improve your wellbeing?  How about doing some gardening?

    At the start of National Gardening Week (which starts on 26 May 2021), the RHS is calling on us all to get our dose of Vitamin G!

    New research suggests that it can have the same positive impact as exercise such as cycling or running.

    Those who garden every day have wellbeing scores that are 6.6% higher and stress levels that are 4.2 lower than those who don’t garden.

    And gardening two to three times a week can lead to better wellbeing and lower stress levels too!

    Gardening brings lots of benefits

    The RHS Wellbeing Fellow and lead author is Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, who said "This is the first time the 'dose response' to gardening has been tested and the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the more frequently you garden - the greater the health benefits.”

    As we garden, we are distracted by the nature around us which moves our focus from ourselves and our stresses.  Gardening restores our minds.  It reduces negative feelings.

    Why garden?

    The research looked at why people get into gardening.

    5,766 gardeners and 249 non-gardeners responded to a survey that was distributed electronically in the UK.

    • 6 in 10 people garden because of the pleasure and enjoyment they get from it.
    • Under 30% said they garden for the health benefits.
    • One in five said wellbeing is why they garden.
    • 15% of gardeners said it makes them feel calm and relaxed.

    Gardening can boost mental health; those with health problems said that gardening eased episodes of depression (13%), boosted energy levels (12) and reduced stress (16%).

    Find out more about the different benefits gardening can bring

    Why do I garden?

    I’ve never met anyone who says “I’m going to improve my health and wellbeing by going out and doing some gardening” in the way you get people who say “I’ve been to the gym” with the specific purpose of getting fit, keeping fit, losing weight etc.  I don't garden because I want to get fit.

    People I know who garden just do it because they love doing it, spending time with nature, seeing immediate results from their endeavours – even if it’s just planting seeds and knowing there will be a few weeks or months before they come up.

    The fitness benefits are an added benefit. 

    Maybe that’s why it’s easier to keep gardening than going to the gym for so many of us?

    And could it be because nature doesn’t answer back; she listens, she is kind and giving (except on those days when the wind blows all your flowers down, or a lack of rain is killing everything off).

    In short, gardening is a very gentle activity, good for the body and mind. It doesn’t feel as strenuous as going to the gym.  It can be done at home without the journey there, unless you’re working on an allotment or community garden. 

    All I know is that it makes me feel happy, relaxed, less stressed – and that I can look forward to sitting in the garden with a cup of tea and piece of cake, or a glass of chilled white wine, listening to the birds tweeting and chirping away, watching the bees and butterflies flutter here and there, drinking in the beautiful colours of my flowers and just being at one with nature.


    Why not give a loved one a gift membership to the RHS?


    Gardening can benefit wildlife too!

    If we make the choice, we can garden to help wildlife which can bring its own extra benefits.  You could end up with your own nature show that you can watch from your arm chair!   Wildlife watching can give you a whole new interest of its own and it's amazing how involved you can get in creating habitat for wildlife and a garden in which they can thrive!

    The RHS says the key things to do to help wildlife in your garden are:

    1. Encourage garden birds and provide shelter
    2. Let a patch of lawn grow long
    3. Make a wildlife pond - these don't have to be big
    4. Plant a flowering tree or a berry bearing shrub
    5. Sow a pot or border with nectar rich annuals.

    Find out more about helping the wildlife in your garden here.

    Visit the RHS website here.

    The research was conducted by the RHS in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the University of Virginia.

     

  2. STOP this TOTAL DISASTER, say Avaaz

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    STOP THE TOTAL DISASTER

    There’s a new petition on the online global community Avaaz.

    I am asking you to PLEASE READ IT, and if you’re willing to, to SIGN IT.

    Either way, please, please SHARE IT.

    So here’s the scoop:

    Energy giant Total is about to build the biggest heated oil pipeline in the world. 

    Avaaz say that the impact of this oil pipeline is three fold:

    1. The oil pipline will displace thousands of farmers.  
    2. It will pass through key elephant and chimpanzee reserves.
    3. It will threaten crucial biodiversity hotspots.  It will cross over 200 rivers, 12 forest reserves, and skirt Africa’s largest lake.   ONE LEAK could threaten some of Africa’s most biodiverse mangroves and coral reefs.

    This is all done to extract 1.033.417.417.032 litres of oil, a fossil fuel – taking us closer to a climate catastrophe.  Mind you, Total's CEO have publicly committed to preventing it!  In Total’s Climate Report 2019 concerning climate change, it was stated “Clearly, we need to take stronger action.”

    Avaaz:  Stop the TOTAL disaster

    Let’s have a quick look at Total and Biodiversity:  Commitments and Actions

    “Given its business, Total sometimes works in sensitive natural environments. We are aware of the stakes involved and have taken measures to ensure that biodiversity and ecosystems are taken into account in our projects and operations.” Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Total wrote.

    Total’s biodiversity policy includes (and I quote):

    • Applying the Mitigation Hierarchy, an approach to avoid, reduce, mitigate and, if necessary, compensate any loss in biodiversity

    • Taking ecosystem sensitivity into account.

    • Managing biodiversity by integrating risks and impacts in our environmental management systems. • Reporting on biodiversity performance to stakeholders.

    • Working with local and international partners and our industry associations to improve

    Online community Avaaz are attacking the pipeline plan in three ways

    1. A call to Total’s CEO Pouyanné now to make him famous in the media so everybody knows about these plans
    2. To support the growing movement on the ground
    3. To push the French government with what Avaaz calls “razor-focused advocacy”.

    Avaaz points out that this is all about fighting for what we all care about.   We need to protect the precious life on earth, to stand up for basic human rights – and to protect life and biodiversity for future generations.

    Join this massive call to STOP THIS TOTAL DISASTER and share widely.

    Please let’s help communities in Uganda.  Let’s help them defend their lands and the reserves the wildlife need.

     

     

     

  3. Go WILD this June with your local Wildlife Trust!

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    Go wild this June!

    Wildlife Trusts around the UK are encouraging us all to go wild every day this June, and they have plenty of ideas as to how you can do it.

    The idea is that we all do one  Random Act of Wildness each day, and connect with nature and the natural world around you, or do something small to help nature. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the wildlife local to you and appreciate the wonders of the natural world.  

    Each Random Act of Wildness doesn’t have to be particularly energetic, either.  Sitting under a tree listening to birdsong constitutes a wild act - which I did yesterday and I have to confess to having fallen asleep. Reading a nature book could be another.  Working out which bird is sitting on your fence could be another.  And of course helping nature could be another – putting a bird feeder up in your garden, creating a log pile, allocating an area where you’re going to let the weeds grow with abandon, or sow wildflowers. 

    Go Wild for 30 days this June


    Go Wild for 30 days this June


    Over 91,000 people have signed up so far to Go Wild in June 

    People of all ages can sign up so you can join in as a family, as a care home, as a business or as a school or group.   And it’s a chance to discover all about the wildlife your local Wildlife Trust is working to protect – and find out how you can help.   

    There are 46 Wildlife Trusts in the UK, and they all have a range of activities you can get involved in, and lots of ways in which you can Go Wild this June.  You can sign up as yourself and family, or your class/school or your workplace.  

    Click here to sign up. 

    Click here for the Wildlife Trust's Covid-19 Statement

    Find your local Wildlife Trust here

    #Wildlife Trust  #wildlife  #endangeredspecies

     

     

  4. Please see this video from Gravitas - how nature is reclaiming its spaces due to the Coronavirus

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    Sometimes you see something on the internet or on television that really hits you hard and makes a point extremely well.

    I saw this video, this afternoon, and I wanted to share it with you.  Please share it with everyone you can.

    The ultimate message is that we SHARE this planet.  It demonstrates how dominant the human race has become - and how selfish.   I am not going to tell you anymore about it - please just watch it for yourself.   Here it is:



    Thank you, Gravitas.

    Please vow to make a difference today. 
    Find out how to reduce your impact on the earth's resources here.

     

     

     

     

  5. It's National Old Stuff Day on 2 March

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    Do you ever feel like a change, and getting rid of old stuff and creating room for a new you?

    Well, why not make a start on National Old Stuff Day.

    I have no idea who came up with the idea, but it’s a great chance to sweep away the old and let the winds of change bring in the new.

    Now, we’re not just talking about old stuff, as in items you own, or clutter you’ve acquired.  We’re talking about old approaches to life as well, perhaps old habits which aren’t doing you any favours e.g. being on your phone before you try to sleep.

    1. It’s a great chance to look at the way you manage your time and make more of the day.  Why not wake up a few minutes early and give nature a chance to be your first sound of the day?  Imagine lying in bed for a few minutes and listening to the birds welcoming the dawn of a new day with their birdsong.

    2. Why not make any walking you do a nature walk – can you see any litter which could harm wildlife that you could pick up and so protect them from eating things, getting cut on things,  or finding their heads are stuck in cans and tins. How much nature can you see en route?  Do you see a wild flower? Smell it and take in its scent.  Enjoy the sight of it.  Take a picture on your phone and send it to your friends.

    3. If you’ve got a garden, make sure you get into the habit of leaving a corner of it untidy for wildlife.  They like things untidy, and it saves you having to tidy it up. 

    4. Watch the stars in the sky last thing at night as you lie in bed.   What’s the sky like? Is it clearer than the night before?

    5. Have greater patience with people.  For instance, if someone cuts you off in the car, rather than blast at them with your horn, take a minute and think, “Wow, I wonder why they did that?” Could they be under incredible pressure because someone in their family has died or is very ill?  It must be awful to feel so rushed and aggressive all the time.

    6. Make it a habit to do a kindness every day.  It’s amazing how great you feel afterwards!  You get an inner glow!

    7. For your next birthday, don’t ask people for stuff.  Ask them to make a donation for your favourite charity.  Or choose an appeal and ask them to donate to that, so that they know specifically where their money is going to.  It gives them a chance to find out about a cause that’s important to you, and who knows, they may get involved!

    8. Find out about a new cause or appeal which excites you.  What could you do to help?  It could give you a completely new purpose in life and make you spring out of bed in the morning or after sleep to see what you can do to make a difference to it.