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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Category: Wildlife Habitat: Wildlife Friendly Gardens

  1. The Green Match Fund 2021 is from 22nd to 29 April 2022 - don't miss it! One donation, double the impact!

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    The Big Give's Green Match Fund 2022 takes place from 22nd to 29th April 2022.

    Whilst match funds last, donations you make to the incredible environmental charities who are taking part will be doubled! 

    “One donation, twice the impact!”

    Don't miss this opportunity to let your £5 donation become £10 without any extra effort from you! 

    Use the Filter facility to find Animal and/or Environment/Conservation charities taking part.

    Charities taking part include

    • Virunga Foundation (gorillas)
    • Devon Environment Foundation
    • Beaver Trust
    • RSPB
    • South Downs National Park
    • Scottish Seabird Centre
    • WWT (Curlews)
    • Population Matters
    • Rainforest Concern (leatherback turtles)
    • Bat Conservation Trust
    • Thin Green Line Foundation to protect Sumatran wildlife
    • Sumatran Orangutan Foundation
    • Westcountry Rivers
    • Ghost Fishing
    • Organisation Cetecea
    • Great Bustard Group
    • Chipembele Trust
    • Trees for Life (red squirrels)
    • Rainforest Trust UK (African rainforests)
    • Buglife
    • A number of Wildlife Trusts
    • Whitley Fund for Nature
    • ZSL - Year of the Tiger
    • David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
    • Heribean Whale and Dolphin Trust
    • Global Canopy
    • Earthwatch
    • Surfers against Sewage
    • UK Antarctic Heritage Trust
    • International Tree Foundation 
    • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
    • Rewilding Britain
    • Action for Conservation
    • Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
    • John Muir Trust
    • Cool Earth Action
    • Bees for Development Trust
    • Blue Marine Foundation
    • Trees for Cities
    • Butterfly Conservation
    • Cheetah Conservation Fund  UK
    • Orangutan Foundation
    • Environment Justice Foundation
    • Salmon and Trout Conservation UK
    • Hammersmith Community Gardens Association (beekeeping)

    and there are many more!  The match is available whilst funds last so don't delay,  leap to find out more and/or donate now - please spread the word! 

     

  2. National Gardening Week is Monday 2 May to Sunday 8 May 2022

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    National Gardening Week takes place from Monday 2 May to Sunday 8  May, 2022.

    This year, the theme is the  "the joy of gardening".  I'm about to head out and do some weeding and digging, with a hot cup of coffee by my side, and there's nothing like doing some gardening to have a feel good factor.

    I remember the last time I saw my auntie Joan before she passed away.  She absolutely adored her garden, and really missed it when she had to move into a care home but she had a couple of plants in her room.  The last time I saw her we did some "indoor gardening", weeding the plants slowly as we talked, and it was wonderful - a memory I'll always treasure as we put the world to rights over a coffee and weeding.

    National Gardening Week aims to celebrate gardening and raises awareness of the difference that gardens and gardening can make to the lives of everyone in the UK. It inspires more people, particularly the next generation of gardeners, to experience the joy of growing and creating beautiful green spaces.

    Gardening gives you space to think, to be...

    Gardening is a great way to boost the mood and there’s nothing like feeling the earth between your fingers to connect with the world.  Plants, flowers, bushes and trees all make for great company;  they give you space to think about things, and life, and drift in your thoughts; they give your mind a chance to rest and relax and immerse yourself in the moment and forget what’s going on in the world.  They don’t interrupt your train of thought. They just let you be….

    Put colour in your garden and enjoy the display!
    These stocks are from Thompson & Morgan -
    they have lots of plants for pollinators to help wildlife

    So what's happening during National Gardening Week?

    The RHS is opening the garden gates to four new green spaces on RHS Garden Day which is on Monday 2 May.  These will be an inclusive, welcoming green space to enjoy. 

    Get out into your garden or visit a garden or local park and just enjoy gardens!  Why not share your photos on social media with the hashtag #nationalgardeningweek

    Activities will be taking place at the five RHS Gardens. Visit RHS Gardens Wisley in Surrey, Bridgewater in Salford, Harlow Carr in Yorkshire, Hyde Hall in Essex and Rosemoor in Devon

    #nationalgardeningweek 

    Bring gardening into your home

    You don’t need a garden, either – you could bring nature into your home with a houseplant, herbs on a window sill, perhaps in the kitchen, watching gardening videos, and “visiting” many famous gardens online!

    The RHS website has a huge Grow Your Own advice section, with help on growing fruit, growing vegetables and growing herbs.  

    Go potty in the garden!

    I LOVE pots!  I’ve put a couple of strawberry plants into small pots and so far I’ve counted 5 strawberries coming on one, and 2 on another.  I keep going out into the garden and talking to them to encourage them.  My husband thinks I’ve gone mad, but I love it. 

    We’ve also got a dwarf blueberry bush in a pot on the patio, a dwarf raspberry bush, also in a pot, and a peach tree.  

    Visit Tree2mydoor.com - they have trees and bushes for every location, even indoors!

    Grow your own fruit, or give a fruit tree or bush to a loved one as a gift!
    Tree2mydoor.com send trees and plants as gifts

     

    Fill your garden with colour

    And don’t forget flowers – they are lovely for making you feel brighter.  Last year, I sowed some freesias in several little pots and this year, much to my surprise, they have all come up into beautiful flowers and I’ve got a gorgeous scent coming from them.  Red, yellow and dark pink freesias are really giving me something to smile about. 

    Feel a sense of achievement

    Gardening gives you the chance to create and enjoy your own beautiful green space, whether in the house or in the garden, or both!  There’s nothing like the feeling of achievement it gives you, and the joy you have looking at the fruits of your labours!  

    Enjoy learning!

    Visit the RHS and check out their advice section – you’ll find so much information to help you!  It’s not all reading, either – they have videos you can watch as well J  

    Share your garden

    Wildlife need our gardens, especially as we are taking so much of their homes off them.  They need hedgerows, trees and bushes to nest in, to rest in, to shelter in from the wind, rain and sun.  Provide them with access to water in a pond or a bird bath (those can be small as well), put up bird feeders, stick a pile of logs in a corner and leave it all a bit messy there, and you will have your own nature show to enjoy, full of beautiful sounds. 


    Get the kids busy and their hands dirty!

    Hands can easily be cleaned – get the kids out into the garden and give them the chance to discover all about the outside world by getting their hands dirty, their t-shirts all covered in muddy earth, their feet wet… there’s nothing like it.  All that fresh air and activity will hopefully wear them out!

    Immerse yourself in gardens when you sit down.

    Immerse yourself in a gardening related book!

    There are lots of gardening programmes  - watch Monty Don on iplayer,  you could also subscribe to a gardening magazine for a few months or more, read gardening books, watch gardening videos (RHS on You Tube for instance), treat yourself to a garden experience, take a gardening course (you can get online ones from Red Letter Days now). 

    So there’s plenty to do to bring gardening into your life. 

    Happy National Gardening Week! 

  3. The Green Match Fund 2021 is from 22nd to 29 April 2021 - don't miss it! One donation, double the impact!

    Posted on

     

    The Big Give's Green Match Fund 2021 takes place from 22nd to 29th April 2021.

    Whilst match funds last, donations you make to the incredible environmental charities who are taking part will be doubled! 

    “One donation, twice the impact!”



    Don't miss this opportunity to let your £5 donation become £10 without any extra effort from you! 

    Charities taking part include

    • RSPB
    • Blue Marine Foundation
    • Friends of the Earth
    • Highlands and Islands Environment Foundation
    • Space for Giants
    • Conservation Collective
    • Virunga Foundation
    • Trees for Life
    • Global Canopy
    • Rainforest Foundation UK
    • Surfers against Sewage
    • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
    • A number of Wildlife Trusts
    • Rewilding Britain
    • Marine Conservation Society
    • World Land Trust
    • Whitley Fund for Nature
    • Tree Sisters
    • David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
    • Plantlife
    • Trees for Cities
    • Garden Organic
    • John Muir Trust
    • Scottish Seabird Centre
    • Heribean Whale and Dolphin Trust
    • Cheetah Conservation Fund  UK
    • Orangutan Foundation
    • Environment Justice Foundation
  4. The British Garden: Life and Death on your Lawn on BBC4 is back!

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    On BBC4 on Sunday evening 11 April 2021  “The British Garden:  Life and Death on your Lawn.” will be on air again.

    Chris Packham and a team of wildlife experts spent a year exploring every inch of a series of back gardens in Welwyn Garden City.  The gardens are all interlinked, and Packham and the team want to find out how much wildlife lives beyond our back doors, and how good is wildlife for the British garden?

    Amongst other things, Chris meets a family of foxes and a ball of frisky frogs.

    By the end of the year, Chris will find out how well our gardens support wildlife and how many different species call our gardens home.

    A team from London’s Natural History Museum are among those who are involved in the programme.

    Find out more from the programme’s website here.

     

  5. World Wetlands Day is 2 February

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    Back in 1971 on 2 February, the Convention on Wetlands was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar which sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea

    Today, the 2nd February is a really important day for people and wildlife, because it’s a chance to highlight how important wetlands are to us all. They are where land meets sea.  The 2nd February is World Wetlands Day. 

    This year, the theme is “Wetlands and Water”.

    Where are wetlands?

    Wetlands cover areas such as shores, estuaries, mudflats, floodplains, coastal marshes, local ponds, the bog and pond in your garden, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, and rivers.  They cover a very small of the earth’s surface – and yet they are one of the most important habitats on our planet. 


    "If rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then wetlands are the lifeblood.  As much as we need air to breathe, we need water to live.   The conservation of our wetlands is essential to all life on earth.”  WWT

    Why wetlands matter to people:

    • They provide us with drinking water
    • They store a third of the world’s carbon emissions
    • They buffer us from floods and droughts
    • They are important for our health and wellbeing

    Why do wetlands matter to wildlife?

    40% of all plant and animal species live or breed here.

    They are vital breeding and feeding grounds for migratory birds – stopover points, if you like. Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania) is one of the most important zones in the world for nesting birds and Palearctic migratory waders, Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) (China).  These birds use wetlands such as our coastlines to stop, moult, rest, winter or nest.  

    Pantanal Conservation Area (Brazil) is one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.

    Sundarbans National Park (India) is formed of tidal rivers, creeks and canals and supports species such as the single largest population of tiger, and aquatic mammals such as the Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins, all under threat.

    So what’s happening to wetlands in our changing world?

     A recent global IPBES assessment identified wetlands as the most threatened ecosystem. This impacts 40% of the world’s plant and animal species that live or breed in wetlands.

    Our wetlands are threatened by:

    • Pollution
    • Climate change
    • Dams
    • Over-exploitation

    Beavering away to address these problems are organisations such as the World Heritage Centre. An example of its work is the Okavango Delta which has incredible biodiversity but is threatened thanks to development pressure.  It’s home to indigenous peoples and wildlife such as the cheetah, white rhinos, black rhinos, lion and the African  wild dog.  In 2019, the State Parties of Namibia, Botswana and Angola agreed a roadmap to explore the boundary extension of the World Heritage Site here to protect the river basin and the unique wetland system.

    In the UK, there’s the WWT –Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust but of course its work extends well beyond the UK.

    WWT say that:

    Between 1970 and 2014, populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptile species declined by a dreadful 60%

    In the last 400 years, England has lost 90% of her wetlands

    30% of known fish species, many at risk amphibians and reptiles, migratory and resident water birds,, and thousands of plant species life here.

    However, the WWT is working hard to create, protect and restore – it believes we can reverse the decline and bring wetlands back to life. Its conservation projects strengthen the link between wetlands, wildlife and people, both in the UK and further afield.  Find out more about their plans for 2020

     At their Llanelli wetland centre, they created new islands, nest boxes, rafts, scrapes and pools.  This gave waterbirds such as the lapwing somewhere to breed.  Find out more here



    At Slimbridge, they have just had two spoon-billed sandpipers have just hatched (after 8 years of trying)!   This is really good news – breeding pairs worldwide are under 200.  The chicks are the size of bumblebees, so that gives you an idea of how small the birds are!

    So what can we all do to help wetland conservation?

     WWT can create new wetlands in a few months and years – so your support can really make a difference quickly.  But there’s something we can all do to help and you’ll find more links and further resources further down. 

    • Create a pond in your garden, local area or school
    • Visit a wetland close to you and spend time there.   Use your senses while you visit.  Listen to the sounds you can hear; look at the sights, smell the scents.
    • Support the conservation work of your local wetlands charity
    • Volunteer for local wetland charities
    • Donate to wetland charities – look out for their appeals
    • Become a member and find out more
    • Spread the word about wetlands and follow #WetlandBiodiversityMatters to see what’s happening
    • Adopt an animal as a gift – you can adopt a swan, duck, crane from the WWT




    Further Resources

    World Wetland Network – a collection of NGOs and Civil Society Groups all working for wetland conservation

    Wetland Link International – a support network for wetland education centres which deliver engagement activities on site.  The WWT in the UK lead it; it has 350 members over 6 continents!

    RAMSAR –  The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. 

    World Wetlands Day – held every year on 2 February to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands and how we can all help

    WWT – the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the UK.   Visit one of their 10 sites around the UK and/or visit their website to see how you can get involved.

    The Global Wetland Outlook – take a look, it’s fascinating reading