Our blog & news: Get involved to help wildlife


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 
Margaret Mead, American anthropologist, 1901-1978

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  1. Today I had an email from the amazing charity Four Paws asking for all our help in supporting their petition to encourage the Vietnamese government to stop bear farming once and for all.

    In just six weeks, 275,000 people have signed the charity's petition - including comedians Matt Lucas and John Bishop, MEP Jean Lambert and VietPro.  

    Will you add your voice to the petition to stop bear farming?  

    Four Paws are hoping to have half a million names on their petition.  

    Add your voice to this petition to stop bear farming in Vietnam now

    Every single signature could help encourage the Vietnamese authorities to end bear farming once and for all.   Four Paws is asking everyone to share, share, and share - and if you know any famous people who can help raise the profile of the petition, that would be great :-) 

    Please sign now

    Share now using #saddestbears

    Although the Vietnamese government has taken steps to end bear farming over the last 10 years, there are still about 1,300 bears living in tiny cages.  Bears are being used for bile extraction. So more action is needed to end bear farming once and for all. 

    The petition calls on the Vietnamese government to (and I quote):

    • Take even greater steps in ensuring that bears are not farmed for bile extraction.
    • Ensure bears currently on bear farms are strictly monitored with confiscations and penalties for noncompliance.
    • Close all bear farms by 2020 and ensure the transfer of all remaining bears to rescue centers and sanctuaries.

    Please take action and sign the petition here

  2. I read this wonderful quote recently from somebody called Charley Willey, who worked out the following:

    "Make one person happy each day and in 40 years, you will have made 14,600 human beings happy for a little time, at least.

    That struck a chord with me, and of course as an animal lover, I came up with an alternate version:

    "Make one animal happy each day and in 40 years, you will have made 14,600 aniamls happy for a little time, at least."

    Of course, you can make your dog or cat happy every day and at the end of that time, that will just have been one animal over the length of time that you are blessed with them.  

    But then there are ways to reach out to help a vast number of animals.  

    1. Feed the birds in your garden or via a window feeder, and you feed many (or more than one, at any rate). 
    2. Grow wildlife friendly flowers in your garden with a simple packet of seeds, and you'll help butterflies and moths, bees and other insects.
    3. Put a small wildlife pond in your garden or a bird bath and watch in enjoyment as animals come to drink or take a quick dip.
    4. Plant a tree and you'll give hundreds of animals shade from the sun, shelter from the rain, and somewhere to rest and nest.
    5. Sponsor an acre, and you'll help thousands of animals and many different species by providing them or protecting their habitat - the area where they live.
    6. GIve a horse lover a virtual gift from a charity like the Brooke or Spana and you can help hundreds of horses, donkeys, mules and camels, all thirsty after working long hours in incredibly hot temperatures.   
    7. Add your name to a petition and improve the lot of animals in your country or abroad.

    Every act helps and every act has the power to improve the lives of animals and people world wide.  And every act has the potential to help not just one animal but millions of them.

  3. There's news from the west coast of Africa.

    The largest marine conservation area in the continent is being created - a network of 9 new national marine parks and 11 new aquatic reserves is going to extend across a massive 20,500 square miles in territorial waters and out into Gabon's economic zone.  The area covers 26% will protect 26 percent of Gabon’s territorial seas.

    The move will help protect fish stocks from over-fishing and also help the area cope better with changing climates and give the corals there a chance to recover.

    The goal is to protect the waters for generations to come, and Ali Bongo Ondimba, who took over the presidency of the country after his father died in 2009, sees them the areas as precious as the rainforests which cover 90% of Gabon.  

    The Gabon waters have some of the world's largest stocks of Altantic tuna, so there is a danger of overfishing.   The hope is that fish stocks will be revived and the breeding grounds of whales, dolphins and turtles will be protected by the move. 

    Thank you, Gabon, for caring about the future of our waters for generations to come, both people and marine life. 


  4. It's always exciting to hear about projects to bring water to everyone, especially given that so many areas of the world are experiencing droughts.   I can't imagine anything worse that not having access to clean drinking water, for animals or people.

    So I was very interested to hear about a project in India to revive a medieval way to fight the drought in the area of Karnataka.

    The BBC have got a video on it, but essentially an enormous system of water channels connected by tunnels built by Medieval kings with pick axes and shovels sustained life in the settlements above.   These tunnels were carved out well below ground and they were discovered five years ago by Professor V Govindankutty.   A main well - known as a mother well - is dug in the place where there is enough water and taken to the place where you need it.   Volunteers spent ages clearing the channels of debris and silt.  

    These techniques were developed in Ancient Persia, i.e. a very long time ago.  With the ancient system begun again with about 50 wells in the area, they've all started having water.  To date, none of them have dried up.   Even in May, the area is still getting a good supply of water.  

    This is a very exciting discovery and I hope more places which experience tremendously dry spells will take a look at it.  


  5. Stop producing the rubbish in the first place

    We need to stop putting rubbish into the ocean – it will end up somewhere, even if it is on the other side of the world.   What goes around, comes around.  

    If 1 of us stopped using one plastic bottle a week - that would mean 52 less plastic bottles a month.  If two people stopped, that would be 104.  If 10 people stopped, that would be 520 less in the environment. 

    What was found in the MCS Beach Clean Up Weekend

    The top 10 Items found on beaches in the 2016 clean up

    1. Plastic/polysterene pieces
    2. Cigarette stubs
    3. Packets (crisps, sweets, lollies, sandwiches)
    4. Caps and lids
    5. String and cord
    6. Cotton bud sticks
    7. Glass
    8. Wet wipes
    9. Fishing line
    10. Plastic drinks/bottles

    Popular items found on Henderson Island in the Pitcairns were toy soldiers, dominos, toothbrushes and hundreds of hardhats, cigarette lighters

    And on the Versova beach in India, the volunteers discovered blue plastic bags, faded milk packets, torn teddy bears, soaking diapers, wrappers, empty toothpaste tubes, all of which were washed ashore.   

    Taking a look at the litter found in beach clean ups – what do you use, and is there a substitute?   I'm going to take a look at  and   for a start.