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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» Listings for April 2020

  1. The 25 April is World Penguin Day!

    The day coincides with the annual northern migration of Adelie penguins.   There are various different species of penguin. 

    OxfordSparks have their Penguin Watch Team who will be answering a Q&A.  Their researchers monitor penguin colonies across the Southern Ocean, working to disentangle the effects of various threats from things such as climate change and the krill fishing industry.



  2. National Gardening Week takes place from Monday 27 April to Sunday 3 May, 2020.

    This year, the RHS is calling on gardeners to go out into gardens or balconies as a way to look after their physical health and wellbeing, and to keep growing at home.

    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….

    Although we are in lock-down, many garden centres around the country are giving us the chance to order online or even call them and put in an order over the phone. 

    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.  

    Grow your own fruit, or give a fruit tree or bush to a loved one as a gift!

    Grow your own fruit, or give a fruit tree or bush to a loved one as a gift! 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. 

    	 Foyalty 18 Gardeners' World: 101 Ideas for a Wildlife-friendly Garden

    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 and his fabulous retrievers Nigel and Nellie 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), 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 22nd April each year is Earth Day.

    Earth Day is on every day and can be celebrated wherever you are – even in space!  Flood the earth with hope, optimism and action!

    In 2020, Earth Day is 50 years old.  The theme is Climate Action.  As its website says,

    Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems which make our world habitable.  

    If we look at the start of 2020 alone, the Australian bushfires left terrible damage behind them.  Organic Lesson wanted to give an idea of the severity of the crisis, by re-creating the smoke haze in scenic locations around the world and you can see what places like London, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and the Alps would have looked like.

    The 22nd April is Earth Day - visit the website here


    The Earth Day Network works around the world to drive meaningful action for our planet across the following issues

    • Climate Action
    • Science and Education
    • People and Communities
    • Conservation and Restoration
    • Plastic and Pollution

    So whatever your interests are in earth, you should be able to find a way to get involved.  And Earth Day's website has toolkits you can use to really get out there and change the world and make a difference.

    Join Earth Day Live 2020

    There’s plenty you can do:

    • Add your voice or action to a world map to show your support
    • Organize a digital event for Earth Day or a physical one later - don't forget to register it!
    • Get involved in  Earth Challenge 2020, the world’s largest citizen science effort
    • Find at-home, digital Acts of Green to support a better planet
    • Spread the word on your social network to get friends and family involved
    • Read the news, learn about the campaigns, or download images

    View the information about Conservation and Restoration here but three actions you can take are:

    1. Take action for Conservation and Biodiversity –Sign up for the Biodiversity Beat 
    2. Take action for the Canopy Project
    3. Be a part of the largest volunteer project in history – the Great Global Cleanup

    In the coming year, Earth Day Network is aiming to plant 7.8 billion trees — one tree for every person on earth — in honour of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020.

    Head off to Earth Day 2020 here and see what you can do to make a difference!


  4. Animals Asia have had an urgent call about three bears in terrible trouble on a bile farm.

    They were alerted 2 weeks ago – and they dropped everything, to get ready to rescue as fast as possible.  But travel restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus meant it was not possible (or safe) to go ahead. 

    Travel restrictions have been lifted now.  The team is ready to go and rescue the three bears.  But Animals Asia need help to do it.  These bears will have bellies to fill, there'll be essential medicines to buy and months of high costs, thanks to the coronavirus. 

    Help Animals Asia rescue these three bears from a bile farm

    The bears were found trapped in tiny metal cages, side by side.  There’s limited information about them but Animals Asia say they can be almost certain that they will have serious health issues and will need special, on-going care and treatment for the rest of their lives – which could be 15 years or more.

    They are asking people to become monthly donors, to help set up these bears on the road to recovery and beyond.

    Will you help the three bears?

    Find out more here.

    Visit Animals Asia’s website here.


  5. The programme "Pangolins - the World's Most Wanted Animal" is back on BBC2 tonight, Friday 17 April, 2020 at 9pm.

    Don't miss it!  Although it's a repeat, the programme is very timely, given that these rather amazing animals are at the centre of the coronavirus storm. 

    Visit the Environmental Investigation Agency's website

    Pangolins are the world's  most trafficked animal - their scales are wanted in Chinese medicine.  Their flesh is eaten as a delicacy. 

    Sir David Attenborough narrates the storm of the pangolin and gives hope on how we can save them.

    There's a list of pangolin charities here