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. 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.


    The  is working hard to buy 110 acres of Colombian tropical forest.  

    The Rainforest Trust is on the verge of purchasing and protecting 110 vital acres of Colombian tropical forest.  

    The tropical forests are endangered themselves as farms expand and other developments take place.  They are the only place on the planet where you'll find cotton-top tamarins - whose numbers have gone down 80% in just 20 years.


    Help the Rainforest Trust save 110 vital acres of tropical rainforest in Colombia

    Help the Rainforest Trust save 110 vital acres of tropical rainforest in Colombia
    Please donate here


    As well as cotton-top tamarins, the area is also home to spider and howler monkeys, a critically endangered turtle species and scarlet macaws.  

    Local organisation Fundación Proyecto Tití is working hard to protect the whole area.

    They have blocked the creation of a clear-cutting cattle ranch.

    Now they are working with the Rainforest Trust to secure more land.  The land is critical becuase it will give the animals safe passage - a corridor - between protected areas.  It will give the animals the vital space they need to recover and survive. 

    We can all help the Rainforest Trust achieve this goal.  

    Find out more from the Rainforest Trust and donate here.

    You can donate to this project through SumofUs who partner the Rainforest Trust


    Four Paws want to rescue Cam the bear.

    He is trapped in a tiny cage of 1.5 metres in a bear bile farm in the Hai Phong province in Vietnam. 

    Four Paws visited Cam and found him pacing around the cage.  He was climbing up and down and biting the bars.  In short, he was doing everything he could to escape his environment. 

     Please help me, says Cam the bear

    Please help me, says Cam the bear

    Cam is a pretty young bear.   And Four Paws want to get him out to their Ninh Binh sanctuary.  There he can feel the grass under his paws, and enjoy the sort of life he deserves. 

    They need help - so if you can donate to get Cam to the Ninh Binh sanctuary, please do so.

    Donate to help Cam the bear here.




    Free the Bears have had news of two more bear cubs in Laos who need rescuing.

    They estimate that it will be a 10 hour journey to reach the two cubs and they hope to do this later this week.

    Sadly, they also had news of a tiny moon bear cub which a person was trying to sell into the illegal wildlife trade.  Before the cub could be found, it died.

    Free the Bears are hoping to rescue the two bear cubs later this week.  If you can, please make a donation and/or spread the word.

    They will have updates on their Facebook or Instagram pages for updates.

  5. Wow, those amazing folks at Animals Asia do move fast when there is a bear in trouble.

    In the late hours of Sunday evening, their Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre got an urgent call from their friends at the Forest Protection Department.

    They had removed a bear in a distressed state from a bile farm in Phung Thuong – it’s a bear bile farming hot spot in Vietnam.  

    The bear needed a safe haven FAST.

    And he got it.   With just 12 hours notice, Animals Asia were able to drop everything and welcome this bear home.

    They have called him Lam.  It means forest in Vietnamese.

    Please donate to help Animals Asia help Lam and bears like Lam 

    Lam's new life

    He’s now got lush green spaces to enjoy.

    He can have fun bathing in pools, climbing structures, roam and forage – or just snooze in the warmth of the sun!

    After his 30 day quarantine period, he’ll even be able to enjoy some fun with new friends – probably the first he’s had in his life.  He’ll have enrichment exercises to improve his health and wellbeing and keep his mind active.

    In short, he’s on his way to becoming a bear and enjoying bear activities!

    What a change from being stuck in a tiny cage, his freedom stolen.   Just look at the care Lam has had since arriving at the rescue centre. 

    Please help Nowhere Bears like Lam

    Animals Asia call bears like Lam a “nowhere bear” because he’s suffering in the shadows, unseen.  There are more nowhere bears out there, waiting for rescue.

    You can help Animals Asia rescue and care for bears like Lam by making a donation.  Every single bit counts.

    These bears need to know we all care for them and love them.

    Sending bear hugs to you all!

    Please donate here.