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There's food and homes for garden birds and wildlife, plus food and watering places.  

Fly off to Garden Wildlife Direct to see their full range of products for your garden birds and wildlife! Encourage bees to your garden with this solitary bee hive!
 
 
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 2022

  1.  

    “Eden: Untamed Planet” is a new series which looks at the secrets of the few regions that are isolated from the rest of the world and have been  largely protected from human interference.   As the programme’s webpage says,  life exists as nature intended. 

    The series skicks off in Borneo, home to 60,000 species of plants and animals and is very biodiverse indeed.  Watch out for proboscis monkeys, orangutan babies,   caterpillars and a lot more!

    The programme warns that orangutans have lost 80% of their habitats in the last two decades – their numbers have dropped hugely.

    Please visit our page listing orangutan charities to see how you can help and please watch the series.  There are six programmes and I will put up information about ways to help along the way.   

    Find out how you can help orangutans with the Orangutan Foundation
    Find out how you can help orangutans with the Orangutan Foundation
    Swing over to their website here
    Image ©Orangutan Foundation

    Please also take a look at the Bornean Sun Bear Rescue Conservation Centre which is a is a sun bear rescue and rehabilitation facility being developed in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

    The episodes of "Eden:  Untamed Planet" cover:

    • Borneo: Sacred Forest - home to 60,000 plants and animals, of which 10% are unique.  More species are discovered every day.
    • The Namib:  Skeleton Coast and Beyond which covers the world's oldest desert

    Desert Lion Conservation  gathers data on the desert lions in the area, undertakes research and collaborates with the government and agencies to further lion conservation and reduce human-lion conflict
    Giraffe Conservation works to conserve giraffe populations 
    - The Conservation Institute has informatoin about the Namib Desert
    - Elephant Human Relations Aid  is "to implement practical solutions that help combat elephant-human conflict, and thereby secure a future for Namibia’s desert elephants."

    • Luangwa:  The Emerald Valley, which sits at the end of East Africa's Great Rift Valley, and which experiences an annual flood of the Luangwa River
    • Galapagos:  Enchanged Isle - home to the Giant Tortoises and home to 2,000 species found nowhere else - 97% of its reptiles and mammals are unique
    • Patagonia:  at the far tip of South America, this is a land frozen in time and called "The End of the World".
    • Alaska: The Last American Frontier - with possibly the richest temperate rainforests at all

    The areas covered are visiting “delicately balanced, species-rich, unique ecosystems” and nature now needs our help to make sure they stay that way.  We cannot do without them.

    Please let’s all see if we can take just even one action to make a difference and protect nature as the series unfolds. 

    Visit the programme’s website on BBC2 here.

    Buy an Orangutan BATH BOMB and help Protect, rewild and regenerate West Toba Forest  From £4.00
    Buy an Orangutan BATH BOMB and help
    Protect, rewild and regenerate West Toba Forest  From £4.00 
    available from Lush.com
     Funds raised will help protect the forest for the future, so people, orangutans and the planet can thrive.

  2. There's a programme on the UK's Channel 4 at 8:15pm on Saturday 7th May 2022 called Devon and Cornwall:  Greener Lives.

    The programme meets locals living in this beautiful part of the UK (it's in the south west) who are working to bring balance back to both land and sea and working hard to protect nature.

    A farmer, Cyril, in Devon is returning to traditional hay meadows
    Previously he was depleting them through intensive farming during the 1960s.  As the programme points out, during and after the war, a nation needed feeding, regardless of the impact the push for growing food had on wildlife and nature.  The farmer wants to put something back to the land and let nature do the work.  He makes hay meadows.  The seeds from the hay meadows are spread quickly in fields on other farms.  Like other farmers, Cyril is returning hay meadows to Devon - and with those come wildlife such as voles and barn owls - and Cyril is looking after the wildlife as well now!

    Volunteers paddle to coves to clear plastic from the beach. 
    For instance, Steve and his beautiful dog Rosie are thinking global but working to make a difference locally.  At times Rosie jumps off Steve's boat to collect rubbish and bring it back to the boat!  And Steve has a band of volunteers helping him, navigating in and out of the coves to collect rubbish.  He is determined to clear beaches of rubbish and to leave the planet in a cleaner place when he leaves it.  You can join a beach clean organised by the Marine Conservation Society.  

    David, Mertle and Bill the horse are busy clearing bracken

    Find out about the island of Lundy
     The beautiful island of Lundy, where the National Trust,
    RSPB, English Nature (now Natural England) and Landmark Trust
    have been working to help the Manx Shearwater.

    And Dean, the warden on Lundy Island, watches for the puffin to reappear. 
    As well as puffins, the Manx Shearwater has made a big comeback to the island - find out more from the National Trust.

    The book "RSPB Spotlight Puffins" is available from the RSPB's online shop

    The book "RSPB Spotlight: Puffins" is available from the RSPB's online shop

    Beavers are back in the River Otter!
    Beavers have been very busy here, building a dam and maintaining it.  And a fox has been spotted checking out the beavers too!  The Devon Wildlife Trust is working with landowners to make sure the beavers don't cause any problems e.g. interfere in cider making!  

    Visit Devon Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust to see how you can help - even from a distance!  And you can find your local  Wildlife Trust in the UK here - there are 46 of them.

    Don't miss it - it would be a great way to be inspired by other people taking action and also to pick up ways to get involved and make a difference! 

    The more people we can all get involved, the better!

  3.  

    Starting at 7pm UK time on Sunday 24 April 2022, Our Changing Planet is a two part series.

    Six presenters visit various destinations around the world.  They are investigating the impact of accelerating economic development and the impact of climate change.

    In the first programme on 24 April 2022, the programme takes us to the Maldives with Steve Backshall.  There has been massive coral bleaching here, because of the acidification of the ocean and warming seas.  The biodiversity of these reefs is very important:  they give food security and income to the people, and they are trying to stop the destruction.  Steve also checks on a group of manta rays – their presence gives us an idea of the health of the reefs.

    The Joyful Environmentalist: How to Practise without Preaching

    The Joyful Environmentalist: How to Practise without Preaching
    by Isabel Losada, available from Foyles.co.uk

    Cambodia is developing rapidly and this growth is putting huge pressure on natural resources.  Ella Al-Shamahi meets a fishing community on the Tonle Sap lake who used to rely on the fish there but dam construction along the Mekong river is threatening the biodiversity of the lake.  New roads are giving poachers easy access to the forest, propelling an illegal wildlife trade, and Ella visits a project which rescues and rehabilitates wildlife that have been illegally trafficked, including pangolins.  Visit the website for the Wildlife Alliance who work to protect the ecosystems and wild species there.

    An African Love Story: Love, Life and Elephants

    An African Love Story: Love, Life and Elephants
    by Daphne Sheldrick available from Foyles.co.uk

    Chris Packham is in Iceland looking at how the glaciers are retreating as the Arctic temperatures are rising at over twice the annual global average.  As sea and ice melts faster and faster so sea levels are rising.  Iceland is very much affected by rising temperatures and islanders’ lives and livelihoods are being threatened.  Chris joins a team of scientists who are monitoring the impact of increased shipping on humpback whales.

    In the second programme, Liz Bonnin visits California to look at the impact wildfires are having.  Scientists can see clear links between the fires, raised temperatures, climate change and a longer drought season.  Conservationists and scientists are working to help wildlife affected by fires to help retain biodiversity, as the loss of keystone species and large carnivores is a real threat to California’s ecosystems.  Liz also visits the Pacific coast, where great white sharks have arrived to live in the warming seas.

    Ade Adepitan is in Kenya, looking at the effects rising temperatures are having on the land.  He also visits a project to help preserve the elephant.  It is going to amazing efforts to ensure the African elephant survives. 

    Pantanal Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide to Brazil's Great Wetland

    Pantanal Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide to Brazil's Great Wetland
    by James Lowen from Foyles.co.uk

     

    And Gordon Buchanan finds out about a project aiming to save the jaguar in Brazil.  The country is home to the Pantanal, the world’s most important wetlands.  Back in 2020, 30% of the Pantanal was destroyed by wildfires – about 17 million animals were killed as a result.  Jaguars were affected because of habitat loss, a shortage of food, injury and death.

    This series should be thought provoking and hopefully it will also give us all ideas of ways we can help.

    Visit the programme’s website here.

  4.  

    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! 

     

  5. 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!