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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    Join in the fun from 25th December through to 5th January with the Wildlife Trusts!

    It’s time for their 12 Days Wild, when the Wildlife Trusts encourage us all to do one wild thing a day – perhaps to go stargazing, or recycle a Christmas tree, or feed the birds – something like that.

    You could take small actions to help nature or do something to connect with the natural world!

    Let's grow our love for nature in 2024 and protect it

    You can register with the Wildlife Trusts online to get going and they’ll send you activity suggestions.

    And if you’ve missed out on the 12 Days Wild dates, why not simply create your own 12 Days Wild Challenge and keep track of the actions you take?

    There’s nothing like being with nature!  Find the nature reserve nearest you.  And find your nearest Wildlife Trust here.

    You can find out more about the Wildlife Trusts here - there are 46 of them around the country.  

    Their purpose is "to bring wildlife back, to empower people to take meaningful action for nature, and to create an inclusive society where nature matters. "

    And their vision is of "a thriving natural world, with our wildlife and natural habitats playing a valued role in addressing the climate and ecological emergencies, and everyone inspired to get involved in nature’s recovery."

    Go to the Wildlife Trust's website here to find out more about 12 Days Wild and to register.

    "Humankind’s greatest priority is to reintegrate with the natural world."

    Jonathon Porritt


    The Wildlife Trust for  Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (BCN)  have a plan (and with it, an appeal, so that they can make their plan happen).

    They want to bring beavers back to Northamptonshire.   It’s been over 400 years since beavers – a keystone species - were last seen there, and the Trust has been given permission to release a family group at the Delta Pit wetland, at the Nene Wetlands nature reserve. 

    The Beaver Trust visited the site and did a full feasibility study and identified the site as a suitable feeding site – it’s also quite away from the public.  Furthermore, the site is a difficult one to manage, with breeding birds in summer and overwintering birds in winter, giving the Trust very limited time to do any work.  so the beavers will be able to manage the habitat work for the Trust.

    The beavers will be in a safe, enclosed area surrounding a lake.  They are excellent eco-engineers, and have an excellent ability to create habitats that will benefit a whole range of animals.  

    The beavers will be busy restoring the wetland habitat – beavering away – and the humans have to do some work of their own beforehand, managing trees and constructing a fence.  This fence is constructed and installed to an exact specification from Natural England – it follows a full site survey. That survey involves considering the risks, so that the Trust can  make sure the beavers are safe and don’t escape.  The stock gates are designed to an approved beaver-proof spec.

    The beavers’ work should benefit wetland birds, creating more roosting and feeding habitat, and invertebrates and bats should benefit from it as well.  The beavers will be doing what humans would be doing, but they will be doing it better (and the Trust themselves said that!)

    One of the exciting things will be the monitoring of the site, to see how the beavers are doing and how their introduction and work is benefiting other species.

    The public visiting the shopping centre next to the reserve will also benefit as they should be able to see the beavers when they visit!

    The Trust has an appeal to raise £73,982 and you can donate to their Beaver Appeal here.

    Anyway, take a look at the project here, and you can find out more about the Wildlife Trust BCN here.



    On Sunday 10th December 2023 at 18:20 UK time on BBC1, there’s the last in series of Planet Earth III.  The photography and filming has been just outstanding and incredible to watch. 

    Tonight, the programme takes a look at people who are heroes. They are people around the world who are risking it all to save wildlife.  They travel to and work in dangerous places, and some – such as wildlife rangers – risk their lives.  Many lose their lives in the line of their conservation work.

    As the programme's website points out, there are so very many people around the world making a difference for nature.  We need to hear more of their stories.   Take hedgehogs for instance.  Did you know there are 126,548 people (10th December 2023) registered as Hedgehog Champions with Hedgehog Street?  

    Tonight’s Planet Earth III programme goes to South Africa, Ecuador, the Cote d’Ivoire, Austria and the Amazin rainforest to meet heroes there.

    In South Africa, we see a team working to save black rhino, a species wanted for their horn.  They are saving htem by setting up new breeding populations in safe havens, and they need to sedate these huge animals first and then fly them by helicopter – or more accurately, in a sling under a helicopter – to their new home.

    We meet Jaime Culebras who has devoted his life to saving frogs. Santiago is one of the very last Morona-Santiago harlequin frogs and Jaime wants to find Santiago a partner to set up a breeding colony.  He has to trek to a remote cloud forest in the Andes to find out, and explore for a mate for his beloved frog by night.

    There’s Trang Nguyen who is working undercover to catch people trading in illegal ivory.  This trade is one of the main reasons why forest elephants have declined by two thirds in two decades.  Trang is incredibly courageous and she does very dangerous work to catch criminals in the act.

    Katharina Huchler is working to help the Northern bald ibis, some of the rarest birds in the world who were hunted to extinction 300 years ago in Europe.  Katharina has to show them the way to bring them back to Austria – will these birds follow her over the mountains?

    The destruction of the Amazon rainforest is well known.  The Munduruku is an indegeous group who live there, and the government is discussing new laws to open it up to mining and agriculture.  Leader of the Munduruku, Alessandra Korap, is organising a huge demonstration by indigenous people in Brail to get their voices heard. 

    Planet Earth III accompanies the series narrated by Sir David Attenborough
    Planet Earth III accompanies the series narrated by Sir David Attenborough
    Available from Foyles.co.uk

    We need to save habitats to save species.  People power matter, even if they are in small numbers.  The recent Common Farm Appeal from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, launched in late September 2026, shows us from its website that when people get together and support and join in, great things happen.  As a result of 1,893 people, just over £290,000 was raised to buy 83 acres of farmland which is going to be turned into a nature reserve.  It will bring back many species.  1,893 people have made a huge difference and acted for nature. 

    Enter the former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, who goes to every climate conference, doing what he can to persuade politicians and leaders to act.  He says the more the environment is an election issue, the more action there will be on climate. 

    We all need to vote for the planet in future elections.

    Don't miss Planet Earth III tonight!

    Be a hero yourself for conservation!

    The programme's website has a section on how you can be a hero for conservation.  

    And there's a new initiative starting as the series comes to an end, called Be a Voice for Nature.   It points out that there are so many things we can ALL do. 

    Be a voice for nature.



  4. So this week, there are two big events coming up in the calendar which are all about giving and making a difference.

    Giving Tuesday 
    28 November 2023

    This was created back in 2012.  The idea is simple:  it’s a day that encourages people to do good.  And today, millions of people join in to give something:  their time, money, their skills, their voice, organising an event, cleaning up a local area – the choice is yours.  You could just even check on an elderly neighbour.  Please find out more and take a look here

    And there’s lots of information about participating here.  There are plenty of ways to get involved, and they've got logos you can download to help spread the word. 

    Giving Tuesday is on 28th November 2023

    Global Giving
    Global Giving had a match fund taking place on 28 November 2023!  Animals, conservation, ecosystem restoration are all here.

    Also, the Snow Leopard Trust has a fundraiser (with a Giving Tuesday donation match to $80,000), as do Polar Bears International.   

    The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge 
    From mid-day on 28 November to 5 December 2023

    The idea behind this one is to donate to one or more of the charities taking part in the Big Give's Christmas Challenge – but the good news is your donation is doubled at no extra cost to you!  The Challenge offers supporters of those charities taking part to double their donations for seven days, so this is a big chance to really make your donation go further.  vBack in 2022, £28.5 million was raised for 1,021 participating charities.  79,658 people donated, some twice.   

    One thing you could do is to ask people to donate to a chosen charity for your Christmas gifts, instead of giving you an actual present that you may not want or need.   We do this in our family, rather than acquire more and more stuff we just don’t want or need, we prefer to do something which can be of real help.

    The charities taking part in the Big Give’s Christmas Challenge are listed here.   They cover all sectors as you can see, but we particularly want to raise the profile of those helping animals and conservation and the environment.

    Animal charities participating in the Big Give’s Christmas Challenge.

    Otters, monkeys, elephants, cats and dogs, deer, water voles, oceans, beavers, bats, badgers, tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, red squirrels, wild cats, butterflies, turtles, orangutans are just some of the animals the Big Give’s Christmas Challenge will help.

    Conservation and environment charities participating in the Big Give’s Christmas Challenge

    Rivers, meadows, trees, forests, hedges and edges, rainforest, small woods are just some of the types of habitats included.  Some of the charities’ appeals may be listed in both the Animals’ and Conservation/Environment sections.

    How much do you know about the participating charities?

    Whilst you’re browsing through the lists, if there are charities you haven’t heard of, or know very little about, it’s a great opportunity to find out about them – what they do, what their aims are, how they help etc.  Visit their websites too, and increase your knowledge of what’s being done to help and make a difference.

    Please do something, just one action will make a difference

    Even if you don’t donate, please take a look at your local animal charities and see if you can help them in some way or another.  This could be as simple as taking old towels along to them that you don’t need any more.  

    Whatever you do, please do something. And remember, every little helps. Thank you for making a difference. 


  5. Grow a tree 2023!

    It’s National Tree Week, and a chance to celebrate all things tree!  In 2023, National Tree Week is particularly special because it’s the 50th anniversary of the “Plant a tree in 73” campaign – and from that event, both the National Tree Week and the Tree Council were born.

    We need trees and every year, the Tree Council is in charge of National Tree Week, bringing conservationists, volunteers and tree-lovers to unite and hopefully plant thousands of trees to begin the tree planting season!

    The Tree Council has a has a mission to care for our trees and our planet’s future.  It aims to champion trees in everything it does, and to encourage, inspire and persuade people of all ages and backgrounds to value and love trees.

    It runs a volunteer Tree Warden scheme, and works to lead and connect organisations, to persuade decision-makers, to influence policy, and deliver local action. 

    So this year, the Tree Council wants as many people as possible to have the chance to “Grow a Tree in 2023”, by taking part in an organised tree planting event or having your own National Tree Week Tree Party!

    They’ve got lots of ideas, with activities for a tree tea party, for instance – mind you, you can also do the activities on your own.   Here’s the Tree Party Activity Booklet

    You could simply find your favourite tree and give it a hug to thank it for being a tree!

     You could also think about becoming a volunteerTree Warden


    It’s also a chance to increase your knowledge of trees and their role

    The UK charity the Woodland Trust has information about: