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

Search Take Action for Wildlife Conservation

 RSS Feed

» Listings for March 2023

  1. As members of the Woodland Trust – a charity very close to my heart – I just received their spring edition of Broadleaf, bringing me all the latest news and updates and of course, ways in which everyone can help.

    They also took the opportunity to tuck in their Annual Review, One Big Year – and with it an impressive array of things that had been going on, and in particular the ways small groups (some not so small) are changing things for the better.

    Watch the Woodland Trust's You Tube Video
    Inside Britain's Rainforests

    With so much negativity in the news, I thought I’d share just some of their successes with you and ways in which small, different groups of people can create change.

    1. In Belfast, visitor jumpers have leapt from 10,000 (before Covid) to a whopping 78,000 in 2021 – the Trust doubled its size and added access trails.  Meanwhile at Belfast Hills at Glas-na-Bradan, 1,300 volunteers dug in 47,000 saplings – and this has created a new reserve.  It will give vibrant new habitat to marsh fritillaries and meadow pipits and more.

    2. Woodland Trust supporters have dug deep to the tune of £600,000 and as a result, Yonder Oak Wood will be the biggest new wood in Devon for years!  Situated in a valley, it has copses, streams and veteran oaks, and in time the hope is that dormice, adders and nightjars.  A mile long trail is being for wheelchairs and 60 locals have already volunteered to help!

    3. In Greater Manchester, the BollyFit fitness club added 400 saplings to Stockport’s Mellor Rec last winter.  The 30 mums contributed to the Northern Forest project, the aim being to plant 5 million trees.  Last year, this project really took root in a major way, thanks to £23 million from Defra’s Nature for Climate Fund.  It means that the Trust and its partners from the Community Forest Trust can fully fund planting schemes from Liverpool to Hull!

    4. There’s the Woodlands for Water – this is a £2.7 million masterplan to revive landscapes nationwide.  It is targeting 6 pathfinder catchments from Cornwall to Cumbria, including the Wye and Usk.  The Trust and its partners will be persuading landowners about the gains trees can bring to over 3000 hectares of waterway. 

    5. Trust members and supporters enabled the Trust in Scotland to buy the Couldoran Estate, stretching across 18 square kilometres.  It was a shooting ground before, and £770,000 was donated by willing donors.   The plan is to scatter about a million trees there, and connect up fragments of ancient Caledonian pinewood.  The wildlife will have a field day!

    6. The Welsh Government are bankrolling a £1.4 million drive to give every  household in Wales the chance to plant a sapling and watch it grow.  The spring pilot saw 5,000 oaks, alders, cherries and crab apples given out at five hubs nationwide, and 200,000 were available last November.  Get planting in Wales!!

    Become a member of the Woodland Trust and support their work
    Become a member of the Woodland Trust and support their work

    There's plenty we can all do to get involved and help.   
    Join in the bigger effort!
    Be part of a group making changes for the better!

    Sign the petition asking the Government to take better care of our trees.

    You could donate your Nectar points to the Woodland Trust

    Spotted an ancient tree?  Add it to the Ancient Tree Inventory!
    Spotted an ancient tree?  Add it to the Ancient Tree Inventory!

    All images ©Woodland Trust


    Did you see the series Paul Whitehouse, Our Troubled Rivers on BBC2?

    Well, the 14th March 2023 is the International Day of Action for Rivers is dedicated to solidarity – communities around the world unite with one voice to say that rivers matter.

    Having access to clean and flowing water matters.  Everyone should have a say in decisions affecting their water and lives. 

    We need to stand up for rivers and protect them. We need to be a voice for rivers. Many species of wildlife need them for habitats.  But freshwater species have seen an 83% decline since 1970 so please, defend, protect and restore rivers.  We need them, and so do wildlife.

    River charities in the UK include the Canal and River Trust, who have lots of ways you can get involved, the Rivers Trust, and Freshwater Habitats Trust.

    This is a great chance on the 14th March to find out what they all do and whether there is any way in which you can help. 

    Sign the petition
    to end sewage pollution

    #EndSewagePollution Coalition

  3. Watch out for….. Wild Isles

    Did you know that we have 85% of the world's chalk streams in Britain?  Or over 50% of the world's common bluebells?

    On Sunday 12th March 2023 at 7pm, the great Sir David Attenborough started a wonderful new series and he narrates a very special programme about the incredible wildlife we have in the UK and you can find out more about the natural history in Britain and Ireland.  We’ll see everything from butterflies and kingfishers to sea eagles, puffins and killer whales.  The latest technology enables Sir David and the crew to show us a wild side of the British Isles.  Over three years, the crew filmed in 145 places.

    Don’t miss it!  There are five episodes and there are three must-see moments here.  Watch for the time of day it's shown - on the 19th March, the programme is on at 7pm. 

    The series has been produced by the RSPB, WWF and the Open University.  A number of Wildlife Trusts locations feature in it. 

    After the introductory programme, the series features Woodland, Grassland, Freshwater and Ocean.  It has behaviour that was previously unseen from a staggering 96 species.  

    The programme’s website is here.  It has a trailer you can watch in advance of the series, and you can also delve behind the scenes here.

    Despite the UK’s wildlife, Britain is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, and one of the questions Sir David will be asking is how we can restore our wild isles for future generations.

    There’s a list of UK Conservation charities here (by no means does it list all of them!) and species specific charities here.

    If you want to make a start in helping wildlife, one of the things you could do is to visit the Wildlife Trusts.  There are 46 Wildlife Trusts around the UK, from Alderney in the Channel Islands right up to Scotland, from north west Wales to Norfolk, and they have lots of ways in which you can get involved and help wildlife to make a difference.   Find your local Wildlife Trust here.

    Whatever it is that you do, please do something.   Our wildlife need us to get up and take action. Britain is the worst country in the G7 for wildlife and wild spaces that have been lost because of human activity.  So we need to work hard to put this right, as Paul Whitehouse's Our Troubled Rivers....shows on BBC2 on Sunday 12 March at 8pm.

    11 Ways to help British wildlife


  4. Tonight on BBC2, there’s a short series starting called Paul Whitehouse – Our Troubled Rivers.

    The first programme is on Sunday 5 March 2023 at 8pm, and Paul Whitehouse looks at the state of British rivers, and the change in the water industry since it was privatised back in 1989.  He looks at the regulations there are for sewage discharge into rivers.

    From the Lake District where there’s been an ecological decline in the stunning Lake Windermere, to the River Wharf where locals are concerned about the health of the river, we see Paul Whitehouse reveal how water companies have neglected their responsibilities to the environment.

    And he meets people fighting back, such as Feargal Sharkey (former Undertones frontman) who is becoming a champion for cleaner rivers.

    There are two episodes to watch.  In the second episode, Paul Whitehouse is in the south of England and Wales, visiting the River Wye and Hampshire. 

    In Hampshire there’s damage being caused to the very rare chalk streams – and in Whitstable, there are problems for the oyster industry due to regular sewage discharges.

    Finally, in London, perhaps the Thames Tideway super sewer is a beacon of hope? 

    Ways to help

    Now, if you want to help our canals and rivers, you could look at the Canal and River Trust and or the Rivers Trust;  there are lots of opportunities to volunteer, or you could donate.

    The Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust have their Archers Green Appeal, raising funds to purchase a 20 acre site near Welwyn Garden City.  It has rare habitats, including chalk streams.  You can find out more and donate here.