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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» Listings for April 2023

  1. #GreenMatchFund

    Update on 29 April 2023:  The Green Match Fund 2023 was a great success, and £4,349,330 was raised for 178 charities in 7 days.  There were 22,457 donations to make this happen!   Congratulations to all the charities involved! 

    Here's the background here: 

    Here’s a chance to make a donation for wildlife which gets DOUBLED

    From the 20th April at midday for one week, you can donate to an environmental charity taking part and your donation will be matched! 

    This is a great chance to really make your £ stretch to make a difference!

    If we all pull together, we can really go places for nature and the natural world
    If we all pull together, we can really go places 
    for nature and the natural world
    Visit the Green Match Fund here

    Charites taking part in the Green Match Fund include:

    • Wildlife Trusts (a number have their own individual appeals)
    • Rewilding Britain
    • Bees for Development Trust
    • Surfers Against Sewage
    • Northumberland Rivers Trust
    • Fauna and Flora International (for pangolins)
    • The RSPB
    • Buglife
    • Students organising for Sustainability (that's Hedgehogs Friendly Schools)
    • Blue Marine Foundation
    • Virunga Foundation (that’s for gorillas)
    • David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
    • ZSL (for big cats)
    • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
    • Wild Fish Conservation
    • Royal Entomological Society (that’s for insects)
    • International Animal Rescue (for mangroves)
    • The Shark Trust
    • Sumatran Orangtuan Foundation
    • Beaver Trust
    • Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (wildcats)
    • Whale and Dolphin Conservation
    • Bat Conservation Trust
    • CPRE (for hedgerows, so important to lifestyle)
    • Wildlife Vets International (for vultures)
    • Space for Giants (elephant-human conflict)
    • South Downs National Park Trust (for a network for ponds)
    • Rhino Ark (UK)
    • Orangutan Foundation
    • Bees Abroad (bees and elephants)
    • Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit
    • Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
    • Project Seagrass
    • Organisation Cetacea
    • People’s Trust for Endangered Species (for hedgerows)
    • International Otter Survival Fund
    • World Cetacean Alliance
    • The Falconry Centre – Vulture Conservation
    • South Georgia Heritage Trust (whales)
    • UK Wild Otter Trust

    Even if you cannot donate, this is a great opportunity to find out more about what the charities that interest you most do, and to spread awareness of what they do – spread the word!

    The above list doesn’t cover all the charities taking part, so visit the Green Match Fund’s page to find out more!



  2. One million seabirds need our help.

    The National Trust for Scotland have reported that Avian flu has devastated global seabird populations – just at a time when the birds are already struggling with threats such as dwindling food stocks and storms that are getting worse.

    What will happen in 2023? 

    The National Trust for Scotland reports that about 20% of all seabirds breeding in Scotland breed at their places – and it’s members support which helps make this happen.  The Trust cares for miles and miles coastline – all vital to our seabirds.

    St Kilda's, for example, is the UK’s only marine World Heritage Site, and a quarter of the world's gannet population nest here. 


    The National Trust for Scotland protects miles and miles of coastline - and guillemots are some of seabirds who are dependent on it.
    Find out about the National Trust for Scotland's Marine and Coastal Policy

    Even though seabirds are far away from land a lot, they need to come back to the coast and cliffs in order to breed.  So the Trust has a huge responsibility in preserving these areas to ensure the seabirds’ survival.

    And there are a number of things we can all do that the National Trust for Scotland has identified to help protect birds such as puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and storm petrels as the breeding season starts.

    The National Trust for Scotland’s rangers and other staff will be working hard to give seabirds the best chance of survival – and the chance to thrive, too – in their colonies.  One of the things they do is to count seabirds to give us an idea of the marine ecosystem – seabirds reflect changes in marine habitats and can give us a lot of understanding and insight into what is happening to the sea.

    The puffin  is a much loved seabird who needs the coastline and cliffs.
    Find out about volunteering with and working
    for the National Trust for Scotland here.

    Conservation experts and volunteers watch the seabird colonies, both counting numbers and monitoring breeding patterns and trends.  This is invaluable information, because it shows the Trust which species are doing well and which are declining – it’s a bit like the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch in that respect! 

    So who breeds on the properties of the National Trust for Scotland?  Well, they have a list on their website – and amongst the breeds there are sure to be some we all recognise, such as the Atlantic puffin, guillemots, gulls, gannets, kittiwakes, storm petrels, the Max shearwater, terns and skuas.

    How we can help seabirds in Scotland

    Check, clean and close.

    If you’re visiting colonies such as St Kilda, Canna or other islands, it’s vital that you clean your boots or shoes with disinfectant, and keep food containers tightly closed.  Left open, they can attract stowaways on board or into bags.

    Give seabirds space.

    Make sure you keep a good distance from nests and birds who are feeding.  Don’t disturb nests or burrows and please keep dogs on a short lead or close to heel where ground-nesting birds breed and feed, especially during the breeding season (1 April to 30 September).

    Join a campaign.

    There are a number of campaigns focusing on seabirds aiming to persuade politicians to support higher levels of environmental protection, biodiversity and stewardship.   The impact of fishing practices which damage the seabed and health of some fish stocks is of special concern.  The National Trust for Scotland wants better protection for inshore waters, so that marine life can recover and thrive.

    Get busy – become a citizen scientist!

    Help in the research and monitoring of seabirds!   Between May and August, the National Trust for Scotland will collect images from the public of puffins taking food to their chicks.  Trained volunteers will analyse these pictures, to try to spot problems puffins at Trust sites have to feed their tricks.  The website will have lots of advice on how to get photos without disturbing the puffins and also on how to submit them online.

    Become a member of the National Trust for Scotland!

    As well as seabirds, the Trust also cares for places which are a birdwatcher’s paradise, with eagles and ospreys in the Highlands, garden birds in lowland areas, and black grouse and capercaillie in the pinewoods.  You can support their efforts by becoming a member.  

    Find out more about the wildlife the National Trust for Scotland protects here.

    Images © National Trust for Scotland


    It’s back!  Starting at 7pm UK time on Sunday 16 April 2023, Our Changing Planet returns to our screens in this two part series.

    In April 2022, six presenters visited various destinations around the world to investigate the impact of accelerating economic development and the impact of climate change.  They were on a mission to make repeat visits to places and habitats under extreme environmental threat, and the aim was to see how communities, conservationists and scientists are altering the narrative.

    The series is documenting the second year of what is a 7 year project to save the endangered ecosystems on our planet.

    In the first episode on the 16th April 2023, Chris Packham is in Greenland to look at the rate at which snow and ice are melting (and the implications beyond the Arctic), and Steve Backshall is in the Maldives where climate change is threatening the corals.   The episode also features schemes to protect the forests of California; Liz Bonnin is there finding out what is being done (enter the beavers and ancient forest management techniques).

    Ade Adepitan, Ella Al-Shamahi and Gordon Buchanan feature in the second episode, in Kenya, Cambodia and Brazil respectfully.

    This series should be thought provoking and hopefully it will also give us all ideas of ways we can help. Hopefully, it will give us hope for the future too.

    Visit the programme’s website here.


  4. Madagascar:  A Forest for the Future

    The World Land Trust is fundraising to raise £586,250 so that their partner, MGB-Madagascar, can protect the last home of lemurs in the Vangaindrano District of Madagascar.


    SUCCESS!   Find out more from the World Land Trust
    9 June 2023


    Donations towards this appeal will:

    • Protect 200 hectares
    • Restore those 200 hectares with 500,000 trees
    • Fund new rangers to patrol and protect Ankarabolava-Agnakatrika for a minimum of five years.

    The MGB-Madagascar will be able to both protect and restore a new area around the forests of Ankarabolava-Agnakatrika. 

    Introducing the forest

    The area is home to the Critically Endangered White-Collared lemurs and over 50 other threatened species.  There are 295 flora species, and six types of lemur.

    Amongst the species include the critically endangered Dypsis elegans palm trees, the endangered Noronhia densiflora and the endangered Sylvichadsia grandidieri legume.

    The Antesaka people who live in the forest rely on it for food and medicinal plants, for the materials they need to build their homes, and the water for their crops, as the video shows.

    Did you know….
    80% of Madagascar’s flora doesn’t exist anywhere else, because it’s been isolated for over 80 million years?

    The Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Madagascar Programme (MGB-Madagascar) has helped to protect this forest since 2009.  And the Ankarabolava-Agnkatrika Protected Area was established in 2015 and stands at 1,562 hectares in size. They now want to add to that with another 200 hectares.   They are a partner with the World Land Trust, and their efforts so far have already halted lemur hunting in the area.

    For deforestation has been growing ever closer to the area as a result of demand for timber and charcoal – tree feeling and fire is getting closer and closer to the forest boundary.  Cyclones can really damage the forest. So it is vital that action is taken quickly to save the last of the natural forest in the district.

    You can help to secure the future of the forest by making a donation.   The appeal, if successful, will bring 1,000 jobs to the area, and it will give 30 staff nursery training and the protection of the forests they rely on for water, medicinal plants and food.  You can provide an income for farmers whose land is no longer productive.

    Lemurs are essential as seed dispersers.  They are the largest fruit eaters in Madagascar – and they have the ability to swallow the seeds that small bats and birds cannot, so they are the only seed disperser for many plant species on the island.

    Let’s give the lemurs more forest to call home and to roam in.  They can help expand it with seed dispersal!

    Please donate to help the lemurs, the Antesaka people and to protect the forest for the future.


  5. There’s very exciting news from English Heritage.  They are creating and/or restoring 100 wildlife meadows for King Charles III’s Coronation!

    In the UK, we have lost about 97% of our wildlife meadows since the 1930s and the arrival of post-war modern farming practices.    Before this, meadows, road verges and lawns would have had far more diverse flowers and plants than we have today.

    Meadows require cutting for hay and English Heritage are going to enhance and create 100 meadows at their palaces, prehistoric stone circles, abbeys and castles!  This will establish flower-rich grasslands across England.  It will restore the lost meadows and enhance those already in existence.  This is a pledge from English Heritage to King Charles III.

    100 sites will have meadows restored or enhanced!
    100 sites will have meadows restored or enhanced!

    The King has done his own wildlife meadow at Highgove, and Boscobel now has a wildflower meadow. 

    This will help bees and butterflifes and all sorts of insects and birds, but it will also help people, as grasslands that are in good shape are able to tackle pollution and lock atmospheric carbon below ground.  It will mean there are more natural spaces at the heart of the English Heritage properties that are one of the 100;  visitors will be able to get an idea of what it was like for those who lived there before.

    English Heritage are hoping that local communities will get involved too and help transform their local heritage sites into meadows rich in flowers, thereby improving the quality and diversity of local grasslands.  

    Find out about Plantlife's #NoMowMay campaign here
    Plantlife are involved in this amazing initiative -
    find out about #NoMowMay campaign here

    The plan is to source seed from meadows in the area to make sure that viable local species of wildflowers can be introduced to each site.  This should also mean that a special range of landscapes on with different soils and geology will be produced, such as damp acid grasslands and dry chalk grasslands.

    The list of meadows is here

    Plantlife are supporting this wonderful transformation by providing expertise, resources, skills development training and the opportunities to change knowledge as things progress. 

    Amongst those sites on the list are Boscobel in Shropshire (famous as a place where Charles II hid from the Cromwellians after the Battle of Worcester), Down House in Kent (home of Charles Darwin), Stonehenge in Wiltshire, and Barnard Castle in County Durham.

    Find out more from English Heritage

    Find out more about Plantlife