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News, events, ways to get involved, special offers...


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  1. Great news - Springtime on the Farm is back in a new series on Channel 5 :-)

    Adam Henson and Lindsey Chapman are giving us an insight into the work of farmers around Britain and how the Beast from the East affected them and how they dealt with it.   They are amazingly stoical, handling life and death, good weather and bad.  

    Lambs, calves, piglets, chicks and kids take wobbly steps, aided often by farmers who help Mums-to-be with the births.   

    The series is on Channel 5 at 8pm this week and there are five episodes.  

    And if that whets your appetite and you want to find out more, you could take a look at Practical Sheep, Goats and Alpacas magazine - it's a great source of information for people who want to keep these animals, and you can get a subscription from isubscribe.com


    Practical Sheep, Goats and Alpacas magazine subscription


  2. Stuck for something to do this bank holiday Monday?

    Why not give yourself a few minutes or longer to simply do a bit of wildlife-spotting from home and watch the birds out of your window.

    It’s an immensely therapeutic thing to do, I think – just to sit and watch our feathered friends go about their day. 

    As well as watching them, you could delve into the pages of Garden Bird or the RSPB.  Both are a fountain of knowledge so far as birds go – as you’d expect – and spending some time discovering more about birds and ways to help them is a great way to indulge in a bit of nature discovery.  You could then also consider what actions you could take (and apologies if you’re already taking them) to help our feathered friends.  

    Bird watching from home…Where to start

    If you’re not sure what birds to look for, you could take a leaf out of the results of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch survey.  A whopping 420,489 results were sent in by members of the public who took part, and they spent an hour in late January simply watching the birds and other wildlife from their windows and then letting the RSPB know what they saw.

    The Top Ten Birds spotted in the UK and Northern Ireland in January 2018 were (drum roll, please)…

    1. House Sparrow
    2. Starling
    3. Blue tit
    4. Blackbird
    5. Woodpigeon
    6. Goldfinch
    7. Great tit
    8. Robin
    9. Long-tailed tit
    10. Chaffinch

    Help with bird conservation

    The great thing about wildlife surveys is that they give those who organise them – in this case the RSPB – a chance to really find out which birds are doing well and thriving and which need to help to survive and then thrive as a species.   The Big Garden Birdwatch has been running since 1979 so it’s given the RSPB a very good picture over the 39 years since it started of the state of Britain’s birds.

    Inevitably, some birds are doing well; some aren’t – and there will be plenty we can all do to help our feathered friends both survive and thrive.  

    Make a difference to bird conservation

    Garden Bird has some easy-to-follow feed the birds advice if you want to get started and feed the birds.  And of course the RSPB Online Shop also has a range of bird feed, feeders, bird baths, bird houses and nest boxes etc - everything you need to help garden birds and other widllife too survive and thrive!



  3. Green People produce cruelty free beauty products which are natural and organic.  

    They sell products for skin care, body care, sun care, make-up, toothpaste, deorderant, products for kids and babies, for teenagers, make-up - and they have an organic travel selection too. 

    I use their products every day and one of the things I love about this company is that they produce products which are cruelty free - they are not tested on animals.  

    Another thing I love about them is that the company work with charities such as the Marine Conservation Society to help wildlife and to keep the planet beautiful.   They've produced lines which help support the Woodland Trust, Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation.  These things make a big difference to me.  They are licensed by PETA as a recognised cruelty free company.  

    I use their moisturiser and cleanser and they are fantastic - my mother says she's never seen my skin look so good since I started using them.

    Click here to hop off to Green People

    And what's more, Green People have 20% off if you spent over £40 this 2018 Easter bank holiday weekend.  

    Use the code HOPTOIT to get your 20% off.  

    Click here to hop off to Green People's website

  4. Would you like to head to Longleat and take in the safari park there?  Well, if you fancy a trip, hold your horses - Picniq.co.uk have a special offer, with a 20% off exclusive!

    Head to Longleat for a great day out  

    Longleat Safari & Adventure Park is just off the A36 between Bath and Salisbury.

    Once you get there, Jungle Kingdom will bring you up close to the cheeky lemurs, beautiful butterflies, aardvarks, parakeets, creepy crawlies and more!  The drive-through safari gives you the chance to see the fabulous lions, mischievous monkeys, roaming rhino and chasing cheetahs! 

    In Longleat House you can see the impressive Great Hall with 30ft high ceilings, the well stocked library with over 40,000 books, and other public rooms where beautiful tapestries and artworks are displayed.

    Longleat All In One Day Ticket

    There's a two day ticket as well if you want to stay for longer

    Come and see me and my friends at Longleat!


  5. For all pet lovers everywhere, the 1st April sees the start of National Pet Month.  The event brings together animal welfare charities, professional bodies, pet businesses, schools, youth groups and pet lovers.  

    The aims of National Pet Month are....

    • Promote responsible pet ownership
    • Make people aware of the mutual benefits of living with pets
    • Increase public awareness of the role of pet care specialists
    • Raise awareness of the value of working and assistance companion animals

    Pet lovers all over the UK will be celebrating their bond with their pets. 

    Find out more about National Pet Month here

    Thousands of pet lovers join forces to raise the importance of responsible pet ownership, and there are plenty of events around the country to get involved with.  Many will raise money for local animal charities, so this is a great chance to make a difference and give back to help those who do so much for all of us.  There are plenty of event ideas too, if you want to organise your own event. 

    Miaow for now! 

    Check out Viovet's Blog with 6 Things Dog Owners Love about Spring!


  6. There's a new documentary series called Big Cats About the House on BBC2 at 8pm tonight (Thursday 22nd March 2018).

    It follows the work of big cat expert Giles Clark.

    He's working to turn a The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent into a centre of excellence for conservation.   There are 50 big cats there, many of whom have been rescued - some from circuses.  Others belong to an international breeding programme to act as an insurance policy against extinction.

    Giles takes in a tiny jaguar cub tonight called Maya - she wasn't thriving with her mother.

    Adopt Maya
    ©Big Cat Sanctuary

    Adapt Maya from the Big Cat Sanctuary

    Crucially, the programme doesn't shy away from important conservation issues.   In the last 100 years, some big cat species have declined by over 90% and many experts think some big cats could disappear completely in the next decade.

    Visit BBC2 for more info.

    Jaguar conservation

    Here are some links to jaguar conservation initiatives:

    The Jaguar Corridor Initiative, Panthera

    Chaco Jaguar Conservation Project between Bolivia and Argentina

    Information on jaguars from IUCN

    Jaguar conservation in Costa Rica - Volunteer!

    10% off Giles Clark's Big Cats Afternoon Tea and Tour for Two in Kent

    10% off Giles Clark's Big Cats Afternoon Tea and Tour for Two in Kent
    available from Red Letter Days


  7. Picniq.co.uk was founded by former Headteacher and mother of three, Claire Skerrett.

    Claire was on maternity leave with her second child, finding it very difficult to find inspiration for days out and things to do, both locally and further afield.  She decided that she wanted to launch a website to help other parents find days out and events across the UK.

    Picniq.co.uk is a mine of information on events and deals on tickets and you can save yourself money through their website.

    Here are some of their current special offers for animal lovers...

    ZSL London Zoo -  18% off

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - 18% off

    Longleat Safari Park - 20% off exclusive to Picniq

    Hounslow Urban Farm - up to 33% off

    Liberty's Owl, Raptor & Reptile Centre  - 49% off family tickets


  8. There's a very inspiring story on the BBC website this morning which comes from the Canadian city of Toronto.

    The good people of Toronto have been working hard to make their buildings safer for birds.  The city sits on a major route for migratory birds - and many of those birds are flying into buildings and a good number of them are killed doing so.  They get confused by the glass and its reflections. 

    So they city has come up with five ways in which to make the windows safer for birds.  Since 2010, developers have had to meet bird safety standards. 

    1. Have less glass in new buildings (which also helps insulate the buildings better)
    2. Put markings on the glass so that birds can see it
    3. Recess windows to stop reflections
    4. Use shutters or sun-shades to hide glass
    5. Switch off lights so that birds aren't drawn to them

    Some older buildings have been made more bird safe as well.  In one case, 100 birds had been found to have died at a building.  Markers were put up to show the glass to the birds and since then, just 1 or 2 a year have been found, so it has made a difference.

    The more birds who make it to the northern forests to breed, the better for birdlife and for all of us. 

    Click here to fly away to the BBC's website to watch the video.


  9. Dog friendly holidays in Pembrokeshire


    What a beautiful part of the world it is!   I have many happy memories of family holidays there as a child - beaches, cliff top walks, little harbours to explore, friendly market towns and villages.  

    We took our German Shepherd there for his first holiday with us.   He had a fantastic time on the beach and in the sea - it was the first time he'd seen the sea, and he ran alongside my husband barking his excitement.   

    Doyle brings his frisbee back for Dad to throw again


    There were lots of new waggy tail friends to make, different smells to check out, places to play - he loved it all.   The cafes, restaurants and pubs we went to all gave him a friendly welcome, too!

    Doyle loves the sea


    FBM Holidays have lots of dog friendly accommodation so click here to dig out one which will suit you & your dog.