Get Active: volunteer, experience, connect with the natural world


Get Active: volunteer, experience, connect with the natural world and put animal magic into your life! 

 RSS Feed


    Those fabulous people at Garden Wildlife Direct have some fly away fantastic offers on throughout the year, with everything you need for your garden birds and wildlife!

    And they always have lots of lovely offers on, perfect when we are all trying to help wildlife and yet make our money go further.  

    Garden Wildlife Direct has seed mixes for spring, summer, autumn and winter, with different brands including Peckish (as seen on the TV) adverts), Wildlife World, Gardeman and Garden Wildlife Direct's own brand.   

    There's all sorts of bird food, from seeds to sunflower hearts, suet balls to food for wildlife.   They've got sunflower heart/seeds, Millet seeds, bird food bundles and starter kits for those of you who want to start feeding the birds in your garden. 

    There's all sorts of bird food, from seeds to sunflower hearts, suet balls to food for wildlife

    They've got suet fat balls, suet blocks, suet coconut shells nad suet pallets, plus a range of feeders for mealworms, ground feeders, sunflowers and seeds.

    And of course you can get a full range of accessories such as window sticker alerts, bird tables, bird baths, nesting boxes, organments for your garden and things to store your bird goodies in.

    This All Seasons Complete Dining Station gives your birds a one-stop shop (or cafe!) to feed from - it doesn't come with bird food, that's extra

    This All Seasons Complete Dining Station
    gives your birds a one-stop shop (or cafe!) to feed from
    - it doesn't come with bird food, that's extra.

    If you have or want to encourage ducks, swans, hedgehogs, squirrels, chickcn and poultry, then they have food for those animals as well, plus bee houses and insect hotels. 

    If you have squirrels who keep pinching the food meant for the birds, try a squirrel proof bird feeder
    If you have squirrels who keep pinching the food meant for the birds,
    try a squirrel proof bird feeder

    This is a great chance to get stocked up with essentials for the wildlife in your garden, be they birds, or bats or hedgehogs. squirrels or bees, so fly off to Garden Wildlife Direct for more information .


    Will you sign the Big Shark Pledge with the Shark Trust?

    The Shark Trust say that many of our best known sharks make their home on the high seas, beyond any national borders. 

    But these sharks and rays are threatened by an enormous international fleet of fishing vessels.  

    Back in early 2021, research was published which confirmed that over 75% of oceanic sharks and rays are at risk of extinction because of the impact of overfishing. 


    So will you add your voice to the Big Shark Pledge and put pressure on governments and fisheries Will you help make the changes that these sharks need humans to make to keep them safe?

    The Shark Trust says that this will be a long term, international effort which will demand collaboration.   It will be important to put science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. 

    The Shark Trust asks us all to sign their pledge now and agree to (and I quote):

    S – Stand up for shark conservation

    H – Have faith that change will happen

    A – Act when called upon

    R – React to and share our campaign

    K – Know that I’m making a difference

    Together we can call for stronger conservation and fisheries management.


    Please sign the Big Shark Pledge here.



    It's National Marine Week in North Wales (the 19th July to 6th August, and yes, that's longer than a week!). 

    They are championing the lesser-known Welsh species – the gannet, the Roseate Tern, the oystercatcher, for instance - and hoping to inspire lots of young marine conservationists!

    Plenty to keep the kids busy over the summer holidays!

    The North Wales Wildlife Trust has 60 fun seaside activities in one pack for you to give into – run your own eggcase hunt, or explore the shores by locating and recording highly threatened seagrass meadows. 

    Click here to download your 60 Seaside Shore-nanigans!

    There are so things to do from home, because not everyone can get to the coast so there are sheets you can learn your marine species ID with a colouring in sheet. You can bake your own Berffro biscuits, and write your own sea shanty!

    Sign up here to download your 60 Seaside Shore-nanigans!

    The oceans matter!

    This is a really good chance to discover why the ocean is important – why does it matter?  It’s a great chance to dive deep and do some research, not just into why the ocean matters but how you can help

    Find out how you can help the North Wales Wildlife Trust work towards their vision for a marine environment where all marine life thrive.  Here’s their strategy to 2030

    They have three goals:

    1. Nature in recovery
    2. Meaningful action 
    3. Nature based solutions

    Our oceans are precious and we need to look after them.  Get involved with the North Wales Wildlife Trust's Living Seas
    Our oceans are precious and we need to look after them. 
    Get involved with the North Wales Wildlife Trust's Living Seas 

    Find out about the Living Seas campaign

    • Seagrass ocean rescue – discover all about these mighty meadows and how you can get involved in seagrass restoration in North Wales
    • Become a citizen scientist by joining in with the Trust’s Shoresearch Rocky Shore Surveys
    • Find out more about the Wales’ super sharks and how you can become a shark scientist!
    • Volunteer for the Living Seas Team

    You could also become a volunteer, become a member, write to your MP, join a beach clean, join in events…

    The more we can all connect with nature, the more we can appreciate it and how beautiful it is;  this will help strengthen our wish to protect and nurture nature. 

    Visit the North Wales Wildlife Trust here.

    Images on this blog ©North Wales Wildlife Trust

  4. National Marine Week takes place from 22 July to 6 August 2023 – join in and celebrate everything marine!  There's a LOT happening - so it's just as well it covers a couple of weeks!

    It’s organised by the Wildlife Trusts, of which there are 46 around the UK including Alderney in the Channel Islands.  Find your local Wildlife Trust here

    10 ways to get involved in National Marine Week

    1.Be a citizen scientist!

    Report your shoreline sightings.   There’s an image below to help you work out what you’re looking at, if you’re not sure. 

    National Marine Week 2020 - download this shoreline spotting sheet and see what you can see!

    2. Be a sea champion!

    Find out what the Wildlife Trusts are doing to help our seas and our sea life.  For instance, they campaign for parts of the seabed and the sea to be protected from damaging activities.  The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is working to protect seagrass and and you can sponsor a seagrass seed pod for £20 to help them.  Find out more

    3. Join in an event

    Some of these will be on the coast on the seashore, some on wetlands, and some further away from the sea, but either way, there's plenty going on all over the UK with beach cleans, night time safaris, marine wildlife surveys, dolphin watches and more!   And there are lots of events for families, too so that you can get the kids involved.  Find an event here

    4. Just watch marine life!

    There are a whole range of videos (thank you, You Tube) from kayaking in Alderney, to meeting the dolphins of Wales.   Rockpool species, sharks, turtles, seals – just drink in the marine videos.

    5. Find out more about different species

    The Wildlife Trusts’ website enable you to put the name of a species into a search box and you can learn all about it!  This year the Wildlife Trusts want to particularly focus on those species in the UK which we may not necssarily know of.  Have you heard of the sea hare, the common cuttlefish, the minke whale?  This is your chance to discover all about the wonderful sealife around our shores!

    We must protect our stunning coastline and marine lifeDive in and find out more about National Marine Week
    22th July to 6th August 2023

    6. Get Active!

    • Pick up litter
    • Watch what you wash away – some cosmetics, soaps, washing up liquids and cleaning products can harm wildlife
    • Use less plastic
    • Take a look at the seaside activity guides e.g. be a shoreline detective, create a bottle basking shark, how to go rockpooling etc

    7. Use less plastic

    The Wildlife Trusts have lots of help to enable you to use less plastic in all sorts of ways, from the bathroom, to the kitchen and being out and about,  and they also have info about those sneaky plastics you may not have thought of!  Find out more  

    Don't forget that July is Plastic Free Month - a chance for you to reduce the amount of plastic in your life, so it's a good way to do something towards both National Marine Weke and Plastic Free Month at the same time.

    8. Learn about marine habitats

    This is a great opportunity to find out all about habitats – marine habitats, seagrass, biogenic reefs, deep-water corals, mud, sand and graves, kept beds and forests and rocky reefs.  Float away to them here.

    9. Adopt an animal!

    Why not adopt an animal and give a Wildlife Trust your support?  There are a number of animals to choose from – seahorse, dolphin, seal, otters, beavers and more!  Funds raised from the adoption schemes goes towards helping local wildlife conservation work – managing nature reserves or creating new habitats.  It all helps, plus adoptions make a great gift for nature lovers!

    10. Become a member!

    You could become a member of a Wildlife Trust.  Find your local Wildlife Trust here. 

    Find out more about National Marine Week here.




    This summer, if you’re looking for family activities to do, it’s worth taking a look at your local wildlife reserves and animal sanctuaries!

    Many of them have lots of family fun organised, with events, trails to walk along, quizzes to do, fun arty activities and lovely days out, where the whole family can get outdoors and really enjoy being together in beautiful surroundings with wildlife all around them!

    The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have a number of different centres around the UK, and they all have lots of activities during the summer to get stuck into.  If you're not hear any of them, they still have ideas of things you can do at home!

    As an example, the WWT centre at Llanelli in stunning South Wales has lots going on.

    There’s a free Quentin Blake illustrated guide to have, so that you can discover the wonder of woodlands on the Drawn to Water trail.  If you’re inspired by that, there are super-fun art workshops for families, or maybe you’d prefer to hire a canoe and go for a paddle?  (They’ve also got a new canoe taxi service, too!) 

    There are stunning flamingoes to see at WWT LLanelli

    You can flock to see the stunning flamingos every day, and there’s story time too plus Feeding Frenzy. 

    Visit the WWT here

    There's also the RSPB, who have lots of reserves all around the country with places to explore.   Why not get your family involved in their Wild Challenge, which you can do at home?  Find out all about it here!

    Find out about the RSPB's Wild Challenge here
    Find out about the RSPB's Wild Challenge here

    Please bear in mind that many centres are taking precautions to keep the animals safe from things such as bird flu, and respect these

    Please also remember to take your rubbish home with you so that the wildlife don’t think it’s something yummy to eat and tuck in.  Rubbish can kill wildlife and we need to keep them safe.  



    Well, it’s that time of year again for everyone who wants to get involved in a nature project – today (14th July) sees the launch of the 2023 Big Butterfly Count!  (It finishes on 6th August 2023.)

    It’s the biggest survey of butterflies in the world.

    In 202, over 64,760 people took part and submitted 96,257 counts.  The information people submit is invaluable – it helps Butterfly Conservation understand how these delicate and beautiful insects are coping, given the climate and nature crisis we face.  Scientists can look at the results and put conservation measures in place.  The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch (January every year) does a similar thing.  These counts help conservation charities identify species in trouble and then take steps to help them.

    Help change the fortunes of butterflies!

    The State of Butterflies 2022 reported earlier this year that 80% of butterfly species have decreased since the 1980s. In recent years, Butterfly Conservation has helped change the fortunes of a number of species such as the Chequered Skipper and Duke of Burgundy.  It’s also stopped the decline of many others.

    So taking part is a really easy and helpful thing to do.   And it only takes 15 minutes of your time!

     How to take part in the Big Butterfly Count 2023

    1. Download the mobile app or sign up to the website
    2. Find a sunny spot
    3. Spend 15 minutes spotting butterflies & moths
    4. Record how many & what species you see

    Flutter off to the Big Butterfly Count’s website here.

    The website tells you all you need to know! 


  7. There’s great mews from The Times for cat owners and lovers!

    On Monday 3rd July 2023, reporter Kieran Gair (thank you, Kieran!) reported that the first feline blood bank in the UK to provide treatment for cats with medical conditions is to be set up by Banco de Sangue Animal.

    They are a Portuguese group, and they already have animal blood banks in Portugal, Spain and Belgium. 

    Like us, cats must be transfused with a matching type of blood, but they just have two blood types, namely A and B. 

    Cats are prone to blood born disease, and there’s been a problem for cats because there hasn’t been appropriate blood available. 

    If you think your cat would be a suitable donor, you can register him or her on the Pet Blood Bank UK’s website.

    Pets need blood donors too!
    Pets need blood donors too!
    Visit the Pet Blood Bank UK here.

    If you think your cat could be a blood donor, he or she needs to be a large, healthy cat who likes being handled and who likes spending time with people.  And he or she should be between 1 and 10 years old, and weight no more than 9 pounds.  They also must be up to date with vaccinations and treatments. 

    It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to do a cat blood donation – on average – but the whole process takes 4 hours, since the vet needs to make sure the cat is properly hydrated before they head home.

    The Times say that the Royal Veterinary College stores feline blood but only for the animals treated at or referred to it, since it is a transfusion service as opposed to be a blood bank.

    Visit the Pet Blood Bank UK here.  

    PS Their own recent news is that they are working with Blood Bikes 4 Pets – this is a new, soon to be charity, and it’s working to create the UK’s first professional motorbike blood delivery service for pets!    They service will operate with volunteer riders who can safely take blood products across the country on specialist bikes.  A big thank you to Honda who are helping.  Visit Blood Bikes 4 Pets here – you can donate the cost of fuel to help!  We wish them God speed and all the best 

    PPS The Pet Food Blood Bank UK  also need blood from dogs….. fetch more information here.  

    And they are supporting the alpaca community by offering a collection kit and blood processing service for alpaca vets.  Find out more



    If you're looking for an animal experience as a gift for an animal lover, or you want to treat yourself, take a look at gift experience company Into the Blue 

    They have a range of animal experiences to choose from, and here's a short selection, just to give you some ideas.  There's also news of a special offer further down...

    There are lots of falconry experiences to choose from
    There are lots of falconry experiences to choose from
    - there are locations around the UK and they start at £24.50
    Experience a meeting and handling a bird of prey
    and even flying them to your gloved hand!

    Try a bee keeping experience!

    Try a bee keeping experience!
    They start at £35.00
    Find out all about the art of keeping bees and making honey!

    There are a number of animal-related photography experiences

    There are a number of animal-related photography experiences
    - some are not animal related and some are online.  From £20.00

    Have a sheepdog experience in West Yorkshire
    Have a sheepdog experience in West Yorkshire
    for £85.00
    Have a full day with Border Collies
    Learn how to handle and train the dogs
    Learn about farming, sheep and sheepdogs
    Shepherd a small flock of sheep

    You could go Alpaca Walking in Warwickshire

    You could go Alpaca Walking in Warwickshire 
    from £7.50 for a child, £13.50 for an adult.
    Meet the alpaca herd near Atherstone
    and head off on a guided walk with your alpaca!

    There's Sheep Trekking in Somerset

    There's Sheep Trekking in Somerset
    from £25.00
    Meet and greet the friendly sheep and give them snacks
    Lead a sheep on a stroll across fields and through woodland

    There's Ancient Trails Pony Walking in Dorset

    There's Ancient Trails Pony Walking in Dorset
    from £49.00
    This is a great way to discover Dorset, 
    on a guided pony walk with a pony by your side!

    Meet the Meerkats in Oxfordshire
    Meet the Meerkats in Oxfordshire
    £40.00 for two people
    Learn all about the Meerkats' lives as a family
    and get to feed them inside their enclosure

    Click here to see all the Animal Experience Days and Gifts 



    If you love organic beauty products, then you could take a look at Green People, who are bsaed in West Sussex. 

    They have award-winning organic products, with everything you need from skin care to sun products, travel size products, hair, make-up, body, anti-ageing and wellbeing.

    Given the time of year with summer (?!) coming up (who knows in the UK?!) you could look at their sun care products - perhaps you've got some time to sunbathe or a holiday away planned or you like to spend a lot of time outside and want to protect yourself from the sun.  

    Take a look at Green People's sun care products
    Take a look at Green People's sun care products

    On Friday 30th June 2023,
    there's a 24 hour sale, ending at 23:59 - 

    enjoy 25% off at Green People with the code FLASH25

    They support a number of wildlife charities, including the Born Free Foundation, the Marine Conservation Society and the World Land Trust so they care about the environment and everyone on the planet.  

    Go to Green People here.

    PS They've also got pet care products, for dogs.  See them here.  Woof woof!


    This  June, those lovely folk at Pooch & Mutt say, Move those paws and Get Outdoors! 

    They have created an range of natural meals treats and supplements that both does good and tastes good giving dogs the ingredients they need to boost their mood and behaviour and their  physical health.

    And they've got some barking discount codes for you!

    Pooch and Mutts say, Move those paws and Get Outdoors!

    Get 15% off sitewide with the code AFP6EX

    There's something for Senior dogs (7+)

    New customers can get 20% off with code AFP6NEW


    They've got products for your dog's teeth!

    Spend and save 25% when you spend £60 or more with code AFP6S2S

    And they've got products for puppies!


    Go on - treat the ones you love so much, with Pooch & Mutt!