They've got all sorts of animal experiences with all sorts of animals. Big cats, horses, meerkats, pigs, birds of prey, penguins, reptiles and monkeys. There's also Zookeeper for the Day at a number of venues, plus simply visits to zoos such as ZSL and wildlife parks.
Did you see Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s programme on BBC2 on Saturday afternoon?
It featured a number of exciting wildlife projects, and among them were a group of volunteers who go on Toad Patrol.
In short, volunteers on Toad Patrol help toads cross busy roads safely.
Common toads have very special wants when it comes to choosing where they breed. They often go back to their ancestral breeding ponds every year. And they cross the same route – which can lead them across roads.
It registers these sites as migratory crossings and it also helps organise local toad patrols.
A patrol can apply to local councils for road warning signs to be put up and help toads cross.
Toads on Patrol has now been going for 20 years and there are many crossings around the nation.
How would you like to volunteer to join a Toad Patrol?
You can volunteer as much or as little as you want – but you need to be committed and enthusiastic, and willing to turn out in the evenings in wet weather. Migration can run from as early as January to as late as April so you’re going out in the dark in wet and cold weather for much of the time
That said, this is a great opportunity to:
Meet like minded people who want to make a difference
Report your shoreline sightings. There’s an image below to help you work out what you’re looking at, if you’re not sure.
2. Be a sea champion!
The Wildlife Trusts are telling the Government that we need Highly Protected Marine Areas FAST! These areas will ban damaging activities including fishing, so that wildlife could recover and thrive. Swimming, kayaking and scuba diving would be okay. And the sites would spread over nearshore, inshore and offshore waters and different regional areas. Please dive in and sign the letter to DEFRA here.
3. Join in an event
Some of these will take place face-to-face in accordance with Government guidance, ensuring social distancing at all times. Others take place digitally or they are self-led by those taking part.
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 a 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!
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. Enter their competition
Send your pictures, videos or stories of your all-time favourite UK marine wildlife experience to [email protected] You could win a pair of Opticron binoculars and a copy of the brilliant ‘The Essential Guide to Rockpooling’ book, by Julie Hatcher and Steve Trewhella. The competition closes at 11.59pm on 9th August. The winner will be chosen at random shortly afterwards.
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!
So you can enjoy 15% off all the animal experiences as well - feed big cats, go horse riding, go for a walk with an alpaca, feed a penguin, meet a reptile, fly an owl - there are all sorts of animal experiences you can enjoy!
Friday 17th July to Sunday 9th August is the time when you can take part in this year’s Big Butterfly Count.
It's the world's largest citizen science survey and we can all be a part of it! This is an important survey to help Butterfly Conservation find out about the state of the butterfly population and work out how best to help those species of butterfly that are in need of help
Surveys like this are invaluable and the great thing is that we can all take part!
It only takes 15 minutes and what’s more, you can do it as often as you like, in your garden, in the local park, in a field – where you do it is up to you.
You note down what you see – there’s lots of information to help you on the Big Butterfly Count’s website, plus an app – and then record your sightings.
Even if you don’t see any flutterings of butterflies at all, it’s important to tell the Big Butterfly Count that you score was zero because that helps them know where butterflies aren’t, as much as where butterflies are!
Now, there are other surveys you can join in for butterflies and moths as well such as the Garden Butterfly Survey. This is a chance for you to record the butterflies you see in your garden over the course of a year. It's simple:
Create a free account
Submit your sightings and help Butterfly Conservation learn more about how butterflies are faring in UK gardens.
Anyway, back to the PDSA. They are a remarkable charity aiming to do 3 things
Carrying out life-saving operations
They are a charity and are dependent on donations etc but there are many ways you can support them, from volunteering (this may need to be something you do down the line when the coronavirus lockdown is over), donating, fundraising, spreading the word etc. Visit their website here to fetch ideas as to how you can help
One of the things they have is a special corner for young people. It’s called Pet Protectors HQ and young people can find out all about taking care of pets, discover more about the PDSA and also find out how to get into a career in veterinary care, whether you want to become a vet or a vet nurse!
The Wildlife Trusts are challenging us all to do something WILD every day! That will be 30 fun, exciting Random Acts of Wildness.
There’s a free pack of goodies to help you plan your month, and your Wildlife Trust have lots of ideas to help. You’ll get emails too from your Wildlife Trust, and a chance to get involved on social media.
The first thing to do is to sign up and get your FREE 30 Days Wild Pack. It’s got a wallchart, a poster, an interactive booklet and some stickers to help you GO WILD!
They have just announced that their fundraiser to save 642 acres of land in Columbia has been successful and that the land has been saved! They hit their target of £295,000 in just a few weeks which is all the more remarkable because of what was happening in the world – the coronavirus began to make its impact felt shortly after the fundraiser was announced. Anyway, it’s a great way to get involved in conservation and to donate to something where you really can make a difference.
Thanks to the World Land Trust’s supporters, Fundacion Biodiversa Colombie (FBC) will be able to protect more of the amazing network of habitats in Barbacoas, middle-Magdalena Valley, home to many of Columbia’s most threatened species. The Lowland Tapir, Brown Spider Monkey, and West Indian Manatee all call this home, along with many bird species.