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! 

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  1.  

    Have you heard of Lily's Kitchen?

    They create yummy, wholesome food for both cats and dogs - they believe our cherished family members deserve to eat proper food full of nourishing ingredients.  They're on a mission to give pets a diet full of goodness, whilst treading lightly on the planet at the same time! 

    For dogs , they've got dry dog food, wet dog food, dental chews, treats, selection boxes and more.   They've got diets for dogs with sensitive tummies, and sensitive skin, and special diets that are grain free, hypoallergenic, organic and vegetarian.  You can order for puppies, adults and seniors.  They've got recepies in beef, chicken, salmon, goose, herring, lamb, pheasant and pork so you've got lots of choice!

    Oy!  What about us?!!

    What about us cats??! 

    And for our feline members of the family, there's wet food, dry food, treats (of course!), selection boxes and you can choose from special diets such as grain free and organic and hypoallergenic.  You can also choose for kittens (under 1), adults (1 to 6) and seniors (7 plus).  Recipies include beef, chicken, salmon, cod, trout, prawn, turkey, pork, lamb and duck.  Miaow!! 

    Don't miss out!
    This offer lasts until 11:45pm on Sunday 14th April 2024**

    They've also got helpful tips on caring for your dog and caring for your cat, so head over to Lily's Kitchen to find out more!

    **25% off all orders ends at 11:45pm on Sunday 14/04/2024 and can't be used with any other offer, except for the 'treat of the month' promotion. Offer excludes Christmas recipes. Free delivery over £29 offer applies to order value after all promotions are deducted. Restrictions apply to harder to reach destinations.

     

  2.  

    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!

    Garden Wildlife Direct has seed mixes for spring, summer, autumn and winter, with different brands including Peckish, Wildlife World, Gardeman and Garden Wildlife Direct's own brand.   

    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.  And the great news is that Garden Wildlife Direct have very regular offers to help you do just both those things!  

    You can check out Garden Wildlife Direct's budget bird food, to help you save money whilst supporting wildlife and giving them a helping hand. 

    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 Premium Sunflower Heart Kernels
    There's Premium Sunflower Heart Kernels
    They are high in energy, and nutritious for birds
    from £6.99

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


    Why not treat the birds in your garden to a Giant Christmas Berry Suet Cone?
    Why not treat the birds in your garden to a Giant Christmas Berry Suet Cone?
    suet is the perfect all-year round treat and 
    the cone has a built in string attached so that you can hang it from a branch,
    a bird feeding station or bird table 
    £4.99


    If you haven't got a garden, you can still do your bit with a window feeder, and there  are window sticker alerts to stop the birds flying into your window and injuring  themselves or worse.

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

     

    These are Premium Insect Suet Pellets

    These are Premium Insect Suet Pellets, full of essential fats and minerals
    from £10.99

    This Wildlife World Bempton Hanging Bird Table could make a great gift for someone and for garden birds!
    This Wildlife World Bempton Hanging Bird Table 
    could make a great gift for someone and for garden birds!
    £36.99

    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

  3.  
    Those lovely folk at Pooch & Mutt have a range of treats for your woof, whether you want to show them even more love than usual, or help their dental health or calm a nervy dog.  

    They've got natural meals, treats and supplements to give dogs the optimal ingredients they need to boost their mood and behaviour "paw in paw", as they say,  with their physical health.

    Although Easter is over, Pooch and Mutt have Easter meaty treats for your canine member of the family! 

     

    Take a look at their Easter probiotic meaty treats!
    Take a look at their Easter probiotic meaty treats!
    Why not create a meaty trail for your dog to hunt out?
    If it's a rainy day, you could do this indoors.
    Find out more here.

    Give your pooch a tasty spring fling, with Pooch & Mutt’s Easter Meaty Treats! With ingredients of Lamb, Chicken and Spring Greens to get them feeling good, it’ll be a romance to remember - aaaaahhh!   Dig out more here.

    Spring Is Here!  And there's a great offer from Pooch and Mutt for you: 

    Put A Spring Into Your Dog’s Step, With Pooch & Mutt’s 20% Off!   Use the code SPRING to get 20% off site wide until 8th April 2024.  

    Spring into action here to get your 20% off!


    Don't forget that Pooch & Mutt have also got some delicious dental treats, too...

    These are Superfood Dental Sticks for Dogs
    These are Superfood Dental Sticks for Dogs for £3.99
    made with natural functional ingredients. 
    A convenient way to clean your dog's teeth!

    They have calming probiotic meaty treats, yum yum!
    They have calming probiotic meaty treats, suitable for ages 12 weeks plus.
    They are grain-free, Turkey & Hemp moist Meaty Treats
    designed with nervous dogs in mind.  £3.99.

    And there are Skin & Coat Probiotic Meaty Treats
    And there are Skin & Coat Probiotic Meaty Treats, 
    with Shrimp & Coconut for £3.99.  
    Pooch & Mutt say they are just the thing for dogs 
    who are prone to dry and itchy skin or
    who may need some help developing a glossy coat. 

    Head off to Pooch  Mutt - they've got lots of lovely goodies for your dog (and cat) which will get tails wagging and cats purring! 

     

  4.  

    1st April to 1st May is #NationalPetMonth.

    It celebrates pet ownership and raises awareness of responsible pet ownership.

    It also encourages everyone to raise funds for those animal charities working so hard to help pets – and they’ve really, really need our help at the moment.  Many charities are just absolutely inundated with pets, many of whom were got during lockdown with little thought into training and the time and care pets need. 

    Dig a hole to go to the National Pet Month's website

    Pets have many benefits.   So National Pet Month wants to hear about fundraisers and events supporting the UK’s many pet welfare organisations and charities. 

    These fundraisers and events can be individual efforts or larger events, and they can be virtual or in person.

    Pounce on more information here

    Animal welfare charities, professional bodies, pet businesses, schools, youth groups, pet lovers and pet owners can all get involved and celebrate our wonderful pets, and they can also raise awareness using the resources National Pet Month has on its website!

    Find out all about it from National Pet Month

     National Pet Month on Facebook

    and on Twitter 

    #NPM24

    And if you're a dog lover, you could take a look at God made a Dog - a video on You Tube which personally I found very moving!

     

     

  5. National Marine Week takes place from 27th July to 11th August 2024  – join in and celebrate everything marine!  There's a LOT happening - so it's just as well it covers a couple of weeks!

    Yes, it's a while since the end of July but people are asking about it already, and it's something you can put in your diary or you can start looking about how you can get involved now to be prepared for it, or take action today to help marine life!

    You can sign up here to get marine updates straight into your inbox from the Wildlife Trusts.  And I'll keep updating this blog as more information comes forth.

    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

    You can see here what the Wildlife Trusts are doing for the sea.


    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 theme is “Sea the Connection", and it will be looking to highlight how - as an island nation - we're connected to the sea and why a healthy, thriving marine environment is really important and makes a difference. 

    We must protect our stunning coastline and marine lifeDive in and find out more about National Marine Week
    27th July to 11th August 2024


    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.

     
     

     

  6.  

    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've got a number of animal experiences, with animals such as ferrets, tamarin monkeys, alpacas, meerkats, pigs, sheep, snakes and crocodiles, bees, horses and donkeys. 

    There are animal experiences here.

    Bee-keeping experiences are listed here.

    Fly off to see the falconry experiences here.

    Click here to see the photography experiences - there are some wildlife photography experience days amongst them.

    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.  

    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
    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 

  7. Would you like to….spend a night in a cage to raise funds for moon and sun bears who’ve been or could be rescued from a life in a cage?

    Free the Bears is an amazing charity based in Australia.  And they rescue bears who have been trapped in cages on bear bile farms in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and take them to bear sanctuaries to have the very best bear care for the rest of their lives.  They get veterinary treatment, good food, water, enrichment activities and all the bear necessities a bear could need.

    So there are a number of ways you can help out and help Free the Bears care for the bears in their care and continue to rescue bears still trapped in captivity, and enduring painful bile extractions.  They live a life of exceedingly restricted movement, often only having room to sway from one side of the cage to another, minimal water, very little food and no veterinary care.

    This costs money, of course, and during lockdown, fundraising activities ground to an abrupt halt.  However the Founder of Free the Bears, an incredible woman called Dr Mary Hutton, was not to be defeated.  Despite being in her 80s herself, she decided to spend a night in a cage to raise funds for the bears, the idea being that it would give people an insight into what it might be like for a bear to spend his or her whole life in a cage.  Mary has now retired, but she is still taking part in Night in a Cage in 2024.  


    Help Free the Bears undertake rescues like this, 
    and then to care for the bears after the rescue in their sanctuaries.

    A Night in a Cage has been running since 2020 and in 2024, it is taking place on the 13th April or if you want to set up your own "cage", you can during May as well!

    You can get involved by:

    1. Spending a night in a cage yourself as a fundraiser for Free the Bears!  You can create your cage from anything – a cardboard box, a tent, a shed in the garden…  You could form a team with bear loving friends and spend a night in a cage on the same night, encouraging each other on!
    2. Sponsoring Dr Mary Hutton as this amazing woman (in her 80s) spends a night in a cage or sponsoring one of the teams – there is a UK team (take a look at the list of teams on the Night in a Cage page)
    3. Sharing information about the fundraiser to encourage other people to sponsor you or others
    4. Simply make a donation to Free the Bears – honestly, every single bit helps the bears
    5. Share what you’re doing on social media to raise awareness of the incredible work Free the Bears is doing to help moon and sun bears

    Visit Free the Bears' Night in a Cage page 

    Visit Free the Bears' website

     

  8.  

    I was on the RSPB's website this morning and they have some very helpful information about wildlife detecting and identifying tracks and signs.   You can become a nature detective, and work out who is living in your area!

    The RSPB has an activity for you whether you're in school or as a family, with an activity sheet for you to download.

    And they tell you how to make an animal tracker, so that you can see who's been out and about at night.  You can make a cast of the animal prints you find in your garden, and the RSPB tell you what footprints look like for animals such as the fox and hedgehog. 

    Whose poo is it?  Find out if it was the shrew!
    Whose been visiting your garden?  Find out if it was the shrew!
    Image ©RSPB

     

    They've got lots of activities for you to help nature and wildlife, by the way, such as creating nature highways and byways, digging a ditch for garden biodiversity, how to grow sunflowers, how to make a bird bath and make a hedgehog cafe.   Find out more here.

    Head to the RSPB's here.

    The Mammal Society also has pictures of poo, so that you can work out whoose poo is whoose.   Visit their website here and take a look. 

     The Nature Tracker's Handbook is available from the RSPB's Shop
    The Nature Tracker's Handbook is available from the RSPB's Shop.
    It has extensive photography and detailed diagrams to 
    help you find and interpret the evidence the animals leavel in their wake.
    £14.99 from the RSPB Shop.

    You can get the Poo Bingo for Kids from the National Trust for Scotland's shop
    You can get the Poo Bingo for Kids
    from the National Trust for Scotland's shop
    for £16.99
    The accompanying booklet includes lots of fun
    and smelly facts! 

    PS Please don't forget to put water out for wildlife - they need water, just as we do.    We need to look after them.

     

     

  9. Kick up your heels!  There's 10% off at BuyaGift.co.uk until 31st December,  2024! 

    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.

    The animal experiences are all listed under the Days Out section on BuyaGift's website, and you'll also find information about all their other experiences such as Short Breaks, if you feel like getting away from it all.   They have glamping breaks, country breaks, and activity breaks, for instance.

    Get 15% off this 2 for 1 Meet the Meerkats Experience

    This is a 2 for 1 Meet the Meerkats Exprience

    There are big cat experiences available tooThere are Big Cat Encounters!

    All you need is the code AHW2024BAG  to get your 10% off - it's site wide and applies to special offers and 2 for 1s, although some products are excluded from this offer - and you need to use it by 31 December 2024.

    Canter away to BuyaGift.co.uk here

     

     

  10. Red Letter Days are a gift experience company and they have a 180 animal experiences for you!

    These animal experiences include alpacas, big cats, birds of prey, farms, horses, meerkats, monkeys, owls, penguins, pigs, reptiles and zoo keeping, so there's plenty to choose from. 

    All their animal experiences are listed in the Attractions and Tours section of their website.  And if you visit the Attractions and Tours section, you'll also find Arts and Crafts which lists photography experiences - these include pet photoshoos and wildlife photography experiences.

    Imagine your loved one's surprise when they open a Red Letter Day gift from you to find they are going to have an animal experience!  We did this for my father, who was an avid meerkat lover, and he had a wonderful time meeting meerkats and finding out all about them from the keeper.  The meerkats climbed all over him, and Dad was in his element - such a happy smile on his face!  


    Get 18% off from Red Letter Days....

    Red Letter Days have a discount code for visitors from this website - it's 10% until 31 December 2024  and it's site wide, including special offers and 2 for 1s, although some products are excluded.  All you need to do is to use the code AHW2024RLD - simples!  


    A Bird of Prey Falconry Experience for Two

    How about a Bird of Prey Falconry Experience for Two

    What's more, this code gallops right across their website, so days out, breaks away - they are all included (apart from experiences which are non-discountable)!

     

    90 Minute Alpaca Walk with Charnwood Forest Alpacas for Two

     or 90 Minute Alpaca Walk with Charnwood Forest Alpacas for Two

    So you can enjoy 20% 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!

    Have an Animal Encounter at Knowsley Safari Park

    Have an Animal Encounter at Knowsley Safari Park

    Kick up your heels and canter off to Red Letter Days here - don't forget to use the code AHW2024RLD to get your 10% off.