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

  1. Whoopee!  Those lovely folk at Red Letter Days are giving visitors from this website a 15% discount right across their website!

    A Bird of Prey Falconry Experience for Two

    A Bird of Prey Falconry Experience for Two

    You can get 15% off until 31 December 2021 if you use the code AHW2021RED

    What's more, this code applies to special offers, 2 for 1s - everything - right across their website, so days out, breaks away - the lot!

    90 Minute Alpaca Walk with Charnwood Forest Alpacas for Two

    90 Minute Alpaca Walk with Charnwood Forest Alpacas for Two
    Use the code AHW2021RED to get 15% off
    Valid until 23:59 on 31 December 2021

    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!

    Have an Animal Encounter at Knowsley Safari Park

    Have an Animal Encounter at Knowsley Safari Park
    Use the code AHW2021RED to get 15% off
    Valid until 31 December 2021

    Kick up your heels and canter off to Red Letter Days here.

    The code doesn't apply to these experience. 


  2. Kick up your heels!  There's 15% off at until 31 December  2021 for visitors from this website!

    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.

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

    This is a 2 for 1 Meet the Meerkats Exprience
    - get 15% off!

    As a visitor from this website, you can enjoy 15% off until 31 December 2021.  Just use the code 15AHW2021.  This code applies across the website including special offers and 2 for 1s! Please note that the code does not apply to these gifts

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

    Frogleap off to here - don't forget to use your code 15AHW2021  for your 15% off! 


  3. Given we can’t currently go to visit zoos, the only way to see them is for the zoos to come to us and they are doing a great job with virtual visits and You Tube videos.

    There are television programmes as well, such as Inside the Zoo!

    This programme comes from Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park and it goes behind the scenes with the animals and keepers there.  

    There are 8 episodes in all, and they kick off on Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 7pm on BBC2. 

    Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park

    The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland includes both Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park and you can find out more about this body here. It is a registered charity and it’s been working to prpomote awareness and the conservation of rare and endangered animals for over 100 years.  It supports a variety of research and conservation projects both in the UK and around the world.

    Can you help the RZSS help animals?

    The zoo would welcome any support you can give – why not adopt an animal or make a donation?   There are over 2,500 animals at Edinburgh Zoo and it costs £2,000 a day to care for them.  It costs Highland Wildlife Park over £600 a day to care for the animals there.

    Treat yourself to an eco-friendly shampoo bar and help animals at the same time!

    Treat yourself to an eco-friendly shampoo bar and help animals at the same time!

    Why not:

    • Buy something from their online shop – they have soft toys, toys and games, homeware, books, clothing and accessories and stationery; some of the stationery is recycled 
    • Adopt an animal – adoptions start from £40.00 and there a number of different levels available; adoptions will help support the conservation work the zoo is doing in Scotland and further afield
    • There are keeper voucher experiences at both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park
    • You could also give a gift membership, a gift that gives year round
    • Simply make a donation and help the zoo care for the animals in its care
    • From 23 – 25 April, take part in Scotland’s Virtual Kiltwalk. Choose your own challenge and raise much-needed funds for the animals you love at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. Any funds you do raise will be topped up by 50% by the Hunter Foundation, which will make an even bigger difference! You can take part from your home or local area with your family bubble – just make sure you follow current government guidance.
    • Find out about the Scottish wildcat campaign to save this special species
    • Learn about the conservation work RZSS does and spread the word!

    The zoo also has webcams you can watch with koalas, pandas, lions, penguins and tigers.

    Adopt an animal and help RZSS help animals!
    Adopt an animal and help RZSS help animals!

    There are more ideas of ways you can help such as by being a conservation hero and doing some fundraising – find out more here

    Visit the RZSS website here


    All images on this blog ©RZSS


    Kind Clothing has a lovely range of organic cotton goodies to wear - and what's more, every Kind Clothing purchase plants a tree

    They've got a lovely t-shirt if you love those big cats:

    This is the Big Cats (Tigers) - Organic Cotton T-Shirt

    And I love this Save the Chubby Unicorns organic cotton t-shirt too! 

    This is their Save The Chubby Unicorns - Organic Cotton T-Shirt

    The t-shirts are available in different sizes and colours, and Kind Clothing also has sweatshirts, hoodies, vests, joggers and shorts, so there's plenty to choose from!

    They've currently got a special offer on until 28 February 2021 - you can get 5% off orders over £50 with the code WINTER5*

    Head off to Kind Clothing and remember, #bekind! 

    *See the website for T&Cs

  5. It’s Dental Month at online pet retailers Viovet and that means a chance to stock up on dental care for your pets!

    They have products for:

    • Dental chews
    • Dental supplements
    • Dental diets
    • Toothbrushes and toothpaste (not for you!)
    • Dental toys (I wish my dentist had some for me)
    • No brushing required - Phew!

    They do have toothbrushes for the pets who won’t mind having their teeth brushed by you but if you’re pet is adamant that it’s not for them, you could take a look at the OraFresh range -  no brushing required so less stress for your pet and for you.  There's 20% off it at the moment, valid until 02/03/21.

    I'm not having my teeth cleaned, and that's that.

    I smiled at the name Plaque Off; it’s for both cats and dogs.   It’s suitable for daily use and discourages the build-up of plaque and tartar.  The natural iodine seaweed it contains will help whiten teeth and promote healthy looking gums.  They say the original formula is suitable for all animals but generally used in dogs and there are products for cats now as well.  Miaow!

    We’ve used Viovet before and they’ve been great – we got our German Shepherd’s epilepsy medication from them and they do prescription drugs. 

    Look after your horse's teeth!

    They've also got information on looking after your horse's teeth - canter off here to find out more! 

    Dig up more information from Viovet here


  6. Those lovely folk Garden Wildlife Direct are dedicated to making caring for wildlife an affordable interest for everyone.

    They've got a big selection of foods, feeders and habitats at great prices, so they are particularly great if you are just starting out on feeding our feathered friends. 

    They've got straight, seed mixed and suet foods; as well as a range of accessories and wildlife related products that will be sure to bring any garden to life.

    Starting out...keep it simple

    Now before I go any further, I will say that when we started out on feeding our feathered friends, we didn't make all this complicated at all.  (I don't do complicated.)  

    We just gave our birds wild bird seed to start with, and now we've added fat balls (which they love) and peanuts.   Oh, and they've got a couple of bird baths dotted about the garden.  Nothing grand, nothing fancy, but they absolutely love it!

    Fly off to Garden Wildlife Direct here


    From feathered friends to hedgehogs...

    Our German Shepherd (who sadly is no longer with us) brought us a hedgehog one night.   His find inspired us, and so within 48 hours, we'd installed a hedgehog house (we call it the Hedgehog Hilton), a water bowl (the Hedgehog Bar, please note you just need to give them water, not milk) and now we've put in a very small pond with slopes so that the wildlife can get out easily.  We call it the Hedgehog Leisure Centre.  

    So fly off here and take a look at Garden Wildlife Direct.  They often have weekend offers, but they have lots of offers around the week.   

    The Joy of Helping our Garden Birds

    We get lots of pleasure from watching our feathered friends in the garden - it's like having your own nature show but you can get away from the ipad, TV, laptop, computer, phone etc etc etc - and just enjoy watching them out of the window.  Our garden isn't big, you don't need acres and acres to look after our feathered friends.   Only this morning, I woke up and lay in bed listening to the tweet, tweet, tweet out of the window.  It was lovely - the birds sounded so cheerful!

    Our knowledge of which bird is which has improved a lot, and I've started to draw birds from a bird book I bought as a little hobby.   Some of the birds are even starting to look like birds, somewhat to my amazement. 

    Get feeding them and happy birdwatching!   

    Tweet tweet for now!  Keep well and safe xx


  7. The 31st January is International Zebra Day and a great chance to find out more about zebras!

    There are three species of zebra, and apart from their distinctive black and white markings which make them easily recognisable, you may not know a lot about them, so the day is a good chance to find out more about them.

    There's the Grevy Zebra, the Plains Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. 

    ZSL has 10 things you didn’t know about Zebras on their website – take a look and see how many of the 10 things you knew!

    Meet the zebras from ZSL's Whipsnade Zoo here
    through ZSL's You Tube Channel

    Did you know that zebras can snooze standing up?


    Meantime, the keepers at ZSL have been very busy doing their annual count of all the animals.  This is easy when you're counting rhinos and tigers - but when you're counting the smaller animals, things get tricky!


  8. Take a look at Green People's new Pet Shampoo!
    Take a look at Green People's new Pet Shampoo!

    Green People produce organic beauty products for all the family - women, men, kids and babies.   And now, I'm delighted to say, they have produced something for the most important member of the family - your dog!

    I adore Green People's products.  I've been using their moisturiser, cleanser and sun protection lotion for a few years now, and I love the way they make my skin feel.  They last, too.  I'm not one of those people who spend ages getting ready for the day and I have to say it takes a lot to get me interested in any sort of beauty stuff, but I'm a big fan of Green People.

    One of the reasons is that they work with a number of charities - in the past they have worked with BornFree, the Marine Conservation Society, the Woodland Trust and Plantlife.  

    The company is based in West Sussex, not far from us, so that's another reason for my loving them.  

    This is allPaws Wild Mint Cleansing Shampoo

    Now they have two allPaws pet shampoo products, one for younger dogs and one for older dogs and those with sensitive skin.

    Take a look at allPaws pet shampoo

    Green People say they are safe and gentle, good value for money (because they last) and if you wash your dog outside, the product won't damage the environment.  The tubes are easy to squeeze (handy if you have to chase your dog round the garden to wash him or her) and they won't cause skin irritation.

    Take a look anyway and see what you think!  


  9. Are you up for a walking challenge for wildlife?

    #BigWildWalk #30by30

    The Wildlife Trusts have a Big Wild Walk between 26 October and 1 November. #BigWildWalk

    It’s a great opportunity to tick off four things all at once:

    1. Get active
    2. Discover your nature reserve
    3. Make memories
    4. Raise money for your Wildlife Trust
    5. (I’d add:  and eat lots of cake when you get home, with a nice hot cup of tea!)

    The idea is that we all walk 10,000 steps a day during this time – you can push yourself to do more if you want!  You could walk 3 km a day – that’s the average a hedgehog does a night – or do a spotter’s challenge and see how many species you can spot. 

    The whole aim of the #BigWildWalk is really to raise money for the Wildlife Trusts 30 by 30 appeal.

    They want to raise £30 million to put nature in recovery across at least 30% of land and sea, by 2030.  This is response to the climate crisis and the terrible decline nature faces.  The Trusts are aiming to help nature recover from years of decline – and bring wildlife back into everyone’s lives, literally on doorsteps!

    How to get involved:

    Go to the Wildlife Trust’s Big Wild Walk and they will tell you what to do.

    Walk for wildlife and help wildlife fight back!

    OR if it's easier....

    You could also take a look at the Wildlife Trust’s fundraising pack for other ideas.   You could also look at their Christmas list to see what you can do – there are lots of ideas of Christmas presents you could buy for the animal lover in your life!


  10. 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.

    Have you thought of volunteering for a toad patrol?
    Have you thought of volunteering for a toad patrol?
    image copyright to

    Of course, they are crossing the roads as cars and lorries are passing through them. There’s no need to tell you who comes off worst.

    Enter the Toads on Roads project. 

    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: 

    • Help toads
    • Meet like minded people who want to make a difference
    • Do something different with your evenings

    If you’d rather be inside in the warm, you could always donate to support Toads on Patrol.

    Find the Toads on Patrol nearest to you.

    Find out about becoming a Toad Patroller – and there’s an information pack here.


    Be a Reserve Warden for the Day Experience, available from