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 been watching Secret Life at The Zoo?  It's on our screens on Thursdays on Channel 4 at 8pm.  The enthusiasm and love the keepers show for their animals never ceases to amaze me, and there's good news from them from the animals at Chester Zoo!

    A rare Asian elephant was born

    The female calf was born to 15 year old mum Sundara Hi Way, after a 22 month gestation.

    And the birth was caught on CCTV cameras!  The rest of the family herd welcomed the new born, including 1 year old half brother Anjan and 3 year old sister Indali.

    Asian elephants are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  Sadly the species is threatened by habitat loss, poaching and human-wildlife conflict - like so many animals.   A deadly herpes virus threatens them as well.  

    Chester Zoo is working hard to help elephants in the wild, focusing on human-wildlife conflict in Assam, India.   The zoos' conservationists are working to prevent the deaths of elephants and to help find ways in which elephants and people can live side by side.

    And they are also working to search for a viable vaccine to help rid elephants of EEHV.  Progress is being made - and hopefully one day this threat will be dealt with. 

    Plan your visit to Chester Zoo here - you'll find all the information you need!


  2. The 27th February every year is International Polar Bears Day!

    It's a chance to raise awareness of the status of the majestic polar bear;  a chance for us to find out more about these beautiful animals and the charity dedicated to them and their conservation. 

    That charity is Polar Bears International, and they have a team of scientists working hard to preserve this incredible species.   Polar bears are well suited to living in the Arctic - you can see why on the video below:

    One of the things they do is to track polar bears - and you can track the bears too and find out where 11 of those being tracked are.  The tracking is delayed to protect the polar bears.  

    There are a number of things you can do to help polar bears - exploring Polar Bears International website is a good place to start! 

    Why not adopt a polar bear (you can do an eco adoption for $25)



  3. The RSPB Shop has a great offer on at the moment for those of you looking to stock up for your garden birds.

    Get a FREE Premium suet bird feeder worth £12.75 when you buy this box of 50 Sunflower hearts super suet balls.

    Free fat ball feeder with 50 sunflower super suet balls 

    Free fat ball feeder with 50 sunflower super suet balls -
    £13.50 from the RSPB


    Wild garden birds love super suet balls, and they are particularly helpful to them in spring as they build nests and rear their young - all tiring work!  Mealworms (preferably live) are also great food sources for the birds - they are a versatile food as they can go on the ground or in a feeder or on a high table.  

    Favourites suet cakes - plastic free box of 6Favourites suet cakes - plastic free box of 6
    £12.99 from the RSPB

    This is a new product from the RSPB, who have been hard at work to produce a bird food recipe for suet cakes - and deliver it in PLASTIC FREE packaging!  The card and paper packaging is compostable and recyclable.  Cakes are individually wrapped in greaseproof paper and boxed 6 to a box in FSC cardboard.

    The cakes are high in fat and protein and consist of garden birds' favourite foods - sunflower hearts, dried mealworms, and suet!  Yummy!  You can use them on the ground, on a bird table or in an RSPB suet bird feeder, so they are versatile.  They do have peanut flower in them - please check the RSPB's Allergens information.

    What's more, you can save more when you buy their twin pack of 12 Favourites suet cakes - plastic free..


  4. Red Letter Days is kindly giving visitors from another discount code which entitles you to 15% off all the experiences on their website!

    Gallop away to Red Letter Days
    Gallop away to Red Letter Days
    Use the code RAWH2020 until 1 April 2020

    The code – RAWH2020 – is valid until 1 April 2020 and you simply use it at check-out to get your 15% off.

    Popular experiences include 2 for 1 Meerkat Encounter – already on a special offer and you can get a further 15% off with the code RAWH2020. 

    There’s a Weekday Big Cat Encounter in Kent or how about a Lynx Encounter in Lincolnshire? 

    Experiences like these are a great way to discover a lot more about these animals and get close up and personal. 

    You could give your loved ones Entry for Two Adults to ZSL London Zoo, Family Entry to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, alpaca walks, meerkat experiences, and plenty of birds of pretty experiences.

    Click here to canter off to Red Letter Days to see their range of animal experiences

    Don’t forget to use the code RAHW2020 before 1 April 2020 to get your 15% off!



  5. There’s a great offer from for all you animal lovers!

    They’ve got a 15% off offer for visitors from – valid until 1 April 2020!

    Gallop away to
    Use the code AHW2020 to get your 15% off
    The code is valid until 1 April 2020

    They’ve got some great animal experiences, many giving you the chance to get close up and personal with all creatures great and small, from majestic big cats to penguins, pigs and reptiles to horses and alpacas.  

    There’s something for every budget too so you are bound to find something to suit the animal lover in your life and your budget.

    You can get experiences at venues such as Bristol Zoo Gardens, London Zoo, Whisnade Zoo, Drusillas Zoo Park and Paradise Wildlife Park and Linton Zoo.

    There are over 30 Birds of Prey and Falconry experiences, and you could also meet a meerkat with a meerkat encounter or tickle a tapir!

    To get your 15% off, all you need to do is to use the code AHW2020 by 1 April 2020.  It applies site wide, so all special offers and 2 for 1s are included in this offer!

    Click here to gallop off to BuyaGift.


  6. Virgin Experience Days has some great expereinces in their Animal Experience listings!  These include a number of Falconry Experiences and a lot of them have special offers on them!

    This is a great chance for you to get active with animals and try your hand at owl handling, go for a hawk walk or handle eagles. 

    Try a Falconry Taster

    Falconry Taster

    Learn the skills required to handle a striking bird of prey
    Get up close to an incredible eagle and receive expert advice and tuition
    See a fantastic flying display and take some amazing photographs with eagle in hand
    - March to October
    Was £39, now £19.50 

    Take a Hawk Walk for Two
    Take a Hawk Walk for Two

    Enjoy a 40 minute walk on the wild side together
    Experience a Harris Hawk swooping down from the treetops onto your gloved fist
    Available Tuesday to Sunday
    Was £70, now £49

    Introduction to Owl Handling for Two

    Introduction to Owl Handling for Two
    Hold and fly a selection of owls in Kent
    Was £178, now £78

    Fly away to see the Falconry Experiences
    available through Virgin Experience Days


  7. Forestry England are celebrating their 100th birthday this year!

    And they have a #AutumnLeafWatch photos competition you can enter up until midnight 15 November 2019.

    Visit Forestry England's website for more info

    Forestry England are holding a photo competition - they want to see how autumn captures your senses.

    Take photos of landscapes, macros, portraits, selfies, wildlife - it must have an autumnal theme.  They've got autumn pages for inspiration.

    Find out more about the #AutumnLeafWatch photos competition

    They do give preference to photos which have been taken at Forestry England sites, and photos will be shared across their social media channels and then they will seleclt a shortlist of favourites.

    The public then have the power to choose the photo they most want to win by visiting their Facebook page and 'liking' their favourite - the photo will be the one with the most reactions.

    Find out more about the #AutumnLeaf Watch Photo Competition, volunteering and Forestry England 


  8. Did you ever do a first aid course on people?   Well, now you can do a Pet First Aid Course with the PDSA.

    The PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity.  It’s got a network of 48 pet hospitals, and it provides treatment for millions of poorly pets who are sick and injured and who belong to people in need – there are criteria you need to meet to have your pet seen to by the PDSA.

    The PDSA also promotes responsible pet ownership.   And one of the things they are doing is running Pet First Aid Courses!  

    Pet First Aid Course

    The main focus of the training is to help you identify when something isn’t right with a pet and then how you can act accordingly in an emergency situation before you get to a vet.  The course also looks at how you can prevent  some emergencies happening in the first place. 

    • Recognising normal for your pet
    • Heatstroke
    • Bandaging
    • Bloat
    • Poisoning
    • Seizures
    • Choking
    • Resuscitation
    • Being prepared

    These take place around the country and you can find a list of pet first aid courses here.   They are delivered by the PDSA’s Community and Education Nurses, using some theory work, group discussion, case studies, video examples and practical exercises.  You can test your knowledge afterwards by completing an online quiz – you’ve got 7 days and 3 goes to pass the quiz and then a course certificate will be emailed to you.

    Find a Course Near You

    The course is free but not surprisingly it’s very popular so the PDSA have introduced a £5 admin fee for booking. 

    Please note - due to the increase in demand for their Pet First Aid courses, the PDSA have had to introduce an administration / booking fee of £5.00 per person (that’s non-refundable & non- transferable) (Including VAT)

    You can also sign up online for their Free Pet First Aid Guide

    Why not take out Pet Insurance with the PDSA and help support them that way?  It’s one way they raise funds to continue providing free vet care to the UK’s most needed pets and to promote responsible pet ownership.  Find out more here


  9. High Energy Autumn & Winter Mix on offer

    Garden Wildlife Direct have a great offer for you to help your birds.  Enjoy 10% OFF High Energy Autumn And Winter Mix only!   

    This High Energy Autumn Winter mix has been specifically formulated to help wild birds through autumn and winter.  It has protein-rich and oil-rich ingredients, giving vital weight-gain for the birds with dried mealworms, black sunflower seed and yellow millet.

    This mix is designed to help make sure your garden birds are in great health for the next breeding season. 

    Go to Garden Wildlife Direct

    This offer ends at midnight on Thursday 3rd October 2019 and you don't need a discount code or a minimum spend. 

    Fly away to Garden Wildlife Direct :-)  


  10. Horses are just amazing!   They are so beautiful, and it always lifts my spirits to see a gorgeous, healthy, happy horse, ears pricked looking around with interest at what's going on. 

    The have some wonderful calendars and diaries for horse lovers.  Some are breed specific e.g. a Clydesdale Calendar, whilst others are themed - do you remember the Thelwell books?  They were hilarious - extremely funny, and if you loved those you may want to take a peep at at the Thelwell Calendar.

    The Thelwell 2020 Calendar
    he Thelwell 2020 Calendar is £7.99

    This is the 2020 Horse Lovers Calendar
    This is the 2020 Horse Lovers Calendar for £9.99

    The 2020 Horse Lovers Calendar pictured right above has a 4-month overview at the beginning, running from September 2019 through to December 2019.  And each stunning monthly photo in 2020 has a multilingual grid with moon phases as well as international holidays.  Never mind about those though - the horses are just beautiful!  
    The Wacky World of Horses
    The Wacky World of Horses A4 Calendar 2020
    for £6.99

    I think this is a very funny calendar, and it would make a great gift for horse lovers.  I particularly liked the one about the standard of dressage getting higher every year.  You can see all the pictures here.

    The has lots of calendars, diaries and planners, many with a horse or donkey theme and they make great gifts, and can add lots of cheer to a room.

    Canter off here to the CalendarClub to see for yourself :-)