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. 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!


  2. 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 2020 if you use the code AHW15RLD.

    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 AHW15RLD to get 15% off
    Valid until 31 December 2020

    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 AHW15RLD to get 15% off
    Valid until 31 December 2020

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



  3. Kick up your heels!  There's 15% off at until 31 December 2020 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 2020.  Just use the code AHW15BAG.  This code applies across the website including special offers and 2 for 1s!

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

    Frogleap off to here - don't forget to use your code AHW15BAG for your 15% off! 


  4. 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

  5. National Marine Week takes place from 25 July to 9 August – join in and celebrate everything marine!

    Of course, it’s an unusual event this year but there’s lots to do and see.

    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!

    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! 

    We must protect our stunning coastline and marine lifeDive in and find out more about National Marine Week
    25th July to 9th August 2020

    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. 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.    

    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. 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:

    1. Create a free account
    2. Submit your sightings and help Butterfly Conservation learn more about how butterflies are faring in UK gardens.

    There's also the National Moth Recording Scheme and an iRecordButterflies App which you can download to help you identify butterflies as you flutter here and there about your daily living.

    Flutter away to the Big Butterfly Count here

    Visit Butterfly Conservation here

    Find your local Butterfly Conservation group here


  7. The PDSA is a charity that cares for sick and injured pets whose owners cannot afford vet care. 

    Now before I go any further, I must stress that you have to be eligible and if you’re looking for free vet care, take a look at whether you qualify for it here.

    (You could take a look at the Blue Cross as well, as they do some free vet care too, subject to certain criteria you must meet.)

    The PDSA has lots to get stuck into on their website, including how you can help

    Anyway, back to the PDSA.  They are a remarkable charity aiming to do 3 things

    • Educate owners
    • Preventing disease
    • 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!

     Find out about pet care, including cat care, at Kids Corner with the PDSA©PDSA

    Pet Protectors is a membership club for young people – but actually it’s full of useful information about pet care for anyone of any age.                               

    Lockdown could be a good time to look at how you are looking after your pet and whether there’s anything you should be doing differently to help improve their welfare. 

    You can find out about becoming a vet or vet nurse

    And there are some wonderful photos of pets, such as cute puppies, kittens, gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas, ferrets, hamsters, rats, and goldfish.

    Get 10% off the PDSA's pet insurance from 11 May to 24 May 2020 and help support the PDSA!  Use the code 10% at check-out!

    Use the code 10% and get 10% off your pet insurance.
    The code is valid until 26 April 2020


  8. This June is a very busy month for the Wildlife Trusts – and there’s plenty to get involved with, wherever you live!

    Wildlife Trusts are all over the UK, and they’re busy standing up and protecting wildlife and wild places in your area.  They connect people to nature, restore diverse wild places and look after nature reserves; and they inspire people to take action for wildlife.  Find your local Wildlife Trust here.

    The more we can all appreciate nature and the beauty of it, and its importance in our lives, the more likely we are to want to look after it and protect it.

    It’s 30 Days Wild all month.

    Sign up for 30 Days Wild here

    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!

    You need to select who is taking part:

    • Me and my Family
    • My class/school
    • My workplace
    • My care home




  9. Baker Ross have up to 34% off their  creative animal world collection so that you can keep the kids entertained with a range of farm animals, jungle animals, sealife and more!

    Gallop off to Baker Ross now

    Baker Ross cover all sorts of animals – sloths, llamas, rats, pigs, hedgehogs, farm animals, blue tits, koalas, chickens, snakes, woodland animals, dogs, bats and mice! 

    This offer ends on 10th May 2020, so take a look at their amazing animal craft collection today!


  10. Bored at home?  

    The lovely folk at the World Land Trust have created some word-searches and crosswords for us all to do – and what’s more, they’ve even provided links to the answers as well!

    Tease your brain here with the World Land Trust

    Go to tease your brain here

    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.

    Take a look at the news from the World Land Trust here.