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Make Time #ForNature - You, Your Family and Your Friends


Canary Wharf Group Wildlife Photography Competition Finalist - Feeding Time by Nigel Boulton

Alongside our key partners, we're championing Biodiversity in 2020, but we need your help to make a real difference. You don't need to be an expert to make a real difference!

You don't need to plant a thousand trees, save 200 rhinos or lobby Boris Johnson over Zoom! The potential for having a positive local impact is at your finger tips. Biodiversity is beautiful, it makes us healthy and it provide so much of what we need. We're here to provide some inspiration, ideas and opportunities for you to take away and do something for biodiversity.

This year, help by dedicating some precious...

 

- Time For Nature -

 

 

 

But, What is Biodiversity?

The variety of life on earth - from carrots to sparrows, badgers to rain forest trees, bee hives to vast coral reefs, and so much more.

 

 

#30DaysWild and #ForNature

We want you to help biodiversity all around us, then shout about it! You could teach your kids with some biodiversity fun, add your name to a local volunteer opportunity, create a wildlife zone in your garden, donate to amazing charities, plant a bee-friendly shrub, create a mini plant pot nature reserve or simply eat more seasonal food - it's up to you!

When you've found an idea or two for you to make happen, we'd love you to share your efforts with your friends and family, as well as the social media world using #ForNature and #30DaysWild. Here are the key steps:

 

1. Explore the toolkits, videos and ideas below

2. Find something you can do to help

3. Make it happen and take a picture for proof

4. Post that picture on Twitter, Instagram and more using: #30DaysWild and #ForNature

5. Download the free 30 Days Wild pack from the Wildlife Trusts, here »

 

 

Why is Biodiversity Important?

The first thing we wanted to do it to explain why all the different plants, animals, organisms and bacteria around the world are so important. 

Firstly, It's official! 30 Days Wild makes us feel happier and healthier! Take a read of the 30 Days Wild 5 Year Summary Review to find out more.

Tree Benefits. Increasing the amount of plants, animals and organisms have a huge amount of added benefits attached to them for us humans. Let's look at trees as a useful example. The Woodland Trust state that "as well as providing environmental and biodiversity benefits, trees contribute enormously to health and well-being" . Check out the Woodland Trust case studies relating to health, here. Plus, with more trees come more benefits, which is explained more in "What happens if you cut down all of a city's trees?" - a short TED-Ed YouTube video.

A rapid decline. UN Environment, the organisers of World Environment Day, confirm that "Biodiversity is threatened like never before. We are on the verge of a mass extinction: within the next 10 years, around 1 million species may be wiped off the surface of the planet. That’s one out of every four known species. Wildlife has declined on average by over 60% in last 50 years. At this rate, species are disappearing tens to hundreds of times faster than the average speed of the past 10 million years." Read more from the UN Environment biodiversity working brief,  here.

The UK is no different. The UK’s 2019 State of Nature reports state that the "the abundance and distribution of the UK’s species has, on average, declined since 1970 and many metrics suggest this decline has continued in the most recent decade. There has been no let-up in the net loss of nature in the UK." The major drivers of this loss are the intensification of land management, climate change, pollution, and loss of habitat to development.

Mental Health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) state;There is strong evidence for the benefits of interaction with nature – including domestic animals, and wild animals in wild settings – in treatments for depression, anxiety, and behavioural problems."

These are just a few examples of why biodiversity is so important to life on earth. It's time to take action!

 

 

Inspiration // Urban Biodiversity and Gardens

The UN predict that 68% of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050 - that's huge. But, this doesn't stop us from helping to increase biodiversity levels in and around our urban dwellings. In fact, as cities expand, wildlife will rely more on urban environments to flourish. This not only means that they need green spaces (full of bio-diverse plants), they also need our help.

Remember, you don't need to jet off to Australia to save the Great Barrier Reef in order to help protect biodiversity - it's also on your doorstep (or window sill)! Don't let us stop you from saving the reef too though.

 

Everyone can make a difference in their gardens, on balconies and window-ledges or in community spaces.

"The green spaces of our towns and gardens bring nature into our daily lives, brightening our mornings with birdsong and the busy buzzing of bees. Together, the UK's gardens are larger than all of our National Nature Reserves combined, making them as important for wildlife as they are for our own wellbeing." 

 - Wildlife Trusts. Read more, here »

As the Wildlife Trusts say; "Go wild in your garden! Large or small, ledge or yard, your garden can be a mosaic in a wider network of natural havens linking urban green spaces with nature reserves and the countryside." Time to make it happen with some positive actions:

How to grow a wild patch

How to attract butterflies to your garden

How to create a container garden for wildlife

And, so much more from the Wildlife Trusts »

 

Biodiversity gardening and COVID-19

The current restrictions will make it tricky to be able to do all of the above with a lack of materials and social distancing. However, if you select your activity wisely, we hope you can still have a go. Check out the "Looking After Yourself, and Nature" page on the Wildlife Trusts website for activities that you may still be able to do.

 

How to make a pond

We thought we'd throw in a bit of pond based inspiration:

 

For the keen, experienced gardeners

If you know your way around a garden, but really want to enhance your contribution to increasing biodiversity in your garden plans, check out this guide by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). 

 

It's so very important for the next generation to play their part in creating a future full of animals and plants, and we hope they will be the keen biodiversity gardeners in years to come. For this reason, we've created an entire biodiversity section just for the youngsters!

For top gardening with the kids tips, student species identification resources, coral reef explorations, fun activities and more, click here »

 

Officially the world's first National Park City, London is changing to become a greener, healthier urban environment. Their overall aim is to improve life in London.

Why have we put this here? To provide inspiration and to highlight that even mega cities can be home to a huge amount of biodiversity if things are done right. 

Find out more about London National Park City »

 

There are many charitable organisations out there doing amazing things to protect and enhance biodiversity, but they need the funding to do this work. Here are some examples of how you could help.

 

Trees and Plants

If you're unable to plant a tree, why not fund the nurturing, planting, and protecting of a tree that will help restore a forest for wildlife via the World Land Trust (global) or the Tree Council (UK)? You could even invest and help shape the future of the Northern Forest by becoming a partner.

 

Animals

If animals are more your thing, maybe 'adopting' an animal is the way to go with the Wildlife Trusts? They state that "money raised from our adoption schemes goes to helping important local wildlife conservation work, such as managing nature reserves or creating new habitats." Or, support a special RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) appeal with a donation to protect and expand places for wildlife.

Zoos also do amazing things. Check out and donate to Act for Wildlife by Chester Zoo

Alternatively, visit the WWF for ideas on how to do some fundraising.

 

 

Reducing Your Impact on Biodiversity

The above gardening based ideas provide us with ways to provide homes and food for biodiversity. But, we also have daily impacts on the world of biodiversity that need to be reduced. For example, disposable plastics that we use can end up in the oceans endangering animals on land, in the air or under the water. Or, if you buy food products containing palm oil, this could be contributing to vast deforestation.

Time to learn how we can all be more biodiversity-friendly with our daily lives:

For more brilliant, creative ideas, head to the Wildlife Trust's "help wildlife at home" »

 

Further reading and top tips

Visit seasonalight for 10 Things We All Can Do to Help Biodiversity »

For biodiversity tips for every week of the year, visit the European Commission's 52 Tips for Biodiversity »

 

 

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering your time and enthusiasm is a fantastic way to help nature, but also to meet new friends, socialise and get into the great outdoors more often. You will even learn some new skills! Your local nature reserves, beaches, parks and community spaces need the support of volunteers to make them as biodiversity-friendly as possible. There are so many opportunities out there!

However, we understand that the current restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak makes volunteering very tricky right now. But this won't be forever. Charities are still looking for volunteer commitments for future volunteering opportunities - time to add your name to the list! Find an opportunity that suits you:


 

#30DaysWild

#ForNature

 


Canary Wharf Group Wildlife Photography Competition Finalist - The Winter is Here by Anita Csányi

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