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.
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."
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:
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 »
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.
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:
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: