At The Wildlife Trusts we’ve been sharing our own ideas for simple everyday actions that people can take, in their own lives, to help wildlife
This list isn’t exhaustive and most of the ideas here are pretty simple. You may well be doing many of these already – hopefully you are. If not, there’s not much here you couldn’t try yourself today. We’d love to hear your ideas too, either by commenting below or use #MyWildLife and join in the conversation.
Getting yourself and others involved with wildlife
- Inspire someone else to get outdoors! - share your favourite wild walk or wild place with friends or family (could you pick 5 people to share it with?).
- Play outdoors in wild places with children (yours or some you have legal access to!) and nurture their interest in wildlife. Unsupervised play in wild places also helps children to build a bond with nature so consider ways you could help make this happen too. Check out The Wild Network for lots of ideas to help.
- Join a wildlife group or organisation – of course we’d say joining the Wildlife Trust for your area is a good starting place but there are hundreds of groups doing great work.
- Tell people why nature is important to you – whether it’s your Mum, your son/daughter, your colleague, your neighbour, your hairdresser.
- Leave wildlife and conservation magazines in waiting rooms (or the school library). Help spread the message.
- Seek out wildlife campaigns and support the ones that matter to you. Read the State of Nature and Response for Nature reports. Check out The Wildlife Trusts campaigns here. If you’re feeling inspired why not start your own or look for people who can help you.
- Write about wildlife for your local community or parish magazine - if you don’t have any ideas for articles ask your local Wildlife Trust and see if they have any campaigns, places or projects you could write about.
- Contact your local decision-makers like your MP or Council Leader about a wildlife issue that matters to you. You could ask your MP if they support the proposals for a Nature & Wellbeing Act or their views on the badger cull. Ask your local authority if they’re managing land like road verges in a wildlife-friendly way or whether their Local Plan incorporates nature.
- Investigate your local wild patch - if there’s a patch of wild land in your local community you’ve come to know and love, find out more about it. Is there a local farmer or land owner you could say thanks to? Is there anything you could do to help keep it that way or make it even better for wildlife? And always report any incidences of wildlife crime too.
- Tweet and post for the wild - use social media to share messages about why nature matters and how people can help.
Practical ways to help nature in your home, garden or where you work
- Create small-scale wildlife habitats - there’s lots of advice available for doing this in your garden. Key features like trees, dead wood, water, and growing a variety of plants all help to create a range of habitats for different wildlife. Try our Wild About Gardens website for starters. If you own some land (a field, a small wood) look for information online how you could create the optimum conditions for wildlife or talk to your local Wildlife Trust who may have resources that can help.
- Set up a wildlife area where you work – could your work help to pay for some pots and pollinator friendly plants and a bird feeder?
- Have a ‘cuttings’ day to share bee-friendly plants
- Plant a vegetable garden/ patch
- Compost your kitchen and garden waste. It reduces landfill and creates habitat for wildlife.
- Make gaps in your garden fences to allow wildlife like hedgehogs to move between gardens. Tips on this here
- Put up a micro-habitat – bat box, bird box, hedgehog house. Our activity sheets can help!
- Rewild your school - If you work at a school could your school grounds be improved for wildlife. Indoors you could set up a nature table at school (or your children’s school). If you’re a parent ask your school about opportunities for outdoor learning e.g. feedback surveys.
- Leave a wild patch in your lawn – this simple action helps to create a wider range of habitats in your garden. Flowers are good for bees, long grass helps to shelter moths and small mammals.
- Pick up litter – each piece of litter removed from a natural ecosystem helps wildlife and creates better places for people.
Living with wildlife
- Buy local, organic, seasonal produce as often as you can. If you eat meat make it as locally-sourced as you can and ask your butcher about how it was raised.
- Avoid products that contain microplastics e.g. face scrubs with beads. The two ingredients to look out for (and avoid) are Polyethylene and Polypropylene.
- Say no to single use - reduce your impact on the natural world (and the amount of waste going to landfill and litter). Arm yourself with reusable bags and drinks containers and use them.
- Buy “Eco” products e.g. washing up liquid. These tend to cost a few pence more but if we all do this the prices should reduce. It’s up to us to make ‘eco’ the normal option. Cheaper ‘own brand’ eco products are sometimes available.
- Talk to farmers and growers – visit markets and talk to farmers about how they’re helping wildlife on their farms. If you get a good answer - buy something to show your support for wildlife-friendly farming! A good number of farmers care about the wildlife on their land and they need your support. If you shop regularly at a supermarket ask their customer service team about their food sourcing and waste policies. Customer feedback matters.
- Exercise your consumer choice – always buy peat-free compost, buy native plants often (good for insects that have evolved naturallly alongside them) and recycled products where you can
- Conserve water – using less water keeps more in our ecosystems. This is especially important in water-stressed areas like south-East England. Fish, otters, dragonflies all share water with us. Use a water butt and other rainsaving devices. Have more showers and less baths. Consider a flushing regime in the toilet (if it’s yellow etc).
- Buy MSC certified fish – play your part in avoiding ecosystem collapse in our seas. www.msc.org/cook-eat-enjoy/fish-to-eat
- Avoid using pesticides in your garden – (or if not then make a concerted effort to reduce their use). There are a good number of natural solutions to garden ‘pests’.
- Maximise your use of public transport or car sharing – try to minimise single person car journeys for environmental impact.
*who study ferns – check out their fascinating website http://ebps.org.uk/