Although they are asking people in Worcestershire to do this, I thought, what a brilliant idea - and so I wanted to let everyone know about it in the hope more people would follow suit wherever they are and pledge a patch for wildlife!
The Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is celebrating its 50th birthday and it now has 75+ nature reserves across Worcestershire. They describe them as "stepping stones in the landscape" - I love that description. And they are asking people to join the dogs so that wildlife can move through safely.
Wildlife all over the world need wildlife corridors to help them move from one place to another and these are vital to help them reach everything they need to survive and thrive.
Ideas of how you can pledge a patch are... (and no, you don't need a garden)...
Fill a window box with nectar and pollen rich plants
Attach a bug box to the wall of your house
Leave a 1m by 1m square of grass longer so that daisies can grow for the bees
Put up a nest box for birds
Plant a pollinator patch in an area of land - businesses could easily do that
Bring your neighbours together and ensure that hedgehogs can get from one garden to another easily
Join up with locals to turn an unused patch of land into an areas for butterflies
Create a small pond for frogs and toads
Offer to manage a local verge and fill it with wild flowers - just sow wildflowers around it and don't mow it so often
In Central Mexico, the ancient forests of Sierra Gorda are being destroyed. They are home to the big cat, the hummingbird, And there’s a chance to save some of them.
They are full of Pinyon Pines, Junipers, Cedars, Sweetgums, Firs and Oaks – some of them hundreds of years old. They are home to species such as the Monarch Butterfly and the Big-footed Salamander. Jaguars, pumas, bobcats, margays, ocelots and jaguarondi live here.
But the forest is all disappearing, thanks to human activity - agriculture, cattle ranching and man-made fires. Fire has a particularly bad impact – it can take a forest years to recover from a man-made fire.
The World Land Trust is working with local, family run Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda to conserve habitat in Sierra Gorda. In the 10 years they’ve been working together, supporters of the World Land Trust have saved over 10,000 acres of these forests already.
And there’s more. Every acre the World Land Trust has protected has remained under the guardianship of its Keepers of the Wild programme, that is, wildlife rangers hired from the local community. They guard the forests and restore them to their natural state.
So how can you help?
You can get involved by – I’ll be frank – making a donation. I’ve made a donation already and it always makes me feel better and that I’ve had an influence on the world’s forests and been able to do something, rather than sit back and do nothing.
So imagine spending £25. And it goes towards saving ancient forests in Mexico. Isn’t that wild?
Where will your £25 go?
The thing is, the World Land Trust has the chance to buy and protect an area of 578 acres in Sierra Gorda. It needs all our support to ensure this forest can be saved for wildlife.
You can help and get involved by donating to the World Land Trust’s Ancient Forests Appeal.
A £25 donation will enable the Trust’s partner in Sierra Gorda to buy 1,000m² and put it under protection.
A £100 donation will protect one acre.
This is a very easy way to get involved and do something quickly for wildlife. And to feel as though you’ve made a difference.
The RSPB have just joined forces with Barrett Homes. They apparently are looking to create developments and green spaces that’s friendly to nature.
Give them a home, and they will come - as the RSPB advert says
There's no doubt in my mind that having wildlife in a garden give the place far more colour and life. There's nothing like watching the birds from a corner of the garden take a splash in a bird bath, or feast on the food you've put out for them - or to discover a hedgehog, or watch butterflies flutter from one group of flowers to another. Honestly, it's like having your own nature show.
60% of the species which have been monitored in the UK in the last 50 years are declining. And yet, private gardens in the UK cover about 450,000 hectares of land – an area larger than Suffolk.
So the potential to create fantastic places for wildlife is huge. And they don’t need a lot of room, as Butterfly Conservation’s Pot for Pollinators shows – you just need a pot with a butterfly friendly plant stuck in it and anyone can put that on a patio or balcony.
Anyway, back to the RSPB and Barrett Homes.
They’ve created some advice to help you get started giving nature a home in your garden.
The guide has basic steps on how to make your garden wildlife friendly, garden features that will help you make the most of any size garden (so there’ s no need to have a garden the size of Kent to get started), and a full plant guide of what to plant and what not to plant.
On World Lion Day (the 10th August), it’s great to announce a really exciting piece of news for wildlife conservation.
There’s a really fantastic opportunity for business to make a difference and have a real impact on wildlife.
Drum roll please for….. The Lion’s Share Fund!
You may have heard of The Lion’s Share. If you haven’t, let me tell you more. It’s an initiative which is aiming to transform the lives of animals around the world by asking advertisers to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal welfare projects.
I am really excited by this initiative. The hope is that $100 million a year will be raised within 3 years. The money will be invested in a range of animal conservation and animal welfare programmes, to be implemented by the UN and civil society organisations.
The Lion’s Share is working to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are aiming to end poverty and project the planet. Goal 14, Life Underwater and Goal 15, Live on Land, involve supporting animals and helping to conserve their key habitat.
The UNDP (that’s the United Nations Development Programme) will host the fund. A joint steering committee will take decisions on priority programmes. Money raised will go into creative, game-changing solutions which focus on achieving real impact for the animals and their habitats.
Ambitious for sure - but if the top 10 advertisers alone were to participate, this would bring in a staggering $47m each year alone!
Partners in the fund will contribute 0.5% of their media spent to the fund for every advert they use which has an animal in it.
And cartoon animals will count as well. So if your company has an ad with a cartoon animal in it, they can participate!
Mars is the first advertising partner. It will sit on the executive and steering committees of The Lion’s Share and encourage other businesses to get involved.
Worldwide advertising network BBDO and leading measurement and data analytics company Nielsen are also involved. BBDO is contributing the benefit of its experience in advertising, whilst Nielsen will ensure that companies are contributing correctly.
The Lion’s Share Fund has a website, and a very helpful FAQ page. This answers a number of questions which spring to mind – how can we be sure the money goes to where it should, for instance. (Nielsen will watch that side of things like a hawk.) And 93% of the funds raised will go to the animals that need it.
Rob Galluzzo, founder of FINCH, initiated the idea with Christopher Nelius, a film director. Galluzzo says that 9 out of 10 of the most popular animals seen in commercials are endangered or threatened and they don’t always get the support they deserve.
FINCH have partnered with Clemenger BBDO to bring this initiative to life.
The fund was launched in Cannes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, by UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who said quite rightly that it is our responsibility as people to safeguard all life on our planet. Coster-Waldau plays Jamie Lannister in the Games of Thrones.
So how can you help?
Well, if I see an advert with an animal in it, I'm going to let the advertising company know about the The Lion’s Shares Fund. It was only launched recently in June 2018, so they may not know of it yet.