Celebrate the critters living in your garden!
Understanding our connection to the environment and the animals within it
This year, for many of us, has been all about staying home to keep ourselves and loved ones safe.
What we have realised during this time of restricted activity, is just how important those few minutes of getting outside in nature are for our mental health.
As human beings, our moods, feelings, and overall wellbeing are all intrinsically connected to the environment around us. That’s why we’ve found ourselves going outside or cracking open a window to hear the birds, bees, frogs or cicadas. If we are lucky enough to live by the coast, we’ve been going to the beach and listening to the waves crashing in. Or, we may have been spotting local wildlife and taking a little bit more notice of what they’re up to!
Giving overlooked species the attention they deserve
We all know that animals have helped us through the past year, but have you thought much about those little garden critters that have brightened up your day? Garden wildlife are a frequently overlooked group of species living right on our doorsteps. Their secret lives are going on alongside ours right underneath our noses!
But they need our help
Did you know that one of the greatest threats to animal conservation is habitat loss?
Many species’ homes are at risk due to urbanisation and pollution, a direct consequence of humans inhabiting and changing their natural environments.
So, at World Animal Day HQ, we wanted to give you some ideas as to how to celebrate and protect our precious garden creatures this October 4!
5 ideas to appreciate and protect garden wildlife for World Animal Day 2021:
1. Organise an art or photography competition in your local community centre, restaurant, or café
Ask people in your community to take photographs or draw their favourite critters to exhibit at your makeshift gallery, then invite patrons to come and see the local talent! You could charge a small fee for competition entrants or patrons to be put towards a prize, or a charity donation. You could even auction off the winning pieces to raise even more funds!
2. Start a game of Spot-The-Species!
Research the species you are likely to find in your region, then go outside and see how many you can spot in one day. You could raise money by advertising the event to your local community and getting the whole neighbourhood involved in a game of spot-the-species bingo! Entrants could be charged a small fee to participate, to go towards a prize for the first person to spot all the species, and charity donation.
3. Create a wildlife corner in your garden or a local community area
An amazing way you can help wildlife where you live is to dedicate a corner of your garden for them! Plant some native wildflowers for pollinators and create a ‘bug hotel’ for little critters to live in! You will attract a whole range of inquisitive creatures to your garden, so try to minimize how much you go in this corner so that the animals feel safe to come out and explore.
But remember, you don’t have to have a garden to help wildlife. Contact other members of your community and see if there is a shared community space you can dedicate. This is a great way to get other people involved and ensure that the space is cared for.
4. Giving a local species a little helping hand
In the UK, we have some creatures who need a little extra help, species like the hedgehog.
|Hedgehogs travel for around a mile every night, but they are often boxed in by garden fences.
Some kind communities have come up with an action plan to help them move more freely, by cutting small holes in fencing to create hedgehog ‘corridors’ in their gardens and community areas.
You might not have hedgehogs in your country but you can research an animal in your region that needs help, then engage your community in a plan of action. Keeping track of your chosen species will create a feeling of community responsibility and help you to see when your efforts are making a difference!
5. Enter your photos in our World Animal Day Photography Competition!
This year, we’ll be holding our World Animal Day Photography competition. So, whether you’re just starting out with your camera phone or you’re a seasoned professional behind the lens, we’d love to have a whole range of animal photographs from our supporters to showcase on the World Animal Day website. More details on this year’s competition will be coming soon, so watch this space!
So, get outside and advocate for your local garden wildlife!
Not only will you help the animals living in your area, you’ll also be getting immersed in nature, which is an amazing way to relieve stress, improve your mood and boost your happiness and wellbeing.
If you’d like some more ideas for things you can do this World Animal Day, take a look at our ideas pages!