Conservation has been on the agenda of UK citizens for quite some time – most notably since the 1990s, when the eco-aware Daniel Hooper shot to fame. The man dubbed ‘Swampy’ may have since retired from the conservation game, but there are still a number of environmentally friendly resources all over the UK. This guide will take a look at where you can find information and resources on all things pertaining the natural world, no matter what area your interests may lie within.
General Conservation Information Sources
If you’re looking to increase your knowledge base of activism surrounding conservation in the UK, there are a number of different links and organisations that you can get in touch with.
- The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, aka the GWCT, is the UK’s premier conservation charity, while the World Lane Trust is a worldwide conservation charity with interests within the UK.
- The Forestry Commission is a government arm that takes care of all matters pertaining to British woodland.
- The Campaign to Protect Rural England is a drive to prevent the country’s green spaces being overrun and irreparably damaged.
- The Joint Nature Conservation Committee put plenty of effort into biodiversity and conservation throughout the UK.
- The National Biodiversity Network are dedicated to exchanging data on this subject, including an atlas that enables you to look up the natural life in your area.
- Brush up on Environmental Law to ensure that that you don’t fall foul of any kind of legal mishaps, alongside government policies on biodiversity and ecosystems.
- The ocean is also crying out for our assistance. The Marine Conservation Society is doing everything they can to turn the tide of plastic being dumped in the sea.
What would life be without the sound of birdsong in the morning to mark the breaking of the day? Whether you’re a keen birdwatcher or just looking to expand your knowledge of our feathered friends, there are plenty of resources to do so.
- Start by visiting the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for any and all nesting needs. Use their bird identifier to learn who and what is visiting your garden.
- The British Trust of Ornithology says it all with their website tagline – they look out for birds.
- BirdLife ensure that people understand the importance of nesting and safe locations for feathered wildlife throughout the UK.
- Disabled people with an interest in learning about birds should look into the services offered by Birding for All.
- Raptor Rescue has nothing to do with dinosaurs, but is instead a charity dedicated to rehabilitating injured wild birds of prey. The Hawk Conservation Trust performs similar work, while the Owls Trust takes care of our hooting, nocturnal population.
Whether it’s the cats, dogs and rabbits that leave paw prints on our hearts as pets or the wild creatures that wander the nation’s parks, moors and forests, mammals plays a huge role in the UK’s conservation efforts. Naturally, means that that they need to be protected in any way possible, and there are many resources beyond the RSPCA.
- The Wildlife Trust and The British Wildlife Centre work tirelessly to ensure that animals retain their homes, and that any endangered species are appropriately managed.
- The WWF aren’t spandex-clad pro wrestlers – the World Wildlife Foundation is the world’s foremost independent animal conservation organisation, and they have a UK arm. Naturewatch is another British charity dedicated to improving the lives of animals, whether domestic or wild. Global Wildlife Conservation also pour their souls into this line of work.
- Popular magazine Countryfile has a profile on the UK’s finest nature reserves for walks, while the government website has a general directory of every reserve in the nation.
- Some consider wild foxes to be a pest, but these beautiful animals are endangered. The Fox Project is dedicated to helping red foxes across the country.
Amphibian and Marine Wildlife
Of course, it’s not just animals with fur and feathers that need our protection – creatures with scales are just as important.
- The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust is the biggest charity in the country for such wildlife, though Froglife are also doing great things.
- Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK is another registered charity that keeps a firm eye on all things related to these elements parts of our ecosystem.
- The National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme does exactly what the name suggests. This body is dedicated to studying and cataloguing the amphibian or reptile wildlife in the country.
- BHS isn’t just the acronym of a defunct high street chain – it also applies to the British Herpetological Society, who supports conservation and education in all matters reptilian and amphibian.
Creepy-crawlies are not to everybody’s taste, but there is no denying that our six- and eight-legged friends play a hugely important role in the nation’s conservation efforts.
- We are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of bees to the planet, and The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is doing great work on to keep sharing this knowledge.
- Buglife are working tirelessly to keep the country’s invertebrate population safe. Check out that David Attenborough quote on the homepage to get a real insight into how important insects can be!
- Anybody keen to learn more about insects could do worse than to investigate the Amateur Entomologists’ Society or their professional counterparts, the Royal Entomological Society.
- Can you picture anything more beautiful than a butterfly? How about thousands of them? Investigate Butterfly Conservation for information on how they beautiful insects can be protected.
- The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds don’t just concern themselves with flying friends – they also have an entire arm dedicated to bugs and other miniature critters.
Flowers and Algae
Wildlife is one thing, but green space is called that for a reason – it’s the flora and algae that grows all the countryside that makes it so memorable to visit. Whether this is keeping animals alive by providing food or enabling the country to enjoy a healthy sense of biodiversity, flora and algae are pivotal to the UK’s ecosystem.
- No prizes will be awarded for guessing what registered charity Plantlife specialise in, and they are flanked by such organisations as Plant Heritage.
- The National Trust offers a Plant Conservation Centre to protect the green life that can no longer sustain itself – or be replaced.
- The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland offers all kinds of insight and protective actions throughout the country, while The Plantlist will help you identify any strange or unusual blooms while you’re enjoying a summer stroll.
- The government has plenty of advice for anybody finding blooms of algae on or close to their profit. The Royal Yachting Association also provides unique insights.
- To learn more about algae, visit the Natural History Museum’s official website and take advantage of their AlgaeVision
Green Spaces in the UK
If all of this talk of conversation has whetted your appetite to spend more time out in the great outdoors, you’re in luck – there are all kinds of green spaces and conservation parks throughout the UK.
- A National Trust membership should obviously be your first port of call – you will open up the opportunity to visit all kinds of unique locations.
- The Eden Project in Cornwall is a fascinating botanical garden that’s home to all kinds of exotic plant life, in addition to working tirelessly on a number of conservation projects throughout the world.
- Ordnance Survey has produced a free map of all the green spaces found throughout the UK that anybody can utilise.
- Historic England offers a guide to the parks and green spaces available to the general public.
A great many websites have been referenced over the course of this guide, but there is no need to get overwhelmed. Take a look below to find the online homes of every business or location that has been discussed, where you will be able to find all kinds of information and inspiration.
- The Amateur Entomologists’ Society – amentsoc.org
- Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust – arc-trust.org
- Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK – arguk.org
- Birding for All – birdingforall.com
- BirdLife – birdlife.org
- Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland – bsbi.org
- The British Herpetological Society – thebhs.org
- The British Trust for Ornithology – bto.org
- The British Wildlife Centre – britishwildlifecentre.co.uk
- Buglife – buglife.org.uk
- Bumblebee Conservation Society – bumblebeeconservation.org
- Butterfly Conservation – butterfly-conservation.org
- Campaign to Protect Rural England – cpre.org.uk
- The Eden Project – edenproject.com
- The Forestry Commission – forestry.gov.uk
- The Fox Project – foxproject.org.uk
- Froglife – froglife.org
- Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust – gwct.org.uk
- Global Wildlife Conservation – globalwildlife.org
- Hawk Conservatory Trust – hawk-conservancy.org
- Historic England – historicengland.org.uk
- Joint Nature Conservation Committee – jncc.defra.gov.uk
- The Marine Conservation Society – mcsuk.org
- National Amphibian & Reptile Recording Scheme – narrs.org.uk
- National Diversity Network – nbn.org.uk
- The National Trust – nationaltrust.org.uk
- Natural History Museum – nhm.ac.uk
- Naturewatch – naturewatch.org
- Ordnance Survey – ordnancesurvey.co.uk
- Owls Trust – theowlstrust.org
- Plantlife – plantlife.org.uk
- The Plantlist – theplantlist.org
- Plant Heritage – nccpg.com
- Raptor Rescue – raptorrescue.org.uk
- The Royal Entomological Society – royensoc.co.uk
- Royal Society for the Protection of Animals – rspca.org.uk
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – rspb.org.uk
- The Wildlife Trust – wildlifetrusts.org
- The World Lane Trust – worldlandtrust.org
- World Wildlife Foundation – wwf.org.uk