A new trend for ‘virtual’ Christmas gifts that benefit the natural environment and support local heritage or wildlife charities has been welcomed by Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Environment.
Last minute shoppers stuck for gift ideas for lovers of British wildlife can sponsor a puffin or a stretch of hedgerow to protect hedgehogs and even help preserve a natural beauty spot.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:
“These imaginative gift ideas show just some of the wonderful ways that charities are working to care for our finest landscapes and most endangered wildlife. Buying your loved-ones one of these unusual and thoughtful presents means that they can also play their part in safeguarding our natural heritage.”
Some examples of gifts include:
Puffins only lay one egg a year, which makes their populations very vulnerable. The RSPB offer the chance to sponsor one of these much-loved birds helping them to provide safer nesting sites on its coastal reserves.
From restoring river corridors for otters, to helping keep wildflower meadows in bloom, The Wildlife Trust’s adoption schemes are run by individual Trusts so you know that you’re sponsoring wildlife in your local area.
For those who love landscapes as much as animals the National Trust offers the chance to sponsor a stretch of Devon coastline or restore a mountain footpath.
The RSPB offer a range of ‘virtual gifts’. A £20 gift could help the RSPB to fence off sections of waterway to create safe havens for the water vole population. For £28 the RSPB could plant a full 10 metres of hedgerow, helping to reverse some of the damage that has been done over recent decades. Miles of these mini nature reserves have been torn up, and they provide hedgehogs - and many other animals - with food, shelter and safe path by which to move from one place to another. Details of all RSPB Good Natured Gifts can be found at: www.rspbshop.co.uk
The Wildlife Trust offer a unique range of conservation grazing sponsorships. It’s possible to sponsor herds or individual ponies, cattle, sheep and even water buffalo. They also offer unusual ‘Wildlife Landlord’ sponsorships that give the chance to protect an entire habitat, a woodland or wildflower meadow. Details of many of The Wildlife Trusts’ adoption schemes can be found at: www.wildlifetrusts.org/index.php?section=gifts:adoptions or contact your local Wildlife Trust to find out what’s on offer in your area: wildlifetrusts.org/yourlocaltrust.
The National Trust have a great selection of inventive gifts that can help care for some of our nation’s most special places and raise much needed income for a wide range of conservation projects. A £25 gift enables the Trust to plant a heritage variety fruit tree in a National Trust orchard on behalf of your friend or family member, or improve the red squirrels chances of survival by protecting its current habitat with a £10 gift. Details of more innovative ideas can be found at: http://shop.nationaltrust.org.uk/category/virtual-gifts/53/0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0/1