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Nature Nearby: Fighting for Equal Access to Nature

June 01, 2021


Fresh air, sea-salty wind, crunchy leaves under wellies, green trees as far as the eye can see, sunsets and rises, the whoosh of the ocean - experiences in nature are good for the soul, and it's backed up by evidence!


 The benefits we experience from spending time in nature are no secret, and I think many of us can appreciate them more than ever since our world got much, much smaller and quieter through the pandemic. Whether the reduced traffic meant we noticed the birds singing more, or extra time meant we spent longer exploring our local woodland, nature was there for us when we needed her.


Research shows that time in nature can reduce our blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels, help us to sleep better, reduce anxiety, and boost our mood. It's also good for creativity and improving emotional and cognitive development.


The problem is, although everyone should have access to nature, it isn't currently the reality in the UK. Easy and safe access to high-quality green and blue spaces should be a right, not a privilege.


Research shows that those on low income are less likely to have access to public natural space, and children from poorer families are less likely to spend time in nature than other children. People from ethnic minorities are less likely to live within a 5-minute walk of a green space when compared to white people, and also less likely to have access to good walking routes.


This inequality continues when private green space is taken into account, as 12% of people in the UK don't have access to a garden, a figure that rises to 21% in London, with black people almost four times less likely to have access to a garden than white people.


Feeling unsafe in nature is also a barrier to access. Women and girls report feeling unsafe outdoors, with women who identify as disabled or LGBT more likely to feel this way. The risk of racist abuse or harassment also prevents people from ethnic minority backgrounds from spending time in nature. People with disabilities are often unable to access natural green and blue spaces, for example due to lack of accessible paths, parking, or toilets.


UK Youth for Nature are working hard to turn this around by engaging with the UK governments and asking them to act now to ensure that everyone has access to safe, high-quality green and blue spaces. The more voices we have, the more likely they will have to listen and take action! So how can you help?


  1. Sign the petition here to the governments of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  2. Write to your local politician. I know this can feel a bit daunting, but there is lots of information here to make it quick and easy to do!
  3. Shout about the lack of access to nature! And share the campaign with friends and family.

How Birds Use Our Waters – Part 2: UK Territorial Waters

May 28, 2021

 



In Will's last blog post for UK Youth for Nature’s oceans campaign, he looked at how our coasts are crucial in supporting a huge diversity of bird species all year round. This time, he travels further out into our territorial waters, to see how the fate of the seabirds which call our shores home is inextricably tied to the health of our oceans.


Click here to read the full article on the UK Youth for Nature website.

How Birds Use Our Waters – Part 1: Coastal Birds

May 20, 2021


When thinking about animals which use the marine environment, birds might not be the first to come to mind. However, the UK is responsible for globally important numbers of birds which use our shores and seas in some way. As part of UK Youth for Nature’s oceans campaign, I’ll be journeying from our coastlines, into territorial waters, and finally beyond to the high seas, to show how birds rely on these environments, as well as the threats they face.

For the first post in this three part series, I’ll be looking into the species which live along our shores. With over 31,000 kilometres of coastline, there is plenty of habitat available for our coastal birds, and they are alive with activity all year round.


Click here to read the full article.

Banking on a Better Future: Why You Should Switch to an Ethical Bank

March 25, 2021

While changing my lifestyle to be kinder to the environment, banking never crossed my mind. I've seen enough films with greedy, unethical banker characters in them, but didn't connect the dots that my money may be being lent to dirty companies and projects. That is until last year, when I read The Joyful Environmentalist by Isabel Losada, and the Bankrolling Extinction report, which made me uncomfortable with what my money may be financing and encouraged me to find out more. What I found was shocking, and encouraged me to make the switch to an ethical bank. Here, I share some research on what banks are using our money for, and what an ethical bank is.



What could banks be using our money for?


I very naively used to assume any money I had in the bank just sat in my account until I made a purchase or withdrew it. This is obviously not the case, and the reality is much more complex. Banks use our money to lend and invest. We don't have control over this, and it can include funding companies and projects that harm people and the planet.


Funding the climate and biodiversity crises:


Bankrolling Extinction revealed that in 2019, the top banks invested over $2.6 trillion into sectors that are driving the destruction of nature through mining, fossil fuels, deforestation, dirty transport, and pollution. Banking on Climate Change found that the 60 largest commercial and investment banks invested a total of $3.8 trillion into fossil fuels from 2016–2020.


Dirty Profits 6 investigated banks that fund mining and extractive companies. These industries are complicit in horrific environmental and human rights violations, and despite being aware of this, banks continue to invest. The 10 banks investigated, including UK banks HSBC and Barclays, were found to have provided over €100 billion to 10 mining and extractive companies.


Investing in nuclear weapons and the arms trade:


The 2019 report 'Shorting our security - Financing the companies that make nuclear weapons' by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) revealed that between 2017 and 2019, financial institutions invested $748 billion in top nuclear weapon producers.


Banks also contribute to funding the arms trade to the Middle East and North Africa, and are therefore linked to the human rights abuses that occur in countries within these regions. Ten banks known to invest in global arms companies were investigated in the 'Dirty Profits 7' report, which found that the total finance provided amounted to roughly €24.2 billion between 2015 and 2018. Of banks in the UK, Lloyds Bank was the largest provider, loaning €4.1 billion to arms companies.



How do I know if a bank is ethical?


While we can't choose what our bank does with our money once it is in our account, we can choose a bank that commits to using it to drive positive change. In order to choose an ethical bank, Ethical Consumer advise you to ensure they:


  1. are clear about how they will invest your money.
  2. pay their fair share of tax. This is important as many banks operate subsidiaries out of known tax havens.


Ethical Consumer and BankTrack both have extensive information on individual banks, including what they invest in and whether they pay tax. Triodos Bank, which I chose to switch to, are Ethical Consumer's 'Best Buy' for Current Accounts. There are alternative ethical banks listed in their guides, so it is worth considering more than one to find the best fit for you.


Bank of Scotland, Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, M&S, Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Santander all rate poorly for their environmental and social ethics.



I don't have much money - is it still worth switching?


Yes! I don't have much in the bank either, but I see it that I wouldn't even spend £10 at a company that I knew to be harming people or the environment, so banking isn't much different. If many individuals put a small amount of money into an ethical bank, collectively all of our money adds up and makes a difference. Ethical banks will choose to support positive projects, one example is Triodos Bank have invested £8.2 billion into projects across Europe benefitting people and the planet - wouldn't you rather support that than fossil fuel companies?



How do I switch banks?


Government regulation in the UK has forced banks to make it easy for customers to switch, and it takes as little as 7 days. Info on how to switch here.



Helpful resources:

BankTrack
Bankrolling Extinction
Ethical Consumer
Facing Finance - Dirty Profits
Rainforest Action Network - Defund Climate Change


International Women's Day: Inspiring Women and Advice for Working in Conservation

March 08, 2021


Today, people from around the world are coming together to celebrate International Women's Day. It is an opportunity to celebrate women's achievements and marks a call to action to accelerate gender equality.


 I have written an article for UK Youth for Nature, to share details of our work, the women who inspire us, and advice for getting involved in the environmental sector. Click here to read it.

2020 Conservation Successes: 10 Positive Environmental Stories

January 08, 2021


Looking back on positive conservation stories from the past twelve months is my way of finding the silver lining to the overwhelming and devastating year we have all experienced, keeping the 
eco-anxiety at bay, and for remaining motivated for the year to come.


Finding solace in nature


The comfort so many of us found in nature during lockdown has left me optimistic that more people than ever will now acknowledge its unparalleled value and work harder to protect our wildlife and their vulnerable habitats.

Almost half of the UK population have spent more time outside than before the pandemic, and a third of people reported noticing nature and wildlife more. The National Trust revealed that interest in nature has risen by a third since the first lockdown, and more than half the population plan to continue spending as much time in nature once things go back to normal. For many, having extra time also meant they could get involved in citizen science projects. Butterfly Conservation saw the highest number of butterfly sightings ever submitted to their Big Butterfly Count, with an increase of 25% on 2019. Even when people couldn't get outside, interest in nature was still prevalent, as The Wildlife Trust saw a 2,000% increase in live wildlife webcam views.


The quiet that came with lockdown provided a unique opportunity for research. The drop in noise pollution allowed scientists and artists to create the first global public sound map of the spring dawn chorus. Bird recordings were submitted to the Dawn Chorus website from people around the world with the aim of helping conservation and creating public art. In South Carolina, the absence of people during lockdown gave scientists a rare opportunity to observe fireflies and collect pristine data in Congaree National Park.



Ocean optimism


Humpback whales have made an impressive comeback after being reduced to just 450 individuals in the 50's due to commercial whaling. Last year, a study revealed that humpbacks can now be found in similar numbers seen before the days of whaling - a positive example of how nature can recover if allowed to. This recovery is also good news for the climate, as on average a single whale stores around 33 tonnes of CO2.

A new species of pygmy seahorse as small as a grain of rice was discovered in the waters off the coast of South Africa. It is the first pygmy seahorse found in all of the Indian Ocean and the continent of Africa, and was compared to being like "finding a kangaroo in Norway" by one of the researchers. This is an exciting discovery and researchers are optimistic that there are many more species of pygmy seahorses waiting to be discovered.

Seabirds are the most vulnerable group of birds, facing numerous threats globally, but some of these are easier to tackle than others. A recently published paper has found that after a decade working with the fishing industry in Namibia, the Albatross Task Force in the country has managed to save the lives of around 22,000 seabirds! The 98% reduction in deaths is a result of measures which scare birds away from getting accidentally caught by longline fishing vessels, and will hopefully be a model for fisheries all over the world. Another threat faced by breeding seabirds is invasive mammals, which prey on helpless seabird chicks. There is good news in this area too, as the RSPB council approved a mouse eradication scheme to begin in 2021 on Gough Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, where almost the entire world population of seabirds such as the Tristan albatross (Diomedea dabbenena) and the Atlantic petrel (Pterodroma incerta) breed, as well as many other species. The island was identified as the third most important in the world for an eradication project and would be a major boost for global conservation efforts.


Species reintroductions, rediscoveries and recoveries


2020 was the year of the beaver, and the news of their many reintroductions brought me some much needed joy. In August, they were given the permanent right to remain in their East Devon river home - the first legally sanctioned reintroduction of an extinct native mammal to England. In September, two male beavers were released in Norfolk as part of a rewilding scheme, and quickly paired up with females already in the area. In October, it was announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his siblings arranged for beavers to be released on their father's estate, which is hopefully an indication that government will encourage the reintroduction of more species across the UK. In November, Cheshire Wildlife Trust released a of pair beavers into Hatchmere Nature Reserve, and beavers in Exmoor built their first dam in over 400 years!


In July, Natural England celebrated the 30 year anniversary of the landmark re-introduction of red kites. In 1980s, the red kite was a threatened species in the UK due to hunting with only a few breeding pairs left in Wales. In 1990, 13 young red kites were reintroduced to the Chilterns and the project has been a massive success as there are now an estimated 1,800 breeding pairs in the UK. 


The efforts to bring pine martens to England look to be going well, as the first reintroduced females that were brought from Scotland to England in 2019 had kits last summer. The species is very rare in England, and the hope is that a population will be established over the next few years.


The RSPB announced that the UK common crane population is at its highest in over 400 years. The species was declared extinct in the UK, but natural recolonisation alongside extensive conservation work and a reintroduction programme has resulted in their population bouncing back, meaning more of us will hopefully be able to witness their graceful courtship dance for generations to come.



Environmental protection


Tristan da Cunha is one of the world's most remote islands, home to whales, sharks, seals, millions of seabirds, and under 300 humans. Last year, the government announced that the four-island archipelago will be designated as a marine sanctuary, and fishing and mining will be banned in 90% of the waters.  



Looking for more conservation optimism? Read:


And for some inspiration on new year's resolutions for the environment:

The Importance of the RSPB's 'Project Puffin'

December 01, 2020



A couple of months ago I joined the RSPB's Project Puffin team as a volunteer. Originating in 2017, the project set out to discover how puffin diet was changing at colonies around the UK, and whether this was linked to worrying declines of this iconic seabird. A great example of citizen science in action, it is beginning to reveal how warming oceans might be affecting the availability of their favourite prey species. In this post I delve into the threats facing puffins, as well as the essential work that the Project Puffin team is undertaking.


Is there a more iconic and instantly recognisable bird in the UK than the puffin? Their clownish looks and clumsy antics are a huge draw for tourists across the country, and provide endless entertainment for those who are lucky enough to see them. The puffins which call our shores home are Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica), the scientific name translating as - 'Little Brother of the Arctic' -  an endearing name given to them due to their black and white plumage resembling the robes of a friar. The other two species, the tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) and the horned puffin (Fratercula corniculata) occur in the Pacific ocean, and are equally as flamboyant as their Atlantic cousins.


Though we know little of their lives at sea outside of the breeding season, every year they return to their colonies, often to the exact same burrow, and carpet the cliffs and islands of the British Isles for another summer. They are just one part of the great wildlife spectacles that are our seabird cities, and to be immersed in one of these places is a life affirming experience. The dazzling sight of thousands of birds wheeling overhead and streaming to and from the sea. The cacophony of noise as parents and chicks call to each other, pair bonds are maintained, and rivals are seen off. The potent smell of guano combined with the salt air of the sea. They feel timeless, the same rhythms of life having been repeated for millennia, and it seems unreal that many of them could disappear within our lifetimes as current worrying trends suggest.





Seabirds are the most threatened group of birds, with almost half of all species in decline and many of them globally threatened. The threats they face are numerous, from predation at their colonies by invasive species, to overfishing, pollution and a changing climate. Puffins are no exception, with breeding failures and population declines at colonies in Norway and Iceland, and closer to home in places like Shetland and the Isle of May. Global trends are concerning enough for the Atlantic puffin to be listed as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, which led to it being 'Red listed' in the UK, the highest level of conservation priority. In some colonies however, like those of Skomer and Skokholm on the Pembrokeshire coast of Wales, numbers are doing relatively well.



What is going on?


It is believed that the main factor responsible is changes in the availability of their favoured prey species as a result of climate change. Small, oily, highly nutritious fish called sandeels make up an extremely large part of their diet, and can sometimes be up to 90% of what the young puffins (adorably called pufflings) eat. The timing of the sandeel's lifecycle is critical for puffins to have enough food for when their chicks are developing. Warming oceans are affecting this cycle by causing sandeels to spawn later, and the plankton blooms the sandeels rely on for food to occur earlier. This mismatch means that the sandeel larvae can't find the right types of small zooplankton prey when they hatch. The larvae grow slower and struggle to survive, meaning less of them are available for the hungry pufflings when the puffin breeding season is in full swing. Rising ocean temperatures also mean that the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, an important prey for the sandeels, is being replaced by a warmer water species, Calanus helgolandicus, which is less nutritious. This means smaller, less nutritious sandeels for the puffins.


Sandeels also depend on sand which they need to burrow in at night and during the winter, as well as to lay their eggs on. They are therefore limited as to where they can live and cannot shift away from warmer waters as other species might. Climate change might also be influencing ocean currents, affecting how the larvae are dispersed. This could be bad news for relatively isolated areas of sandeel habitat which rely on currents flowing their way in order to recruit more sandeels into the population. There are multiple, complex forces at work, with serious consequences for puffins. What's clear is that around some colonies there are simply not enough sandeels, and those present are not large or nutritious enough to feed the hungry chicks. This means that the adults need to travel further to find food and bring it back, which costs them more and more energy, and ultimately the adults have to choose self preservation over continuing to support their chicks. 





In colonies where puffins are doing well, it might be that these effects aren't being felt yet, with plenty of sandeels and other preferred prey still within a reasonable distance to ensure the chicks survive. There are other factors which might be contributing to their declines as well, such as prey being depleted by commercial fisheries or an increase in extreme weather which causes massive 'wrecks' of puffins at sea. What is clear is that we don't know enough to be sure as puffins are notoriously difficult to monitor. They spend much of their lives at sea, and often breed in inaccessible locations. So how do we know what they are eating?



Bring on the 'Puffarazzi'!


What more classic an image is there than of a puffin with a beak stuffed full of fish, and what better a record of the prey species that bird was bringing back to its chick? Thinking that this huge potential resource had gone untapped, in 2017 the RSPB's Project Puffin led by Dr. Ellie Owen ran a citizen science project (more about citizen science HERE) enlisting members of the public - the puffarazzos - to submit their photos of puffins with prey in their mouths, no matter what the quality of the photo. The hope was for the first time to build up a picture of how puffin diet varied across the UK, and whether this could be linked to the declines that were being observed. The initial response was a huge success, with 1402 photos being submitted by 602 people at around 40 colonies. From this data it could be confirmed that puffins breeding in places where they are not doing so well, like Shetland and Orkney in the northeast of Scotland, were catching smaller fish and less sandeels than those in other parts of the UK. Though puffins feed on a mixture of fish, this evidence suggests an inability to find their main prey item may be driving declines. 



Being a 'Puffineer'


The project is now in its second stages, beginning in March 2019, with photos being accepted from any year in order to see how puffin diet has changed at colonies across the UK over time. In phase two, 3439 photos have been submitted by 1160 Puffarazzi members, covering 57 colonies! It is this huge dataset that I am now a part of analysing, having become a member of the team, or a 'puffineer', a couple of months ago. It is a great privilege to be a part of the project and know that my work is helping to untangle the predicament that our beloved puffins are now facing. Being able to be involved in Project Puffin, especially during this pandemic, has been a great way to connect to the islands and birds which I love from afar.


Puffins began my love of seabirds, and the time I spent with the colony on Skokholm Island (which I wrote about HERE and HERE) was a dream come true. That these birds could perhaps disappear within my lifetime is unbearable, and that future generations might not get to enjoy them as I have is something we should be determined to help prevent.



What does the work involve? 


Every couple of weeks I get an email with 100 photographs, with two weeks to analyse them and send them back. The analysing process is quite straightforward, although it can take some time to figure out what is going on in the images. Puffins can hold a surprising amount of fish in their bills thanks to some inward facing serrations on the bill, and prey can be also be layered on top of one another, making counting every single individual quite tricky. There are four main prey types that we look for; the sandeels and their larvae, clupeids like sprat or herring, gadoids like cod or haddock, and rocklings. Puffin diet is very varied though and sometimes other things can crop up like a squid! Then we estimate the size of the fish, and note down how confident we are about our analysis. I find the work very enjoyable, and looking at these images is a fascinating insight into their lives. After days of maybe  staring at a few too many photos however, my dreams are haunted by gleaming fish eyes.



What does the future look like for puffins?


Whilst the future is uncertain at the moment, the findings from this project will hopefully provide us with vital information about how puffin diet has changed over time, and allow us to predict which colonies are likely to be affected the most by warming oceans and changing prey distribution. Though the effects of climate change are going to be hard to overcome, identifying where vulnerable colonies are located might help us to protect them in other ways. As a recent review suggests, if we can deal with things like overfishing, pollution, or invasive species, which we do have solutions for, populations will be more resilient in the long run. For example, if puffins are changing where they locate their food, we need to be able to protect these areas from development and fishing activities. Though there is still a lot to learn about this iconic seabird in order to ensure they are properly protected, this project is taking critical steps in the right direction.


This article also featured on the RSPB website.




Being Green on Black Friday

November 15, 2020


Black Friday originated in the US, and happens the day after Thanksgiving when shops lower their prices to signify the beginning of the Christmas season. The tradition has since spread across the world, including here in the UK, and in recent years has increased from a day of sales to a weekend, and for some stores even a whole week. It's a busy time for businesses and consumers, and last year, transaction value was up 16.5% compared with the year before. This year, Black Friday falls on 27th November, and though it may be good for big businesses, it is bad news for people and the planet.


First, it's important to mention that Black Friday can be a great opportunity for conscious purchases, particularly items that you need but couldn't previously afford. However, for many people it is a day of mindless consumption which is disastrous for our planet. 


The prices of fast fashion items plummet on Black Friday, but at what cost to people and the planet? Many of the people making our clothes live in poverty, are not paid fairly, and experience workers' rights violations and poor working conditions. On top of this, every year the fashion industry contributes 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions and uses around 1.5 trillion litres of water, and is a massive polluter of our air and water. In addition are the environmental impacts of packaging, which is often plastic, and carbon emissions and air pollution from an increase deliveries.


Low prices encourage over consumption and results in excessive, unnecessary waste. In Europe, clothing prices have been dropping since 2000, and the average consumer is buying more items but keeping them for less time. In the UK, we buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe, and 300,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in household bins every year.


As consumers, one big way to make a difference on Black Friday is with our wallets. Supporting unethical brands sends a message that it's acceptable for them to overproduce at the cost of people and the environment. For the sake of the planet, we should opt to spend our money only on items we truly need and try to support ethical and small businesses, rather than making unnecessary, impulse purchases in the rush of Black Friday. 




Throughout November, Fashion Revolution is asking people to take part in their Black Friday campaign by abstaining from shopping the discounts and spreading the message that overproduction costs the Earth with their free, downloadable social media assets. Participants can also use their voices by reaching out to the big brands and asking #WhoMadeMyClothes? and #WhatsInMyClothes?, along with confronting brands about making less stuff. This campaign will also celebrate clothing longevity by asking participants to make, mend, upcycle, share, and swap clothes instead of buying new.


This campaign is supported by Fashion Revolution’s global network, along with international organisations all working to shape a better fashion industry. Supporting organisations include The Sustainable Fashion Forum, Greenpeace & Make Smthng Week, Fashion Act Now, Global Fashion Exchange and Fashion Takes Action. In addition, the campaign is supported by a series of small sustainable fashion brands who are doing good this Black Friday by donating some profit to Fashion Revolution in lieu of hosting discounts.


“Black Friday is a scam. It’s one more way to get citizens to think they are finding a bargain, when in fact they are hunting an illusion. Don’t just buy because it’s cheap, think of why you are intending to buy, inspect your potential purchase and only then decide. Black Friday is about the rush, the speed, the compulsion. At Fashion Revolution we are asking you to stay conscientious, to buy with purpose.”

-  Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution co-founder and creative director

A Green Christmas : Gifts to Help the Planet and Small Businesses

November 01, 2020


Christmas is a wonderful, but worryingly wasteful, time of the year. An extra 30% of waste is discarded during the festive period, and over 21 million people receive at least one unwanted Christmas present! 


However, there is no need to turn into Scrooge and give up on the magic of the holiday. Buying from independent and ethical brands means we can find unique gifts that are more likely to be cherished than thrown away, and also supports our local economy and community, which is particularly important after this tough year. Here are a handful of independent artists and businesses for some inspiration:


ART


  • BebesArts: I love Bee's paintings of UK animals and the countryside. I have several of her prints on the walls around my house, and my mum also bought some after seeing and loving mine!

  • byAliCottrell: Ali's David Attenborough print gets a lot of love from guests to our house! All of Ali's products are sustainably produced and packaged.

  • Georgina Hackett Art: Georgina offers pet portrait commissions, and I couldn't resist her recent British garden birds print which I can't wait to get framed and up on the wall.

  • Mister Peebles: Cute animal cards and prints, that are sent in plastic free packaging. I already have their 2021 calendar ready for next year!

  • Raspberry Thief: Art inspired by nature, including British animals, wildflowers, fungi and the four seasons.

  • Rose Agar Designs: Rose's beautiful handmade lino prints are inspired by nature, and celebrate our glorious woodlands.

  • Tori Ratcliffe: Tori paints animals in watercolour, and offers pet portrait commissions. Not only is her art incredible, she has also donated over £22,000 of her profits to conservation charities!


BEAUTY


  • Ethique Shampoo Bar - I had to include this shampoo bar, as after trialing what feels like 100 of them that left my hair feeling greasy, this year I finally found a brand that works! My hair is really oily, so I use the St Clements one, but they have options for all hair types.

  • Lush Snow Fairy - Ok so not independent but I've allowed it under ethical grounds.. and no product says Christmas time to me quite like Snow Fairy, and the fact that the products are limited edition makes it even more special.

  • The Plastic Free Shop and Plastic Freedom - both of these stores have loads of plastic free beauty options, and both support conservation charities.

BOOKS


Books are always a good gift choice, and independent book stores need our support more than ever. It might feel easier to go to Amazon, but supporting a local bookshop really makes a difference to your community. They also provide much better, tailored service, and many also run outreach activities. I shared some of my recent nature reads here, or if you're not sure what to buy, a voucher from your local bookshop is a good option. Visit Independent Bookshops for more info.


CLOTHES & ACCESSORIES


  • hello DODO: Will and I both own loads of patches from hello DODO, each have a jumper, and a screen print framed in our living room. Their designs are fun and colourful, and use ethically and sustainably sourced materials.

  • Silly Girl Club: Handmade clothing made from old bedsheets which will leave you feeling nostalgic! Everything sells out super quickly so it's worth following them on Instagram to keep up with restock dates.

  • Wyatt&Jack: Buy a unique bag and save plastic from ending up in landfill! Wyatt&Jack's bags and wash bags are made from old bouncy castles and inflatables.

I also wrote a guide to responsibly purchasing and disposing of Christmas cards and wrapping paper which you can read here.

Nature's Good News