Give an hour to nature this January.

Regular visitors to our blog will know that we have pledged to make 2017 the year we do more to help Wildlife. We all appreciate the benefit of spending time outdoors and connecting with wildlife, both for the health and well-being of ourselves, and our kids, but did you know that nature is fairing far worse in the UK than most other countries?


Small things can make a big difference - Why not give an hour to help Nature this January.


This is the stark conclusion of the State of Nature Report 2016, an assessment into how nature is fairing across the UK, which draws on the data and expertise provided by more than 50 nature conservation and research organisations, making it the largest collaboration of it's kind in UK conservation.

As well as highlighting that nature is in serious decline across the UK, with 56% of our native species having reduced in numbers over the last 50 years, including 15% that are at risk of extinction, it also demonstrates the positive steps that have, and are being taken, to support our wildlife. You can read more about the biggest influences on our nature, and what you can do as a family to make a difference in our post Make 2017 The Year you help Wildlife.

So this month we have identified 3 ways in which families can spend 1 single hour to make a real difference to our nature, as well as giving them the opportunity to get outside, spend time together, learn, and last, but definitely not least, have fun!

1. Carry out an Earthworm Survey


Small things can make a big difference - Why not give an hour to help Nature this January.


Earthworm Watch are inviting us all to sign up as Citizen Scientists and survey the earthworms living in our garden or local green spaces. The survey takes under an hour and involves digging two small holes to count earthworms and measure soil properties - you can either download instructions or register for their free pack to be posted to you here.

Once you have completed your survey, simply input your data online and your results will be added to the nationwide scientific study. You can carry out your survey anytime as long as the ground isn't frozen, with Spring and Autumn being the time that earthworms are the most active.

We think this is a brilliant way to spend an hour outside getting our hands dirty on the weekend, whilst learning how to improve soil and earthworm health in your garden or local area.

2. Join The Big Outdoor Bloggers Cleanup


Small things can make a big difference - Why not give an hour to help Nature this January.


During the week between Friday 20 and Friday 27 January 2017, we will be taking part in the Big Outdoor Bloggers Cleanup. Outdoor Bloggers across the country will all be getting out in their local environment and spending an hour clearing up in support of the Meek Family's Clear Plastic UK Campaign - which aims to remove 100,000 plastic bottles, lids, cups, and straws from our wild spaces, as this is the number of sea mammals killed each year from being trapped in plastic or eating it.

The task is simple. Get yourself outside (the more the merrier) for an hours walk, collecting all the rubbish you see while out, then count the pieces of plastic you have collected and share (with a photo of yourself of course!) on Instagram or Twitter using the campaign hashtag #Refuse4Good and tagging @ClearPlastic_UK. The plastic you have removed from the environment will then be added to the Meek Family's total which currently stands at a whopping 11639 pieces.

3. Take Part in The Big Garden Birdwatch


Small things can make a big difference - Why not give an hour to help Nature this January.


We love watching and feeding the birds in our garden, so the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend is an activity we are really looking forward to. Taking place over the weekend of the 28th to the 30th January this year, it's another fabulous survey for families to take part in proving yet again that by just giving up a single hour of your time you can be part of something much bigger - The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world's largest wildlife survey with more than 519,000 people all over the UK managing to count an incredible 8,262,662 birds last year!

Originally started in 1979, the results collected over the last 35 years through the Big Garden Birdwatch has allowed scientists to spot trends in bird populations as well as providing a snapshot of bird number across the UK, since 2014 this valuable data collection has expanded to include sightings of other animals in our gardens.

Your can register for a pack to be sent to you, or download one here.

Small things can make a big difference - Why not give an hour to help Nature this January.

We'd love to hear whether you'll be taking part in any of these campaigns, or whether you have any other ideas on how to give an hour to nature that we can try.

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  • Reply Elizabeth

    I’m really looking forward to the Outdoor Blogger’s clean up. We’ve got our beach picked and everything! 🙂
    Elizabeth recently posted…DIY Porridge Sachets for Bikepacking or CampingMy Profile

    January 17, 2017 at 7:52 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s so hard to understand why people would litter such beautiful places as beaches isn’t it? I suppose some of what you find will have been washed up too – be really interesting to see how much you collect up there Elizabeth, perhaps you’ll find some treasure as well 🙂

      January 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm
  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    I love how this organization is pulling together people of the UK to help them help nature. Brilliant. Bloggers reach so many people and to utilize them to spread the word is perfect. All of these are fabulous ideas, they don’t take much time but as a group so much can get done. I love it. Other countries can learn so much from this model and I hope that all of these goals are reached! How fun, a great way to teach the kids and get out and move.

    January 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Absolutely Nikki, it’s such a great example of what normal people can achieve if they all work together, and all in a fun way 🙂

      January 16, 2017 at 9:54 pm
  • Reply Sarah Irving | The Urban Wanderer

    Great ideas and definitely worthwhile doing them all too. I got my Mum signed up for the bird watch but forgot to sign myself up – am going to do it straight away after I post this! It is amazing how much plastic and litter there is and I do try to pick up as much as possible on my trips. I’ll do the Outdoor Bloggers litter pick too though. 🙂

    January 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Sarah, they are all fun activities. Our primary school are now doing the worm survey in science week and are going to make up worm songs as part of the activity – so that’s another 130 children out playing in the mud!

      January 16, 2017 at 9:53 pm
  • Reply Lauren M

    Love these ideas. I hope to join in with the Cleanup next week. I would also love to do the birdwatch, but we’ve never seen a bird in our garde, so it might be a bit dull! Might have to borrow a garden for the day!

    January 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Lauren, The RSPB have lots of ideas of how to tempt birds into your garden, but you are allowed to do it in other places such as parks too if you do want to take part 🙂

      January 16, 2017 at 9:47 pm
  • Reply Megan - truly madly kids

    The blogger clean up is an ace idea!

    January 13, 2017 at 6:01 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s great isn’t it Megan – hopefully we’ll have people joining in all over the country 🙂

      January 16, 2017 at 9:45 pm
  • Reply Shell @ Camping with Style

    Great ideas! I’ve recommended the Big Garden Birdwatch too and I’m looking forward to taking part 🙂

    January 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Shell, and huge congratulations on your ‘Best Outdoor Blog’ award xx

      January 16, 2017 at 9:44 pm
  • Reply Annette, Four Acorns

    We’re definitely going to join in with the big cleanup. Thanks for this post – without it i wouldn’t have known about #OutdoorBloggers at all!
    Annette, Four Acorns recently posted…16 from ’16 – One year of blogging, and countingMy Profile

    January 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Claire Robinson

    I love the great blogger clean-up idea! I fancy this 🙂 It’s so nice that you’ve written about something thats often overlooked.

    January 12, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Claire, it’s amazing how many outside activities there are to take part in when you start looking 🙂

      January 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply Pinkoddy

    Thanks I love these ideas and had no idea about them. Our earthworms seem to live in our compost bins so not sure if we would find any digging holes but would be interesting to see. It has been a while since the children went picking up litter – I will see if anyone else around here is doing it too as they have the safety things for the kids to pick things up with.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Child Safety and the InternetMy Profile

    January 11, 2017 at 10:46 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      They’re all perfect activities to do with kids, and it’s always good to have an extra reason to wrap up and get outside in January!

      January 13, 2017 at 12:29 pm
  • Reply Lisa (Travel Loving Family)

    Three great ways to get outside with kids! I had not heard of the bloggers clean up but it sounds great, I will try to get out with my kids and join in the campaign;)
    Lisa (Travel Loving Family) recently posted…Our travel plans for 2017 & some rather exciting news!My Profile

    January 11, 2017 at 9:21 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s a fab idea isn’t it Lisa, and great to know that it’ll be happening all over the place 🙂

      January 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm
  • Reply Linda at Mixed Kreations

    Sounds like a great way to help and connect with wildlife. Except for the worms. Yuck! When I was younger worms didn’t bother me, but as I haven’t gotten older. I don’t like worms.
    Linda at Mixed Kreations recently posted…Ugly Vase Makeover, Little Paint Goes A Long WaysMy Profile

    January 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Haha I actually dissected a worm once in class at school – one of the strangest activities I ever did!

      January 11, 2017 at 8:22 am

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