Conservation - A beginner's guide to saving the planet

With wildlife under threat from so many different directions and in so many parts of the world, it can be hard to know where to even begin to look for ways of helping.

So here are just a few suggested starting points: some may appeal to you, some may not, but each of them will lead to all sorts of other ideas and possibilities to explore.

Step 1: Your Armchair

Perhaps the most obvious way of helping wildlife without even getting up is to join a conservation charity who can use your subscription to protect wildlife both in the UK and around the world. There are certainly plenty to choose from, for example:

The Woodland Trust protects over a thousand woods in the UK and is constantly planting new ones for future generations to enjoy.

Plantlife International is dedicated exclusively to conserving plants in their natural habitats, in the UK, Europe and across the world.

The Wildlife Trusts are an alliance of 47 independent Trusts which between them manage over two thousand nature reserves and promote conservation in every county in the UK.

WWF-UK (Worldwide Fund for Nature) is part of an international network co-operating with governments, other organisations and local communities to tackle a wide range of environmental issues, including habitat conservation, climate change and pollution.

The RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds), aims to protect birds in their natural habitats, which in turn benefits the other wildlife that these habitats support.

Butterfly Conservation is working to halt and reverse the decline in British butterflies and moths.

The Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society is devoted to opposing commercial whaling, and to studying and protecting whales and dolphins around the world.

The Marine Conservation Society is dedicated to caring for the UK's seas, shores and wildlife. It campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection for marine life.

The Tambopata Reserve Society (TReeS) is my own personal favourite. It doesn't have the big publicity budgets of the larger charities, so very few people ever hear about it, but it has worked tirelessly for over 20 years to protect both the wildlife and the indigenous people of one of the richest areas of tropical rainforest in the world, in the Tambopata region of Peru.

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