Share your love of nature

Capture the magic of nature in your neighbourhood

We're challenging you to share your love of nature by recording the sights and sounds of the natural world in the streets, gardens and parks near you.

This Volunteers' Week you can become a neighbourhood ranger and show your support for wildlife by making a short nature documentary, building a home for an animal, or drawing a picture of what you see in your garden.

It's thanks to the hard work of our volunteers that we're able to look after the countryside and the wildlife that depends on it. Ordinarily, our youth rangers would be helping us look after wildlife in the parkland, woodland, meadows and gardens in our care. While it's not possible to volunteer at the moment, here are some fun ways to connect to nature on your doorstep.

This is a weekend challenge for members and supporters. This challenge has been designed so that it can be done safely in your house, garden or local area, so please take part responsibly and follow government guidance on social distancing.

Put nature in the spotlight 

You may have noticed some new visitors to your neighbourhood during lockdown. We're talking about hedgehogs, birds, field mice, rabbits, wildflowers bees and butterflies. Or perhaps you've had more time on your hands to notice the beauty of the natural world around you.

Our rangers often record the health of nature and wildlife at the rivers, forests, mountains, meadows and parkland in our care through photography and film. And we'd love it if you could capture the stories of wildlife in your area by making a short nature documentary or taking a photograph. 

Video

Start your nature documentary or photography challenge

Get ready to hide out and set up the perfect shot to capture the action of the natural world around you. Perhaps you'll catch the moment just as a bird takes off or lands or a butterfly resting in the sun. Watch this video for tips and tricks on how to create an exciting nature documentary or take a knockout picture.

Bee on a blue cornflower

Win a nature prize with Sky 

Would you like a bit of inspiration for your nature documentary challenge? Our friends at Sky are giving you the chance to win a Sky Q TV package for a year. This means you can watch the newly-launched Sky Nature channel, hosting over 500 episodes of breathtaking nature documentaries, including Wild Animal Babies and David Attenborough's Kingdom of Plants. Click below to enter the prize draw before 18 June.

" Being an urban ranger is important because you are helping keep the park a nice safe peaceful place for families to have fun and enjoy."
- Nathan, urban ranger
Video

Meet Lucy the urban ranger

Lucy is a teenager on a mission to protect her local wildlife. With no garden of her own, Lucy has spent a lot of time at Morden Hall Park in London, helping to create spaces where animals and plants can flourish. As part of the Urban Rangers scheme, Lucy and her friends have been making a difference to their local environment. Unfortunately, we’re unable to run schemes like this at the moment, but we’re looking forward to welcoming our urban rangers back as soon as it’s safe to do so.

What have you noticed about nature?

What has wildlife been getting up to in your area? Have you been on any memorable walks or taken time out to watch the birds outside your window? Perhaps you can draw a picture of what you see. Or you could even write a poem about your experiences in nature, as young supporter Seren has done below. 

The Forest

Walking through the green forest
A beautiful place in every sense
The birds singing,
What’s not to love?

The clear, pure stream
Alongside the path is flowing
The sun is shining
And the leaves blowing, 
In the green forest

A poem by Seren

" I volunteer because I can spend time in nature and meet other young people who are also passionate about wildlife."
- Veronika, young ranger
A peacock on the terrace at Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales

Nature during lockdown 

There were times during lockdown when wildlife was seen behaving in unusual ways. Our rangers and gardeners saw birds and animals making the most of the peace and quiet. Stoats, weasels and hares, which normally prefer the cover of woodland, were spotted in the gardens we care for. The team at Osterley Park and Garden also welcomed the return of the cuckoo after 15 years.

Get to know your wildlife neighbours

Gull chicks, Farne Islands, Northumberland

Make a promise for nature 

Join us in our 125th anniversary year and make a promise for nature. From building a bug hotel to reducing energy use, we’ve got some great promises to choose from. Together we can make a positive difference to the natural world.

" Our young ranger volunteers, and those that support them, play a hugely important part in looking after our natural environment and inspiring others to take a stand for nature."
- Tiger de Souza, Volunteering and Participation Director

Meet our young volunteers

Our red squirrel ranger

What do our rangers do? 

From counting grey seals to caring for wildflower meadows, our rangers go to extraordinary lengths to look after nature and wildlife at the places in our care. Find out more about the important work they do throughout the year, rain or shine.

Thank you

We couldn't do it without you

Thank you to all our volunteers who have worked so hard to help us look after nature, beauty and history. We're looking forward to welcoming you back soon.