RSPCA relaunches family-friendly wildlife volunteering in time for Easter fun

The RSPCA is calling for volunteers with a love of nature to sign up as a Wildlife Friend and become part of a one million strong movement to change the lives of animals for the better.

Last year around 2,000 people signed up for the ‘Wildlife Friends’ initiative as part of the animal charity’s involvement in the Big Help Out, a nationwide volunteering initiative launched to mark the King’s Coronation.


They completed a range of tasks aimed at helping wildlife to thrive in their own gardens and green spaces, which included building dead hedges and bug hotels and putting out bird feeders.

Now the RSPCA is relaunching Wildlife Friends this year and will be offering more fun activities for families to get stuck into. Those volunteering efforts will mean people are can take part in 2024’s Big Help Out (which runs from June 7-9), and help the RSPCA celebrate its 200th birthday on June 16.

Wildlife Friends make a difference for the nation’s wildlife by helping to create habitats and environments where wildlife can thrive and be safe from harm, and promote ways people can help the animals in their neighbourhood.


Everyone can help play their part in creating a better world for every animal. Whether you have five minutes or five hours spare each week, whether you live in a flat, narrowboat or house with a garden – there will be tasks suitable for you.


By getting involved in volunteering to support wildlife, people can also free up time for RSPCA officers to tackle cruelty and neglect cases. The charity received nearly one million calls from members of the public last year.


The RSPCA is laying on 24 self-service tasks for its Wildlife Friends to complete as part of its 200th birthday celebrations with different tasks for different seasons. There will be more tasks to choose from later in the year.

To start there are seven tasks for the Spring season, ranging from those more easily accomplished, such as spring cleaning bird cleaners to taking part in the Great British Spring Clean litter pick. They can also join in with No Mow May, which is aimed at preserving flower-rich meadows and areas of long grass for the benefit of wildlife. Other simple tasks making a big difference for animals include inspecting drains for hedgehogs to keep them safe.

Once they feel confident enough, volunteers can move on to moderately difficult tasks which may require commitment in terms of materials, as well as time, such as building bug hotels and planting wildlife-friendly plants to support the local ecosystem.

The most fun and challenging Spring task involves buying or building a nest box, while later in the year, volunteers can make a butterfly cafe and mini compost heap and create summer drinking stations for wildlife.

There are points to be earned when completing tasks and those people who do all 24 across the year will win a prize. Volunteers earning 50 or more points during a season (Spring, Summer etc) for completing their tasks will be awarded a seasonal certificate.

Among those signing up to be a Wildlife Friend last year was Carl Bunting, from Rotherham, who created a wildlife pond in his garden and planted a wildflower patch. He also worked on a bug hotel (pictured above) that he had made from an old pallet and the door of a rabbit hutch. Green-fingered Carl also left part of his lawn to grow wild and created dandelion islands for pollinating insects.

RSPCA head of volunteering Brian Reeves added: “We all share our neighbourhoods with wonderful wildlife and we need to protect them. By becoming an RSPCA Wildlife Friend, animal lovers can join with their community to make a safe space for the animals who share our world.

“Our Wildlife Friends volunteering scheme is great for anyone who can spare a few minutes, or a couple of hours, to create a better and kinder world for every animal.

“This year, we have 24 tasks to inspire everyone into action for wildlife. By getting involved, people can not only make their communities safer for wildlife, but can help free up the time of RSPCA officers to deal with urgent cruelty and neglect calls.

“Small tasks will all make a huge difference for wild animals and their welfare. We had a super response last year when around 2,000 people pitched in to undertake a range of tasks to improve wildlife habitats in and around their communities – but we need people to pitch in again as we aim to create a one million-strong movement for animal welfare, during our 200th year.”

Will you join us as an RSPCA Wildlife Friend? Here’s your chance to join our million strong movement to change the lives of animals for the better. By signing up you will be joining other Wildlife Friends who will be making a positive impact on their local communities.

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