We’ve all been there. You’re standing in the middle of a shopping centre, gift list in hand, and you’re starting to panic: Christmas is a matter of weeks away, and you still haven’t a clue what to buy.
Well, your local Wildlife Trust has a suggestion, offering a wide range of gifts – from membership packages to mugs – and all sold in aid of the Trust’s wildlife-friendly work.
When we open our stockings on Christmas morning, we’d be delighted to find a fine china mug by wildlife artist Mark Greco. He’s created a set of four, each one featuring a different animal: small-eared owl, peregrine falcon, otter and hedgehog. Originally from Wakefield, Mark is an artist and illustrator now based in East Sussex; since studying Fine Art, he’s been a commercial artist, printmaker and consultant, working for clients including the BBC and the Crafts Council.
East Anglian wildlife is also showcased in the stunning images in the Anglia Co-operative Regional Wildlife Calendar 2014. All were taken by amateur photographers and selected by independent judges (from a whopping 872 entries in the annual photographic competition).
On the cover is a kingfisher, photographed near Norwich by this year’s winner, Jamie MacArthur, and inside, among others, a beautiful roe deer near Foulden, Norfolk by runner up Robin Orrow, plus regional landscapes and wildlife such as owls, foxes and deer.
Similarly the Christmas card range also features beautiful competition-winning photography, all selected from the Anglia Co-operative competition entries by independent judge David Cromack – a journalist and wildlife photography expert.
There’s a choice of three packs of 10: bird selection – waxwing, blackbird, owl, blue tit and bittern; animal pack – hare, fox, seal, deer and otter; and landscapes – sunset, woodland, frost pattern, berry detail and scenic bridge.
The card packs and calendars are priced £3.99 each and the profit will be shared between the Wildlife Trust BCN, the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve, Peterborough and District Beekeepers Association and Bungay Community Bees.
Alternatively (or as well as), a year’s membership of the Wildlife Trust BCN brings a year-round gift – and the inspiration could last a lifetime… Starting from £15, gift membership includes a visitor guide to nature reserves, three issues per year of the Local Wildlife magazine and regular updates on wildlife events and sightings; for further information visit www.wildlifebcn.org/gift-membership .
And for something even more unusual, surprise someone with a Canoe2 gift voucher for an unforgettable experience of wildlife along the Nene Valley: in the lead up to Christmas, Canoe2 will be donating 10 per cent to the Wildlife Trust on all vouchers sold – so hurry while the offer lasts! Visit www.canoe2.co.uk/gift-vouchers for more information.
For more good-natured gift inspiration or order any of these gifts visit the Wildlife Trust online shop at www.wildlifebcn.org/shop or contact the Wildlife Trust on (01954) 713522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Anglia Regional Co-operative amateur photography competition visit www.shop.coopcompetition.co.uk