The grrrrrrrrrreat news is that there's a limited offer on gift memberships at the moment.
Sign-up by 31st December 2016 to receive a 20% discount and one of their limited Winter Member’s packs.
Their website says you need to order by 18th December to receive delivery by Christmas.
Starting from just £63 your loved ones can enjoy unlimited visits to ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo all year round, and invitations to exclusive events at both venues. There's a host of other benefits, but surely one of the best is the fact your gift is helping wildlife around the world.
ZSL London Zoo do a tremendous amount for wildlife conservation, working on a huge number of projects to help all sorts of species, such as pangolins, the Amur leopard, seahorses, angel sharks, Asiatic Lions, Greater one-horned rhinos, pygmy three-toed sloths, badgers, gazelles and more.
The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the plight of orangutans and also of how you and I can help this wonderful animals, far away as they are.
What are the threats to orangutans?
Their habitat is being destroyed by our demand for palm oil, not aided by the expanding bio-fuel market. Orangutans and most of the biodiversity supported by tropical rainforests cannot co-exist with oil palm plantations. Illegal logging, forest fires and illegal mining are also destroying the rainforest. Fires kill and orphand displace many orangutans; they are caused by the dry debris from logging, the use of fire by palm oil companies and the El Nino effect which has caused longer than usual dry seasons.
How is the Orangutan Foundation making a difference to orangutans?
Habitat Protection and Re-Forestation If the forests are not safe, neither are the orangutans. The Foundation supports the training, equipping and deployment of fire-fighting teams in areas of critical orangutan habitat. The use of guard posts and patrols to protect a wildlife reserve and national park have been very effective. Over 150 hectares of degraded former forestland have been restored.
Translocating and releasing orangutans Orangutans found isolated in remnant patches of forests or in oil palm plantations need rescuing. Many are released in the wild. A veterinary clinic can provide care.
Education and awareness To encourage children to have a greater interest in the natural world and help them to understand the importance of looking after it.
Capacity building and sustainable livelihoods It helps to develop the capacity of Indonesians to play a role in the conservation of the orangutan. The work of the charity also encourages sustainable practices and livelihoods that generate an income without destroying the forests.
Memberships support this work, and you'll find there are a number of different memberships available, mostly for one year but also for lifetime. They start at £12 for Juniors, Students and Senior Citizens, and Family memberships and Individual Memberships are also available. There's lifetime memberships for Corporate and Individuals, too.
Sometimes if you're buying a gift membership, you do wonder how they can really help the charity you're buying it from. Can treating someone to a membership really make a difference?
Well, the National Trust has five ways in which their membership scheme can help them preserve Britain's beautiful places...
Save some very important rockpools Members help the National Trust protect 775 miles of coastline. The beaches you and I enjoyed as children, with our memories of picnics on sandy beaches, building sandcastles, exploring rockpools, and going for walks on windy days can be enjoyed by our children and generations of children to come. Members can help the Trust work to keep the coastline open and accessible for all. It's been doing this work for 50 years - your gift membership can help it keep doing this for another 50!
Connect children to nature Memberships help children discover the joys of natural adventures. Did you hear about the Trust's 50 Things to do before you're 11¾? The campaign's aim is to get children inspired by the great outdoors - building dens in woods, hunting for bugs, riding a bike, bat spotting. Memberships help keep Trust keep the natural world speical, so your children can enjoy it and go wild in it!
Keep a very, very old man happy The Old Man oak tree at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire is 1,200 years old! He once stood in Sherwood Forest and although that’s mostly disappeared this Old Man just keeps on going. Members help the Trust keep the Old Man in the public eye. The Trust looks after many trees, from rare black poplars and colourful tulip trees, to ancient yews and sweet chestnuts. Members help the Trust protect woodslands filled with wildlife and birdsong all year round.
Protect our livestock and wildlife On a Snowdonian sheep farm, Bill and Ben protect newborn lambs from foxes. They aren't dogs - they are Andean alpacas. They’re called Bill and Ben. But they’re not actually dogs, they’re Andean alpacas who excel at protecting lambs - they are huge, and run towards sounds of distress, scaring off attackers. The Trust looks after acre after acre of places millions call home - rare butterflies, barn owls, wild ponies, seals, otters, shy water voles, red squirrels, red warblers, native deer… They’re all thriving thanks to the love and care of the Trust's members, volunteers, and rangers.
Get up close to our ancestors Members help to unlock the stories of the past, whehter it's uncovering 4th century Roman mosaics in Gloucestershire, excavating an Iron Age savings fund squirrelled away in a cave, or bringing people closer to the footprints of cavemen. The Trust can work with archaelogists, restoration experts and historians, as well as local communities, schools and volunteers, to help people experience the lives of our ancestors
Those are just five of the many fantastic things the National Trust can look after. So your gift membership will never be wasted. It will be busy working to protect Britain's beautiful places and species for generations to enjoy today and in the future. Join the National Trust today
Fire up the family's imagination this half term by delving into England's history with English Heritage, whatever the weather.
Whether they want to scale the ramparts of vast castles, discover woodland trails or explore underground wartime tunnles, there are plenty of activities to inspire children and keep them entertained this half term.
Enjoy access to a wide range of attractions, museums, castles, events and more for free when you purchase an English Heritage Membership. Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of sites from as little as £41 a year.