The standard of wildlife-themed Christmas cards seems higher than ever this year, making it very difficult to pick. Here, we’ve done some of the hard work for you. We’ve narrowed down some of our very favourite designs, including those by some fantastic independent designers, some charity cards, and even some that directly support wildlife causes, through donations to British wildlife charities such as the RSPB, Woodland Trust, and the RSPCA.
One thing to bear in mind when buying your Christmas cards is the sustainability factor. In the UK, we throw away an estimated 1 billion Christmas cards away every year. That’s a lot of trees’ worth! We have tried to include recyclable and recycled paper options on this list, as well as ones which have low or no plastic packaging and do not include glitter or foil. These ones are also so pretty that hopefully no one will want to throw them away and they can become lasting artworks.
- Buy now from Amazon (£8.99)
This striking portrait of a hare bathed in starlight by Valerie Greeley stands out from the usual Christmas card crowd. As well as enjoying the lovely illustration you can also feel charitable buying these cards, as they are sold in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Although more often associated with Easter, given its associations with rebirth and revival, hares can still be seen in the UK around Christmas time if you are very lucky! Brown hares like this one are thought to have been introduced to the UK in Roman times and are best seen in early spring, mainly on farmland. During the cold of the winter, they may be found browsing on shrubs if snow makes their normal grazing difficult.
Greeley, who created this beautiful print, says that the design was inspired by that of a medieval manuscript. You can buy more of her wonderful wildlife-themed artworks from her Etsy shop, including this adorable rabbit in winter print that would make a lovely Christmas gift. The manufacturer of these cards, Museums and Galleries, also makes so many more beautiful wildlife-themed cards, and you can’t go too far wrong with any of them. Another favourite are these adorable Brambly Hedge ones which bring me right back to my childhood, as well as these ones of a red fox and its cub travelling through a wintry forest.
Christmas skein – RSPB
- Buy now from the RSPB online shop (£3.99)
Designed by Emily Rose Dixon this glorious winter scene shows barnacle geese flying in their distinctive formations as they travel to our shores for the relatively ‘warmer’ weather. They are only found in the UK during the winter before they make their epic journey back to Greenland and Svalbard, making this eye-catching design the perfect way to ring in the season.
Every purchase from their shop helps to support the RSPB’s charitable conservation, public education and advocacy activities, and this year all new charity cards come in home compostable wrap or cardboard boxes in an effort to reduce plastic consumption.
Blackbird and song thrush – Woodland Trust
- Buy now from the Woodland Trust online shop (£3.99)
Featuring a gorgeous lino print design by Annie Soudain this card shows two beloved garden and hedgerow species feasting on seasonal berries.
All the Woodland Trust’s Christmas cards are plastic-free, FSC approved, and fully recyclable.
Arctic Fox – World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
- Buy now from the WWF UK online shop (£3.99)
All proceeds from the sales of these adorable arctic fox photographic cards go to support the World Wildlife Fund UK. The cards are made from FSC certified card and come in recycled/recyclable card boxes.
Plantable seed paper cards
- Buy now from Amazon (£24.95)
Not only are these ingenious cards fully biodegradable, but after you are done with them you can actually plant and grow from them! Made out of ‘seed card’ they are packed with wild-flower and meadow grass seeds. All you need to do is cover each card with a layer of soil and water and they can be enjoyed for months to come, not just the festive season. Your flowers and grasses can also support vital pollinating insects come spring. Zero-waste, a fun activity, and a boost for wildlife all in one!
The cards come in a selection of different fun seasonal designs and each card has instructions on the reverse that explain how to grow your seeds.
Goose vs Turkey Ice Hockey
- Buy from Chilli Fox Designs (£2.30 per card)
If you are looking for something a bit more whimsical, you can’t go wrong with a card from Chilli Fox Designs, a Hampshire-based independent illustrator who loves to draw animals with human traits and in unexpected scenes. This one of turkeys and geese playing ice hockey is a particular favourite and is perfect for the season, but you can also have a narwhal underwater Christmas scene, a group of curling penguins, and more!
- Buy now from the RSPCA online shop (£4.99)
If you would like to support an animal welfare cause with your cards, these adorable ones from the RSPCA are a great choice. Featuring a tabby cat and Jack Russell (not technically wildlife, but hey!) gazing up at a full moon these are ideal to send to the pet lovers in your life. The RSPCA also do these lovely red squirrel ones, if you would like some proper British wildlife on your cards.
All their cards are glitter and foil free, printed on FSC board, and in recyclable packaging.