If this year continues as it has started it will turn out to be our busiest on record. It may settle down and revert to average numbers but my feeling is that it will continue to be busier than normal.
So far this year we have treated more than 1300 animals – 91 different species (821 birds, 470 mammals, 12 reptiles, 6 amphibians and 1 insect). Amongst this number have been 146 hedgehogs, 26 buzzards, 113 mallards, 27 badgers, 97 foxes, 26 roe deer and 43 robins. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year, and in particular the busy summer months, pans out.
Because Vale is continually growing, we are always having to think about raising funds for new and improved accommodation for our patients. We moved to our site in Beckford in 1992 but we have never had any pools for the rehabilitation of waterbirds. As we are now treating a much higher number of birds such as swans, ducks, grebes, moorhens, geese etc, we have reached the point where we have got to provide some sort of rehabilitation pools for these birds and we have had plans drawn up and quotes for the construction.
The project, consisting of 2 fenced enclosures each containing a rehabilitation pool and insulated, indoor accommodation is going to cost £18,000.
When we treated George the swan from Cheltenham, after he was shot through the head with a crossbow bolt, we set up a Justgiving page to raise funds towards his treatment. We have decided to keep the appeal going to fund our latest building project. If you would like to donate towards the construction of these pools, the Justgiving page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/vwr/helpgeorge
Lastly, a few reminders for this time of year:
- Make sure fresh water is available in your garden for wildlife.
- Provide a variety of food for the many species rearing young in the spring and summer.
- Check before strimming, mowing and lighting fires in case hedgehogs or other animals are hiding.
- Keep cats in during the main bird breeding season when fledgling birds, unable to fly properly, are likely to be hopping around in gardens.
- Make sure cats have a collar and bell on to forewarn birds of the cat’s presence.
- Leave an area of your garden ‘wild’ to attract all sorts of wildlife.
If you need any help or advice, give us a ring on 01386 882288