How it all began, by Vale’s founder Caroline Gould.
Vale Wildlife Hospital started in 1984 in our family home (right) in the village of Cropthorne in Worcestershire. Although I had always had an interest in animals, I had never really given any thought to the difficulties that wild animals encounter when their paths cross with ours. Everything changed the day a local vet contacted me to ask if I would look after an injured tawny owl that had been taken to his practice.
It made me think about the huge number of wild animals which must be suffering out there, with no-one to help them despite most of their injuries being caused by humans, albeit unintentionally most of the time. From that day, I was determined to do what I could to help these casualties. Fast forward 8 years, with a long story including many highs and even more lows in between, and in 1992 Vale moved to the present site in Beckford, between Tewkesbury and Evesham. The house was sold and the money was used to buy a mobile home to live in, with the remainder of the money going towards the buying of the land and various other equipment, aviaries and enclosures.
The land we purchased was literally a ploughed field without even a blade of grass on it. We had to seed the whole area by hand and wait for the grass to grow before we could do anything. Our first ‘hospital’ was a 16′ portacabin which was replaced by a much larger, ex-builders workshop donated to us the following year (pictured below). However, after a few years the portacabin started to fall apart and more decisions had to be made about the future of Vale Wildlife.
In the late 1990’s we were granted planning permission for our present hospital building and we set about raising over £200,000 to achieve this. We moved in to our new facilities in July 2001.
Due to the nature of the work that we do, we are NOT open to the public. Stress can kill a wildlife casualty and therefore human contact must be kept to an absolute minimum. Our annual Open Day gives you the only opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes.
Vale Wildlife celebrated its 30th anniversary on 6th June 2014. Please help us to help Britain’s wildlife for the next 30 years by Donating below.