World launches £4.4m campaign to build animal hospital
new multi-million pound wildlife hospital and education centre
is set to be built near Burnham-On-Sea to help animals and provide
practical experience for trainee vets from across the UK.
On Tuesday, Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre launched a 'Call
of the Wild Appeal' to raise £4.4 million to help fund the
project and keep the centre running over the next two years.
Author Sir Terry Pratchett and UK TV celebrities Mike Dilger,
Simon King, Steve Backshall, Chris Packam and Michaela Strachan
are all backing the project.
World founder Pauline Kidner said: "We will receive around
5,000 injured or orphaned animals and birds over the coming year,
yet when wildlife needs people's support most, the nation is increasingly
losing touch with nature."
vets receive virtually no wildlife training, children now spend
half the time outdoors that they did 40 years ago and many cannot
even identify an oak tree.
The launching of our new hospital and education centre project
is a positive move to redress the balance and we are appealing
for everyone in the region to give us their support so that we
can open on schedule in 2013."
Terry Pratchett, launching the appeal, added: "Orphaned by
traffic, hurt by our pollution and rubbish and forced out of their
natural habitats by our developments, Britain's wildlife is in
serious decline so much so that even the sparrow and the much
loved hedgehog are endangered.
Fifty years ago there were 30 million hedgehogs in Britain but
now there is only an estimated 1.1 million so if we carry on at
this rate they could be extinct in ten years. Yet when humans
decide to act they succeed in reversing the trend. I urge everyone
to play their part. "
When completed, the new teaching hospital will include an operating
theatre, examination, preparation and x-ray rooms with a first
floor laboratory, lecture theatre and library.
will give Secret World the facilities to provide all veterinary
care on one site, to bring faster relief to suffering wildlife.
An IT hook-up will allow up to 120 resident students a year to
watch procedures being performed by the hospital's in-house veterinary
surgeon in the operating theatre below.
Secret World's new Wildlife Education Centre, to include a lecture
theatre and meeting room, will be created by extending and renovating
a beautiful seventeenth century Goat House barn. Here, schools
will be encouraged to take part in inspiring educational programmes
giving youngsters a unique opportunity to see British wildlife
and to learn how to help save it.
Pauline Kidner and her team believe that wildlife admissions to
Secret World will double over the next five years so to meet rising
demand, the project will also include 28 indoor recovery areas,
16 rehabilitation enclosures, six new water areas for otters,
swans, gulls and other water birds and 24 small and large bird
Today, the charity employs a 30 strong care staff team supported
by 365 volunteer response drivers who operate a 24 hour wildlife
rescue service across Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire,
Devon and Dorset.