Wildlife rescuers in need of more funds

A lack of funding for a wildlife rescue charity is threatening to undermine much of its volunteers hard work and leave countless animals injured and without help this winter.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) has seen a surge in demand in recent weeks and is warning its headquarters are almost full to bursting point and that, unless it can see an increase in funding, it will be at the point when it cannot take on anymore animals.

Founded in 1996 by Trevor Weeks, who last week was given an MBE by Prince Charles in recognition of his work with the charity, the WRAS helps hundreds of animals of all shapes and sizes every year at an average cost of £75 per casualty.

And, as Mr Weeks explained, the sheer number of animals needing the charity’s help has put a huge strain on its finances.

He said, “This has been an exceptionally busy year. We have been running at 90 to 100 per cent capacity since Easter.

“At the moment we are not receiving enough funds to continue taking in casualties. We need to concentrate our efforts on looking after those who we already have in our care.”

“We do not want to turn away any wild bird or animal who needs our help.”

The WRAS’s current patient list is testament to that. Volunteers are currently treating 85 animals including 40 hedgehogs, 15 wood pigeons, 10 collared doves, two mice, a fox and a redwing. The snake pictured above was another recent visitor, with volunteers nursing him back to health after an unfortunate run-in with a cat.

And Mr Weeks says that the charity, which relies heavily upon public support, is finding it much harder to make ends meet because of the spiralling costs of veterinary, food, electricity and insurance.

Donations can be sent to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 9DE or made by calling 01825873003 or online at www.wildlifeambulance.org.