Since the start of #30DaysWild, we have explored nature in lots of different ways. One particularly special activity has been a visit to Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre.
The Centre was originally founded by Serena Stevens in 1994, and became a registered charity in 2006. It quickly grew too large for its original site, and relocated to the Blakehill Nature Reserve in Wiltshire. Every year, the Centre takes in over 3,000 casualties, as well as receiving thousands of telephone calls from people seeking help and advice.
The staff and volunteers are all dedicated to treating sick, orphaned and injured creatures. Two full time voluntary wildlife collection drivers, and many volunteers help at the centre each day. And they have plenty to do! When we visited they had their hands full feeding the fledglings (of which there were plenty). the littlest ones demanding food every half hour.
The centre receives a huge range of rescued animals, who, following expert care, are all released back to their natural environment, and where possible, to the original location at which they were found. For example, an urban fox would always be returned to the town he was found in.
Since all the animals are wild at the centre, it is important that the animals have as little contact with humans as possible. Consequently, the kids and I did not visit the Deer stable, or the Bird of Prey areas, as these animals are particularly sensitive. It was also not the environment to be posing for pictures, so for once there are no pictures of the kids running wild, and just a couple of snaps I quickly took. Oak and Furrows do publish some wonderful photos on their Facebook page if you would like to see some of the beautiful animals they have nursed recently (spoiler – they are all adorable!).
There is no doubt that Oak and Furrows do the most amazing work, and have a completely dedicated team. Like many small charities they rely totally on public donations, both for funds and for simple items like newspapers and old towels. They are NOT open to the public, and we are very grateful that they allowed us to visit. The have a fab advice page on their website covering topics such as what you should do if you think you have found an orphaned animal, fledgling and seasonal advice. If you would like more information about the work Oak and Furrows do, or how you can support them, you can visit their website here.