If we don't get funded, we don't exist

Ealing Times: If we don't get funded, we don't exist If we don't get funded, we don't exist

A MUCH-loved centre which treats injured wildlife from across west London is running out of money and may have to shut.

The animal centre in Walpole Park, is desperately in need of funding to keep going, and has appealed for help from the people of Ealing.

Ted Burden, founder of London Wildcare Trust, the charity which runs the centre, told the Ealing Times: “If we don’t get funded, we don’t exist.

“We struggle in the winter months to make ends meet. It’s quite a hard ask.

“We need the wider community to get behind us.”

The centre, which looks after and treats sick and injured wild animals, lost its funding from Ealing Council in 2004 which put its future in peril.

The Ealing Times launched a campaign four years ago to save the park from closure, prompting hundreds of readers to send in messages of support for the centre.

The charity stepped forward to help, and reopened the centre to the public in May 2005 with refurbished pens and a new animal treatment facility.

But Mr Burden says people who visit the centre today are still under the impression it is run by the council.

He said: “People still think of this as their animal centre payed for out of the council tax.

“But we are not part of the council anymore, we are constantly having to educate people it is run by a charity, and also it is now a place where you can take injured wildlife.”

As the charity appeals for help, the Ealing Times is re-launching its campaign today to save the London Wildcare Field Centre and make sure there is somewhere nearby where sick and injured wildlife can get treatment.

We want residents, businesses and local groups to come forward and help the centre secure its future.

There is nowhere close where people can bring injured wildlife, and the centre takes in hundreds of animals from Hounslow, Hillingdon, Harrow, Twickenham and Richmond, as well as Ealing.

Volunteer staff treat the wildlife, from owls and geese to foxes and even birds of prey, stabilising them before transferring them to a specialist centre in Croydon and eventually re-releasing them into the wild.

Mr Burden said he wants to raise at least £30,000 to keep the centre open as both a treatment centre and a nice place for families to come.

He said: “The ethos is to try to save sick and injured wildlife.

“We want to keep doing it and expand the centre, but we need the money to do it.”

Anyone who wants to support the centre can send donations marked “Save Our Animal Centre” to the charity’s headquarters at London Wildcare Trust, Beddington Park, Church Road, Wallington, Surrey. SM6 7NN For more information, call Clive Davis on 07753 374628.

Or drop into the centre this weekend, when staff will be on hand to talk about the work the centre does.

Comments (1)

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11:24pm Fri 1 Aug 08

NMS says...

I have often walked past the Wildlife Centre in Walpole Park thinking that it seems such a part of local life which we can all appreciate and visit particularly with inquisitive youngsters in tow. I realised what a precious local resource it is when I had cause to seek advice from the Centre about what could be done to help an injured bird I had seen at the station. The volunteer I spoke to was so positive and helpful;to my surprise and relief she immediately told me they could take in and care for the casualty, instantly relieving me of the prospect of trying to transport the injured bird home and to protect it from my two resident cats while seeking other help. The lovely volunteer also gave me some tips about handling a bird in distress to equip me better for the rescue operation which was also assisted by a slightly bemused but wonderfully tolerant mini-cab driver. The care and commitment I found at the Centre made me appreciate even more how valuable a resource it is and how we would lose all that it has to offer to our community (human and co-existing wildlife)if it does have to close down again. I hope we can save and appreciate it now and for our children.
I have often walked past the Wildlife Centre in Walpole Park thinking that it seems such a part of local life which we can all appreciate and visit particularly with inquisitive youngsters in tow. I realised what a precious local resource it is when I had cause to seek advice from the Centre about what could be done to help an injured bird I had seen at the station. The volunteer I spoke to was so positive and helpful;to my surprise and relief she immediately told me they could take in and care for the casualty, instantly relieving me of the prospect of trying to transport the injured bird home and to protect it from my two resident cats while seeking other help. The lovely volunteer also gave me some tips about handling a bird in distress to equip me better for the rescue operation which was also assisted by a slightly bemused but wonderfully tolerant mini-cab driver. The care and commitment I found at the Centre made me appreciate even more how valuable a resource it is and how we would lose all that it has to offer to our community (human and co-existing wildlife)if it does have to close down again. I hope we can save and appreciate it now and for our children. NMS
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