Share this post on social media

This time of year, it’s all about the releases

We mentioned these barn owlets in the last e-news. They are already in their soft release enclosure and will be back in the wild next week! These enclosures are built at release sites to give animals a chance to get used to their surroundings. After a couple of weeks the doors are opened and they’re free to go.

They were lucky enough to go back to where they were found. The landowner was more than happy to have the aviary built on their land and support feed them for a month. These barn owls have been grumpy with people since arriving at the centre which is exactly what we want. They will be glad to get out for their second chance in the wild.


Fundraising heroes wanted!

We’re looking for people who can raise £100 to help care for wildlife by the end of the year. Are you up for the challenge?

You could help us unlock more donations and potential match funding if you can pledge to raise (or donate) £100 for our Big Give Christmas Challenge. All you need to do is make a pledge (a promise to donate) of £100 or more by midnight on Sunday 5th September.

You’ll then have until the end of 2021 to raise the money and pay it in by 14th January 2022. You could set yourself a challenge and ask for sponsorship, run an event, or simply ask your friends, family and colleagues for donations!

You can make your pledge today through our online form:

Please bear in mind that you’ll have to raise what you pledge or make up the difference yourself, so set yourself a realistic goal.

If you’re choosing to fundraise for your pledge, please wait till you’ve heard from us before you get started. You will need to collect donations yourself and hang on to them until after 7th December, so no JustGiving or other similar fundraising pages. We’ll send you full instructions and everything you need to make it a success.

A pledge to this appeal will go so much further than a regular donation and will help us keep injured and orphaned wildlife safe and warm this winter. Please get in touch if you need any more information. Thank you!

Yes, I can pledge to help wildlife this winter

Fox release season continues

We’re still busy releasing our fox cubs back into the wild. We had 6 big groups this year: 3 groups have already gone for release, another group should be transported to their site this week, and the last two groups will leave us mid-September.

Some of the older cubs have shown us their amazing den digging skills, proving that they are ready to make their homes back in the wild. This den had three chambers in it and they had made it very homely by stashing some toys in there.
When we need to take foxes to their release site, we start digging at 6am because we need to get on the road before it gets too hot (not such a problem in 2021). We have to work quickly and carefully to minimise stress, checking regularly with cameras to see how far away the cubs are. As you can imagine, it is quite daunting digging out a den. When a cub is in sight, we leave the digging to see if they want to leave the den on their own. Four of this group left the den straight away and one waited till the very end.

As well being amazing diggers, foxes are very good at climbing, so we have to build one of these very large and sturdy soft release enclosures for every single group we release.

This one was very reluctant to leave her soft release enclosure, so we obviously found the right home for her. We are still in need of dog food in jelly for our fox and badger cubs, if you can spare some to help us or donate through our Amazon Wishlist we would be very grateful.

Tawny owlets left without looking back

Our four tawny owlets went to a beautiful site last month and unusually didn’t come back for any support food. They were all very content in their aviary, they didn’t show any signs of stress and fed well whilst they were in there. They all left the first night the release hatch was opened and didn’t come back at all. They were heard calling in the woodland and obviously found enough food in the wild to support themselves.



This nightjar chick came in on the first day of August. They usually leave their nest and fly back to Africa mid-August, but mum must have known she couldn’t raise her chick and make it back so abandoned her. She was taken to a vet in Sidmouth and then transferred to us.
She has nearly got her flight feathers so should be able to go for release mid-September. She has a BTO ring so we’ll hopefully receive an update if any keen birdwatchers see her in the wild. Being nocturnal and having such amazing camouflage they’re not the easiest to spot!


Round 2 of hoglets

We have rescued over 300 hedgehogs in 2021 so far and half of those have been orphans. We normally see more in the autumn because mum will abandon them if they aren’t going to make it up to hibernation weight before the winter and she needs to maintain or gain weight herself.

They are a joy to rear, they love their baby dog milk and their baby cat biscuits and love being together. They can stay with their siblings until they are around 300g and then they want to live alone and have their own food and snuggly bed.

If you find a young hog on its own in autumn please give us or your nearest wildlife rescue a call as they will need urgent help to get them through the winter.

Puffling Billy

A young puffin (also known as a puffling) was discovered wrapped in seaweed on the beach at Brean, in Somerset. It was very underweight and in poor condition. He has improved his condition a lot in his time here, eating small fish from the local fishing shop in Highbridge. The distinctive colour of his beak is just starting to appear but he won’t be putting on his full display until next summer.

We named him after the steam engine called Puffing Billy which used to run long distances connecting the countryside to harbour towns.

It is quite amazing that Puffling Billy survived. He has floated from either Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, or Lundy Island on the Dorset Coast, both of which are miles away from Brean. Adult puffins migrate to our shores to breeding colonies in March and April. The young are hatched in burrows to protect them from gulls and other larger seas birds. They usually leave again in mid-August, so we need to get Puffling Billy up to the right condition ready to start his journey. Some Puffins remain in the North Sea at winter, while others move further south to the Bay of Biscay between France and Spain.

This is the first time in our 30-year history that we’ve had a puffin in our care and all staff and volunteers are madly in love with the little bird.


Walk (or run) for wildlife this October

We still have a few places to fill for the Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3rd October. Public places are all sold out so this is one of your last chances to sign up if you want to get involved.

Walk, run, or jog, as long you do 26.2 miles on the day it’s up to you!

Entry is now half price at only £14 per place, and we ask that all runners raise a minimum of £200 to support the animals in our care.

Fundraisers bring in a lot of the money we need to care for wildlife and we’re always on hand to help make the most of their challenges. If you think you can help we’d be so grateful and will support you every step of the way.

Please visit our registration page or get in touch for more information. This year’s marathon is set to be the biggest marathon ever staged anywhere in the world, with an incredible 100,000 runners scheduled to take part from various locations. You could be part of it while helping care for injured and orphaned wildlife.

I’m feeling brave, tell me more!

Share this post on social media