Willow Wildlife Rescue is a family run unit caring for injured or sick animals. The Ambulance responds to calls from concerned members of the public, local vets and other animal agencies. We regularly help the Swan Sanctuary, now at Shepperton, by checking out incidents reported to them and rescuing swans or other water fowl in this area. We have the same arrangement with Raptor Rescue – a national organisation based in Norfolk. The Fox Project, based in Tonbridge, also call on us for help when they are unable to cover a call. The Rangers from several Local Authorities call us if they have a problem in their parks or other open spaces. We liaise with the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit at Scotland Yard and DEFRA, when poisoning or other illegal activities come to our notice.
The animals we go out to are treated on scene Homoeopathically for shock, trauma and any obvious injuries before being transported to the vet if neccessary, they are then cared for in our unit in Chislehurst. We also deliver remedies to combat the mange so that foxes suffering with it can be treated in the wild without the stress of capture.
We are self-funded, relying on fundraising events as Fetes and Shows and any donations made by people that we are able to help. The money raised is spent on vet bills, food and medication for the varied selection of creatures that we care for until they are fit and able to be released back into the wild where they belong.
Apart from the money spent on food and natural remedies to treat the animals, the vet bills for a twelve month period are normally in excess of £3,000. The cost of food and bedding for the varied creatures that come in averages £3,500, maintenance of the units and cleaning materials £1,000 and fuel for vehicle £4,400. The mobile phone bill of around £500 and the electricity used for infra red heating lams etc. are paid for by us personally, as was the purchase of the vehicle.
We feel strongly that the future of our environment and the creatures that live in it is in the hands of today’s children and young people and we believe that it is important that they see and learn about our native wildlife. To this we give talks to brownies, cub scout groups, schools and playgroups, who sometimes want to make a donation and we never say no!
Animals to we care for
On average between three and five hundred wild creatures are brought in and treated each year but many others are treated on site in the wild.
Each year fox cubs are raised and rehabiltated in time to disburse along with others brought up by mum in the wild. Even a seal with eye problem was checked and monitored at Billingsgate Fish Market wher she happily enjoys the cordon bleu breakfast supplied by the porters and fork lift drivers! Other creatures cared for in the unit regularly include frogs, herons, blackbirds, sparrows, greenfinches, blue tits, goldfinches, robins, wagtails, thrushes, badgers, hedgehogs, owls, kestrels, sparrowhawks, squirrels, woodpeckers, bats, swifts (that sometimes have to overwinter if they do not recover in time for migration) and the inevitable doves and pigeons! Even a call for a “python” in a garden, which thankfully turned out to be an adder, was responded to. Guests have included numerous pigeons, ducks, geese and swans, including a mud wrestling swan trapped one night in the mud at Thamesmead. The firemen didn’t want to get dirty so Eddie abseiled down into the mud on the end of their rope and they hauled him and the swan back up. Increasingly we are called out to domestic animals in distress, RTAs, strays and cats up tall trees!