Environment

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital based in West Sussex, is one of only 20 specialist hospitals in the UK. Established 47 years ago it is the longest serving wildlife hospital in the south of England. Our experience and knowledge on majority of wildlife species are recognised not only in the local community but nationally and we share this expertise with other wildlife centres across the country. After starting as a 'back garden' wild bird hospital in 1971, Brent Lodge is now able to deal with more than 3,000 small mammals and wild birds from across West Sussex and East Hampshire each year.

Most of our patients are come to Brent Lodge due to negative human contact- through road accidents, environmental hazards, habitat loss, or cruelty. Not only do we treat injured and orphaned wildlife, we proactively educate people on how to handle injured animals so that further injury is not inflicted and to make them aware of things they can do in their daily lives to lower the risks faced by wild animals, such as checking for nesting hedgehogs before using gardening equipment.

Our 'Protect and Respect' Programme aims to create “wildlife citizens” through several educational platforms- online and face to face, to empower the young in particular to respect, understand and value our wildlife heritage. Re-engagement with nature is a way to protect and invest in people’s future too. We would like to deliver the Programme with support from our growing volunteer network. Being able to afford a dedicated educational officer would help strengthen and lead the initiative. We can then work across our region to reach schools, young people's groups and the community with talks, workshops and practical online information.
We currently have a purpose-built education hut which needs to be enhanced so that we can host structured visits and workshops which will provide valuable opportunities for people to see wildlife up close. We would also like to create a best-practice urban wildlife garden around our aviaries and hospital buildings, which will not only benefit wild birds and insects but also offer information and advice to our staff, volunteers, animal-finders and trainees on how to improve the chances for wildlife to succeed in their own green spaces.
Our reach is already wide - we welcome 100’s of visitors each day to our website and have more than 10,000 social media followers all helping to raise awareness of wildlife welfare. A properly resourced education programme and facilities will enable us to increase our impact.

As a result there will be more citizens who respect and protect wildlife and habitats and in the process improve their own health and well-being. Learning beyond the classroom walls and seeing the world outside is an essential part of personal development whatever someone’s age, ability or circumstances and will help them develop beneficial skills and positive perspectives.

Not only do we treat wildlife casualties, but we are passionate about saving species from extinction and want to harness the compassion and efforts of others to do the same. Hedgehogs are well-known to be in serious decline- we treat around 600 sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs each year and our responsible release programme puts as many healthy breeding pairs as possible back into the wild. By providing advice to the community on ways to protect their natural habitats we hope this will help hedgehogs thrive in the local area and ultimately increase their numbers.

Please help us continue to help protect the future of British wildlife and create networks of connected, caring and active wildlife citizens.

Project Video

Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital

Brent Lodge is a wildlife hospital that enlightens, and empowers people to better understand the lives of British wildlife and the challenges they face. Our communities work with us to become better wildlife citizens providing safer and healthier habitats, not just for those animals we rehabilitate

Location: West Sussex, UK