Every gull matters to us

Born Free has part-funded an essential aviary, helping to rescue and rehabilitate gulls, and a variety of other birds, in Worthing, UK.

Three young herring gulls bathing in a plastic tub

Juvenile herring gulls (c) Nerys Deutsch

A wooden aviary

The new aviary

You might be surprised but, through our small grants programme, Born Free helps wildlife centres care for a huge range of wild species in the UK, giving a helping hand to animals in need, from herring gulls to fox cubs.

This life-saving support recently included £1,000 to help sponsor a new aviary to rehabilitate gulls, rescued in Worthing. Nerys Deutsch, who cares for the birds, explains: “The number of herring gulls had been depleted because of avian flu in 2022, so having the facilities to help this stunning bird build its numbers back up is amazing.

“Due to avian flu, wildlife rescues closed their doors to gulls and they had nowhere to go. The new aviary allowed them to quarantine and have the space to learn how to fly. Because of the size of the aviary, it was possible to keep up to 10 gulls at once. This meant they were able to have company and form close bonds, which was great when it was time for their release.”

A very young gull chick standing on a white towel

A rescued chick named Gary

An incredible total of 44 herring gulls and one black-backed gull were rehabilitated and returned to the wild, from Worthing this year. Since the gulls’ departure, the aviary has also housed pigeons, crows, magpies and even a Berwick goose

Born Free’s small grants programme offers support to wildlife rescue centres and hospitals across the UK. Sadly, every year, thousands of British wild animals are injured or killed because of human activities. So, Born Free is proud to support the wonderful facilities and dedicated people – often volunteers – who work round the clock to rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick and orphaned wild animals.

Our UK small grants have helped wildlife rescues and hospitals pay for incubators, release/foster pens, veterinary bills and veterinary equipment. If you would like to apply for a small grant, please contact Tarnya Knight our Rescue & Care Co-ordinator, for more details (tarnya@bornfree.org.uk).