Wildlife rescue in the UK

5 January 2022


Rescue & Care Officer Flo Blackbourn reports on Born Free’s support of wildlife rescue centres across the UK.

A chaffinch sitting on a wooden bench

At the Born Free Foundation, we are known for our work all around the world to help wildlife, not least to support animal rescue. We have sanctuaries in South Africa and Ethiopia, partners in Italy, projects in Kenya, and support centres in Greece and Vietnam, to name just a few of the countries in which we operate.

Aided by supporters, we fund the care and conservation of bears, wolves, leopards, lions, and all sorts of other large mammals. But, did you know that we also help British wildlife? From bats to badgers, foxes to frogs, we help wildlife in the UK through our small grants programme.

In the last six years, Born Free Foundation has donated funds and equipment to 38 different UK-based organisations to help in the rehabilitation and release of rescued British wildlife. Some of these projects specialise in treating specific species – like foxes and hedgehogs – while others treat a whole range of wildlife species to ready them for the wild again after injury or illness. We also provide resources to help train veterinary professional to treat wildlife casualties – care of wild species can be very different to the care of domestic animals.

Wild animals can be taken into wildlife rescue centres for numerous reasons in the UK. Sometimes it’s due to natural occurrences such as conflicts with other wild animals, weather events, or disease. The majority of cases, however, are linked to human activity. Cat attacks and vehicle strikes are sadly common, but there are numerous other ways in which we endanger wildlife, and more wide-ranging are the issues of pollution, pesticides, climate change and habitat loss, which all make it harder for wildlife to successfully rear young, and for those young in turn to survive and go on to breed themselves.

In the last year, Born Free has helped three Scottish wildlife charities, including Baby Beaks Garden Bird Rescue in Scotland. Having received Born Free’s grant of £493.95 with which to purchase a new incubator, Baby Beaks said “We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the Born Free Foundation for their amazing generous donation that has allowed us to buy a brand new brooder that can accommodate larger birds! This will help save so many lives.”

Two baby feral pigeons inside an incubator

© Baby Beaks Garden Bird Rescue

Tarnya Knight, Born Free’s Rescue & Care Coordinator is delighted that Born Free continues to support UK wildlife rescue. “As someone who undertakes wildlife rehabilitation in the UK myself, I understand how important the work done by UK wildlife centres is and how many wild animals rely on them. It is excellent Born Free uses grants to help wild animals in the UK as well as those abroad.”

If you work for a wildlife rehabilitation centre in the UK that could benefit from our small grants programme then please get in contact, and if you know of a centre that could benefit, please ask them to contact us. Send any enquiries to: tarnya@bornfree.org.uk