Every year, more and more people flock to the South West for a short break or family holiday, swelling the ranks of those of us who are lucky to live here all year round. After all, the South West is one of the most beautiful areas of the country, with visitors and residents alike benefiting from the natural beauty of the wooded hillsides, the moorlands, the dramatic coasts, winding rivers and wide open spaces that the area offers.
The good news
Thankfully, the world is waking up to the fact that we humans are not the only species that matter, and that wildlife is an integral part of this stunning environment.
The South West has had the biggest population growth of any UK area in 20 yrs. This has led to more traffic, more road accidents, more pollution and higher density housing. All this encroaches on the natural habitat of our diverse mix of wildlife. The result? Wildlife is in trouble, especially in the South West.
With more and more animals and birds being orphaned, injured or falling ill, often through human activity, it is more important than ever to do everything we can to help our wildlife. This simple belief is one of our founding principles:
“We believe that no creature, no matter how small, should be left to suffer, that we have a duty to intervene to relive that suffering and to care for them until they are strong enough and fit enough to return to the wild”
To enable us to do this, we offer the following:
- Rescue service. On-call, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, run by 365 specially trained volunteers. If someone discovers wildlife in distress we are their most likely port of call.
- Secret World Response Drivers. Volunteers located across Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon, South Gloucestershire who are equipped and trained to rescue and administer first aid to small, medium or large animals and birds and bring them back to Secret World for treatment. We rescue and advise the public on over 4,000 animals and birds a year including hundreds of wildlife orphans such as otters, badgers, foxes and birds of prey, which we hand-rear, care for and rehabilitate, sometimes for as long as 18 months depending upon the species
- Round-the-clock care. All animals brought into Secret World are assessed and casualties given veterinary treatment. This is carried out either by the onsite veterinary nurse or by being transported to our local veterinary surgeon if x-rays or surgery is required. If any need continuous care, such as 2 hourly feeding for example, we are able to do this thanks to our many volunteers who generously give their time.
This fawn was born at Secret World along with his twin after his mother was knocked down by a car. Thankfully we were able to save the mother and one of her fawns.
- Extensive facilities. We currently have treatment areas, recovery and special rehabilitation enclosures designed specifically for the different needs of the wildlife we care for. These include enclosures for foxes and badgers, where they can forage and dig as they would in the wild, water enclosures for the otters and swans, so they can preen and build their natural oils and large aviaries for garden birds and birds of prey – all away from human contact so they have the best chance of reverting to the wild once they are strong enough to be released.