Restore baby animals to their rightful place in the world

Spring is upon us, and we here at Brent Lodge Wildlife Trust are entering our busiest time of the year.

The public have been so supportive of our work over the past 40 years and we would like to thank them.

Every year we try to raise awareness about how we can all best help the spring babies we may come across while out and about. The prospect of spring and summer looming comes the thought of all the hundreds of baby birds and animals we will inevitably find ourselves rearing.

From the moment we admit a creature our thoughts are focused on its ultimate rehabilitation and return to the wild and how we can ensure it has the best possible chance of survival when it leaves our care...

Sadly every year we come across instances where baby creatures have been picked up by a member of the public and kept, sometimes with the best of intentions, other times because their small children have begged them to do so.

Good intentions, however, on their own are not good enough.

All too often, a small baby is subjected to a diet quite inappropriate to its age or species, poor housing and most probably a lack of contact with others of his own sort.

Familiarity turns into possession and an inability to let go or even pass it on to a wildlife centre more experienced in providing for his needs.

The end result is all too often a sad pathetic little creature, condemned to a life behind bars, its only contact being with humans that he neither wants nor needs.

When we pick up a wild creature, we have a duty both legal and moral to do our utmost ultimately to return it to the wild.

To do this and to give it every possible chance of survival, expert advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity.

Only then can we humans experience the unselfish pleasure of seeing what first came in as a forlorn little bundle of feathers/fur restored to its rightful place in the wild.

Danny Dawes

Brent Lodge Bird & Wildlife Trust

Sidlesham