Bethan Evans, Reporter
Friday, February 3, 2012
A NEW £4.4million wildlife hospital, supported by author Sir Terry Pratchett, is to be built to help animals and provide practical experience for trainee vets across the UK.
A Call of the Wild Appeal was launched on Tuesday at Secret World in East Huntspill to help raise the money to build the wildlife hospital and education centre and keep it running over the next two years.
It is also hoped the new facility, which should be open to the public by 2013, will inspire the region’s youngsters by giving them direct access to the natural world.
Terry, the author behind the hugely popular Discworld series of books, said: “I am very much in support of this enterprise and we have to get the kids interested. Wildlife is something they will remember.
“The way forward is to get them to understand what wildlife is and what its role is. Wildlife is not just something on a TV show, it’s real.
“Britain’s wildlife is in serious decline but when humans decide to act they succeed in reversing the trend. I urge everyone to play their part.”
When completed, the new hospital will include an operating theatre, examination and X-ray rooms, with a first floor laboratory, lecture theatre and library.
New IT facilities will also allow up to 120 resident students a year to watch procedures being performed by the hospital’s in-house veterinary surgeon.
The lecture theatre and meeting room will be created by extending and renovating a 17th century goat house barn, which will allow schools to take part in educational programmes and give pupils an opportunity to see British wildlife and learn how to help protect it.
And the hospital will give Secret World the facilities to provide all veterinary care on one site.
Secret World founder Pauline Kidner said: “We have a chance to reverse the decline in wildlife and if we do not do something soon it will be too late.”
Pauline said £2.2million has already been pledged for the hospital and the charity is encouraging others to get involved.
She said: “We all got to thinking that, after all of our work at the centre, there needs to be a future in it otherwise everything we have achieved could be lost.
“We have to make sure Secret World has a secure home. We can educate people through the centre and we want to pass on that knowledge.”
For further information on the appeal email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.secretworld.org