Charity donation – Wildlife Aid Foundation

As part of running my company, I think it is important to give something back to the wider world. Wildlife is a bit of a passion of mine, and I often spend time photographing the birds in our garden. For a long time now I’ve been a volunteer with various wildlife related projects and organizations such as Surrey Wildlife Trust and the Woking Biodiversity Partnership, either helping out in person or through donations from my company. I also donate to charities which look after injured wildlife as humanity has a huge, and often detrimental, impact on the environment. I wanted to share a recent story as it highlights one of the reasons I do what I do.

A couple of months ago I went out into my front garden one sunday morning to go the bins. It was raining heavily, and as I came back towards the house I saw a bird under my car. Initially I thought it was a Sparrowhawk, but it turned out to be a Kestrel, a beautiful little bird of prey. I went towards it and it hopped off, unable to fly. My guess is that it was hit by a car as we live on a busy road. I went back inside and got a box and a blanket and went back out, spending about 5 or 10 mins gradually getting closer to the bird, and was eventually able to pick it up and put it in the box. I wouldn’t necessarily advise doing this – sharp talons and beak – but I had thick gardening gloves on.

I phoned the Wildlife Aid Foundation who are based about 15 miles away from me and they said ‘yes, bring it down to us’. I quick drive later and it was with them. It turns out that it had had a head injury, but they were hopeful of its chances. A few weeks later I was called up to say it had healed and was ready to be released and if I wanted to come and collect it so I could release it where I had found it.

Back I went and brought the Kestrel home and duly released it in the back garden (away from the traffic) where it was glad of its freedom – it was off as soon as the box lid was opened. Although I managed to grab a couple of quick photos of the release, it was all over very quickly and off it went.

The Kestrel, watching me as I got ready to open to box to let it go free
After release it hopped around the decking a bit before flying off

The Wildlife Aid Foundation is one of the organizations I donate to when I can, however this very personal experience really brought it home to me as to why these places need to keep going and carry on doing the work they do. We all have huge financial pressures at the moment with everything that is going on in the world. If you can though, remember the wildlife when it comes to giving something to charity. Research has shown the beneficial effects spending time in nature has on our well-being, and with the rate at which we are destroying it, anything to help is a good investment in our future.