Help Folly Wildlife Rescue buy a wildlife ambulance and save even more lives!

If you've ever had the need to call an ambulance, you'll know exactly how it feels when one arrives - and the huge sense of relief it brings.

For wildlife though, it's very much a different story, as although help, in the form of a dedicated hospital may well be at hand, getting a casualty to one is often extremely problematic.

And as is the case  for people, the quicker you can get help, the better the chances of making a full recovery.

Here at the Broadwater Forest Wildlife Hospital, the Folly Wildlife Rescue Trust admit more than 3500 wildlife casualties every year - returning almost 70% of them back to the wild; but transport is one of biggest challenges we face, and it can really be a matter of life and death.

Fortunately, most of the casualties we receive are brought to us, but in  other cases, the finder either doesn't have transport, or circumstances simply don't allow them to make the journey; in addition, large numbers of wildlife casualties are taken to vets, but because these don't have the specialist knowledge or facilities to care for them, they call the Trust for assistance; and being busy practices, can't spare the staff to bring them to us, so we need to collect them too.

To help overcome this problem, Folly rely heavily on some fifty Volunteer Collection Drivers across the region,who, using their own cars, pick up these animals and bring them to us. This is incredibly helpful, but there is one big problem - most of our volunteers have full-time jobs, and are therefore only available in the evenings or at weekends.

As a result, our reception staff can find themselves making ten or even fifteen phone calls  in an attempt to find someone to pick up a badly injured animal - and at the end of it, still not find anyone free. This delay, as well as posing a real threat to the well-being of the casualty (through de-hyration, the onset of infection or shock), also ties up the emergency phone line for people trying to get help.

An hour or so later, the receptionist will try again, in the hope of finding a driver who is now free, but very often with no more success than the first time round - leaving them feeling completely helpless;  quite often, a member of staff will then, as a last resort at the end of their shift, go and collect the casualty themselves, but by this time, many hours will have passed, and having had no treatment,  a drink or any food,  it can by then be in a very bad way.

Obviously, this situation needs to be addressed, and it has now been decided that the best option is for the Trust to obtain a small van, convert it into a wildlife ambulance, set up a small body of volunteers based at the hospital, and when these situations arise,  collect the casualties and bring them straight in.

The van will also carry rescue equipment (nets, swan hook, animal stretcher, bolt cutters, waders and graspers) so that if a casualty needs rescuing (hedgehogs caught in netting, owls stuck down chimneys,  geese entangled in fishing line etc), our volunteers will be able to carry them out, saving valauable time.

 And the ambulance doesn't have to new, or big and flashy, as there  are lots of small, pre-used vans on the market, that with a few modifications, such as a cab ventilator, equipment racks, flashing beacon and a selection of animal carriers, would be eminently suitable for the purpose.

We very much believe this ambulance  would be a simple and effective answer to what is becoming a very major problem here at Folly Wildlife Rescue. It may not be feasible to carry out every pickup and every rescue, but it would certainly make our operation much more effective, by having a back-up facility that could  offer  timely assistance to a large number of wildlife casualties (that through no fault of their own) have come to grief.

We estimate it will cost £8,000 to buy a clean, low-mileage van,  and another £2000 to kit it out with rescue equipment -  and that's where we need your help.  Any donation, however small, is greatly appreciated and, because crowdfunding relies on lots of people getting involved, we'd also be very grateful if you could send the link to this page to friends and family and ask them to do the same.

Make a difference

We are grateful for all donations large or small towards the purchase and fit out of a wildlife ambulance. We estimate that a second hand vehicle with low mileage will cost about £8000, with another £1000 needed to adapt it, and then further £1000 to buy rescue equipment. For example, fitting a cab ventilator will cost £250, a flashing amber beacon, £50, an animal stretcher £85, a dog pole (for restraining badgers) £105, a pair of chest waders, £45, and a walk-toward net £90, as well as a wide selection of animal carriers and baskets.

How success will be measured

By helping us to reach casualties more quickly, the ambulance will significantly reduce the suffering of injured animals and help us to save more lives.

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Your comments

  • Anthony Carter 25 June 2018 Reply
    A fantastic charity, always helpful. Even took in a corn snake I once found in my garden as well as countless birds. Good luck with raising the funds for the Ambulance. - I've donated.
  • Les Morrison 23 June 2018 Reply
    Folly's never let any animals down - they are always there for them.
  • Nicola Degen 19 June 2018 Reply
    Amazing cause
  • Keith Malyon 17 May 2018 Reply
    A brilliant idea. I hope the appeal is successful.
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  • 13 May 2019

    Folly Wildlife Ambulance in Action!

    We're thrilled to say that the wildlife ambulance is now up and running and rescuing animals that we might otherwise not have reached in time. Here you can see Phil, our ambulance driver, with a heron (trust us the heron is in there), that was rescued from a pond where it had become trapped in netting that was no doubt supposed to deter herons! Phil is now driving the ambulance two days a week and we are hoping to increase that to seven days a week as soon as we can, so any more money we raise for this campaign will go towards that. Thank you again for supporting our ambulance campaign and for making it possible for us to help more wild animals in need.

  • 1 Oct 2018

    Our new ambulance has arrived!

    This is the handsome vehicle that will become our wildlife ambulance when it's been converted We are absolutely thrilled and we want to say a very big thank you for donating to our campaign and helping make this vision a reality. Because of you we'll be able to to reach more casualties and save more lives. We're not quite there yet because we still need to raise around £550 for specialist equipment, so we'd be enormously grateful if you could help us with this final push by sharing our campaign page with other wildlife lovers. Our wish list includes an animal stretcher (£96), A heavy duty basket for carrying badgers (£210 - badgers are very strong and this has to be made to order!) bolt cutters to release deer and other animals caught in fences (£20), quick release graspers for catching injured badgers and foxes (£93), a walk toward net to block off escape routes for injured animals (£89) and chest waders for rescuing injured water birds (£60).

  • 11 May 2018

    Campaign started

Folly Wildlife Rescue

Charity Reg No: 1091857

Dedicated to the rescue, treatment and release of injured and orphaned wildlife in Kent and Sussex.

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£19515 donated of £10000 target
177 donors

To buy and fit out a wildlife ambulance

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