'Busy' wildlife rescue centre bids for a permanent home

Kelly from Runham Wildlife Rescue

Kelly Birds, manager of Runham Wildlife Centre, said the charity has been looking for a permanent home. - Credit: Runham Wildlife Rescue

A wildlife rescue centre is hoping to find a permanent home as it bids to expand its rehabilitation facilities.

Runham Wildlife Rescue (RWR) is based at Hall Farm Business Park in Rollesby, outside Great Yarmouth, where up to 30 volunteers nurse a variety of animals back to health.

The organisation has now set its sights on a neighbouring field, which it is planning to use as an additional rehabilitation centre for injured wildlife.

Martham Road Rollesby

An approximate outline of the site off Martham Road in Rollesby where Runham Wildlife Rescue is hoping to expand its rehabilitation facilities. - Credit: Google Maps

The bid includes four cabins for accommodating wounded or sick animals, as well as six parking spaces for staff.

Kelly Birds, 31, who manages the centre, said: "We have been trying to settle somewhere permanent for a couple years. We're spread around Norfolk currently. This particular area we've been renting for some time.

"We are building an education centre and separate rehab facilities for sick or injured animals. This is to encourage children to learn about the importance of biodiversity and improve the overall understanding and appreciation for local wildlife."

She said the hope is the centre will "help with the level of abuse we encounter in areas like Great Yarmouth and Gorleston towards seagulls and also hopefully increase the wildlife around us".

Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre gulls

The gull on the right was injured in an attack in Great Yarmouth on July 8. It is pictured here at Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre. - Credit: Runham Wildlife Rescue Centre

Earlier this month, RWR treated a gull that had been injured in an attack in a Great Yarmouth alleyway that saw two other gulls killed with a stick.

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Ms Birds said the centre will also keep colonies of bees and breed butterflies, while teaching people how to encourage small birds and mammals such as hedgehogs in your garden and around your home.

"We are busy but that's always the case in rehab, we will be forever expanding and improving our facilities and hope to eventually set up a vet surgery onsite," she added.

Highways has not objected to the plan, while Norfolk Wildlife Trust has asked for an environmental assessment of its impact on the nearby Trinity Broads.

The charity said this has been prepared.

A decision on the bid, submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, is expected by August 6.

RWR had a difficult time during lockdown - with flooding, donations drying up and an eviction from its previous site.

The centre is currently looking for funding, with a Go Fund Me page having raised £1,320 of a target of almost £2,000.