HART Wildlife Rescue, a Medstead-based charity which provides a rescue, treatment and rehabilitation service to local wildlife, has opened a new bird of prey aviary.
It has been designed to allow the birds more space and a more natural environment, and enables staff to test a bird’s ability to fly before they are released back into the wild.
Funded by a grant from the Mrs D M France-Hayhurst Charitable Trust, the aviary has been a big project for HART Wildlife Rescue for most of the year.
The charity is funded entirely by public donations and grants, and receives no government funding.
Receiving this grant meant that a new enclosure could be designed with the needs of birds of prey in mind, resulting in a natural yet stimulating environment for rescued birds to recuperate and get ready to be released back into the wild.
Hospital manager Lauren Todd said: “We are so thankful for the grant donated to us from the Mrs D M France-Hayhurst Charitable Trust. It really means that the birds’ needs can be met at a much higher level than before, and that we can fully test their ability to fly before their release, which is something we have not been able to do before.
“We also really appreciate the efforts of Bob Nash, who actually built the enclosure and finished it to the high standard that it is today.”
Moving the birds of prey to the new aviary also means that the old space can now be transformed into a larger enclosure for other animals that are moving from the hospital to the outside area in preparation for their own release.
This, in turn, means more space in the hospital for animals, which will allow the hospital to rescue and treat more casualties in need.
The new aviary is a huge step forward for HART and its bid to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals, providing a natural and realistic environment for birds of prey to get ready to be released.
The enclosure welcomed its first residents recently in the forms of seven Tawny Owls and a Sparrow-hawk, who are getting ready for release.