About Wildlife Aid

All wild animals that come into our care at our Surrey based Wildlife Hospital are treated and rehabilitated completely free of charge. Our aim is to return every animal that is capable of surviving back to its natural environment. Unfortunately, there are still too many incidents when illness or injuries – often deliberately inflicted by man – are so severe that they would never be able to survive in the wild.  At the Wildlife Aid Foundation, we do not believe that it is right to keep any wild animal in captivity and so, heart-breakingly, we allow any such animal the dignity of a peaceful and pain free death in a warm and comfortable environment. This is only ever a last resort and every day, our volunteers’ dedication and care allows us to see remarkable recoveries where others might have given up.

Why do we need the Wildlife Aid Foundation?
In Britain, we are fortunate to enjoy a huge diversity of native animals and birds but every year, millions of these animals are killed, injured or suffer some trauma, either as a result of direct contact with man, or the impact that we have on the environment. Our aim is to help redress the balance between man and nature and to play our part in preserving our heritage for future generations to enjoy. While there are many organisations and schemes dedicated to the vital work of preserving natural habitats, there are still very few who help preserve the species that live within them. Here at the Wildlife Aid Foundation, we are dedicated to the rescue, care and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.

Preserving the balance of nature
Through history, we have seen how the impact of losing one species can have devastating effects on the whole ecosystem and there may be even more long-term effects that, as yet, we still do not fully understand. Each and every animal plays its own part in preserving the balance of nature. At the Wildlife Aid Foundation, no British wild animal, from any species, is ever turned away if it needs our help.

Helping others to help Wildlife
As a centre of excellence dealing with all native species, we receive thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails asking for advice and help, from vets, schools, members of the public and other charities and organisations. We are always available to offer what help and support we can. We provide work experience for students from across the country and liaise regularly with agricultural and training establishments on the content of the wildlife section of animal care courses. Whatever the problem, if it concerns British wildlife, we will find the answer.

Education is our future
At the Wildlife Aid Foundation, we believe passionately in the importance of education in helping to preserve our heritage. Through school talks, presentations, our website and many other means of communication, we play an active role in helping future generations understand and learn about threats to Britain’s wild animals, what we can all do to help, and environmental issues that affect us all.

Simon Cowell – Our Founder

SC.jpgThe Wildlife Aid Foundation originated in the 1980s as a small local wildlife rescue charity but has grown since then into one of the UK’s leading environmental and animal welfare organisations. The charity was started by Simon Cowell, who still heads it three decades later, both in a very practical ‘hands on’ way and as the Foundation’s Managing Trustee. When he’s not actively fundraising or promoting the Foundation’s work, Simon still goes out in the middle of the night on rescues and is actively involved in the day-to-day care of the animals in our veterinary hospital and rehab centre.

Staff & Vets at our Wildlife Hospital

Becky Banning – Office Manager


Becky has been with Wildlife Aid since 2006 and is the Office Manager for the charity. Coming from a corporate background, Becky has worked for a variety of businesses, from hypnotherapy training to selling industrial footwear!!

Becky initially joined Wildlife Aid as Simon’s PA, but when the opportunity arose to work in the hospital itself she jumped at the chance:

“I wanted to be more involved with the day to day events at Wildlife Aid, and so being able to see first hand the amazing way the hospital operates gives me all the motivation I need to help make sure this charity runs as well as it possibly can”

Looking after everything from A – Z in the hospital general office, Becky is never to be found without a clipboard somewhere about her person!


Our Veterinary Team


Patrons & Celebrity Supporters

Ricky Gervais

The Wildlife Aid Foundation is fortunate to have the patronage of many famous celebrities. Their support over the years has been invaluable.

Among our patrons and supporters are (click name to read more)

Ricky Gervais

Ricky became a patron of Wildlife Aid in 2009 when he asked if he could give a home to one of our hedgehogs.

Chris Tarrant OBE

Julie Walters CBE

Alistair McGowan

Jenny Seagrove

Virginia McKenna

Kate Bush

Beverley Craven

Susan Skipper

Daniel Hyde

Neil Long

Pam Rhodes

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Anthony Valentine

Marti Webb

WAF Ambassadors

Spotlight on Ambassador Kate Woods!!

Kate Woods (2)
Wildlife Ambassador Kate Woods is busy planning her next round of fundraising activities, aiming to hit the big £10k target once again. In just the first few months of 2012, Kate managed to pull together events as varied as the Red Heart Ball in February (which raised £1,500) and a Village Fair in April (which brought in £800). And almost every month there is something new happening!

Kate’s events range from raffles with great prizes (laptops and ipads, for example) to pub quiz evenings, tribute nights and discos. So keep an eye on our website – “Events in Aid of Us” – to see what Kate is up to next….

“Kate is one of our most active and determined supporters”, says Simon Cowell. “She is also one of our most successful. In just a couple of years she has already raised over £20,000 for WAF, and she is on course to raise thousands more this year. What an amazing record of achievement!

“WAF relies heavily on volunteers who give up their time and commitment for the charity, whether they work here in Leatherhead dealing with the day-to-day needs of the wildlife hospital or, like Kate, are out & about, at weekends and evenings, raising much-needed funds for us.

“But the charity’s continuation is uncertain unless we can boost our fund-raising, and in this difficult economic climate that’s not an easy task, to say the least!  It is no exaggeration to say that WAF’s future depends on people like Kate.

“Kate Woods certainly deserves her title of ‘Wildlife Ambassador’!  More power to her!”

To help with Kate’s fundraising efforts, or if you think you’ve got what it takes to be a Wildlife Ambassador yourself, talk to Donna Groves at the WAF office or email her at donna@wildlifeaid.org.uk

Become an ambassador for Wildlife Aid


Do you care about Britain’s wildlife heritage and would you like to be an “Ambassador” for the animals?  The Wildlife Aid Foundation is looking for people who are passionate about helping wild animals, and who want to do something tangible to promote the charity’s mission of respect for nature.

It is hoped that under this new initiative a network of Ambassadors can be recruited across Surrey and further afield to advance the wildlife cause and to generate funds to help British wild animals into the future.

“The idea behind Wildlife Ambassadors,” says the charity’s founder Simon Cowell MBE, “is that we bring in people from different walks of life who are willing and able to champion the Wildlife Aid Foundation in their community, their business or profession, and who can support us by helping to raise funds in their own neighbourhoods or workplaces and among their networks of contacts.

“Being a Wildlife Ambassador is about using your skills and your contacts to serve a really important cause – that of protecting our precious and endangered wildlife heritage. Forget fancy medals or uniforms with gold braid. Being one of our Ambassadors is all about representing the creatures that can’t speak up for themselves – Britain’s wildlife! Though if you want to hold fundraising events for us and pass around the Ferrero Rocher, we won’t stop you!”

The charity hopes to recruit a wide range of people to take on an Ambassadorial role for the charity – and that each one will be able to recruit others in turn, as well as raising much-needed funds. “This is not just about sustaining our current work in these difficult economic times but also achieving our longer term but increasingly important vision of creating a new, nationally and internationally significant, environmental education centre. And for that we need funds and a new, much larger, site than we currently have.”

“It is a big challenge, but one that is possible with dedication and enthusiasm. There are many different ways that Wildlife Ambassadors can help us, for instance by encouraging friends, neighbours and work colleagues to support the Wildlife Aid Foundation, by organising a fundraising event or initiative, putting together a syndicate of supporters to generate funds for the charity, or simply by making regular personal donations themselves.”

Simon Cowell, who also presents the longrunning TV documentary series Wildlife SOS, announced the first Wildlife Ambassadors in the autumn of 2010. So, if you love animals and think you’ve got what it takes to be a Wildlife Ambassador, and would like to find out more about what the role involves, please call Simon for a chat on 01372 377332 or email him, with WILDLIFE AMBASSADOR in the subject line, at simon@wildlifeaid.org.uk