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 occasions when the illness or injury – sometimes deliberately inflicted by man – is so severe that the animal would never be able to survive in the wild.
Here 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. But, every day, the care and dedication of our volunteers 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 vital to 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.
Our teamJoin us as a volunteer
Simon Cowell - CEO/Founder
The 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.
Lou Cowell - Deputy CEO
Wildlife Aid has been a major part of Lou’s life from the moment she was born. As founder Simon Cowell’s eldest daughter, no one knows the inner workings of The Foundation better than Lou.
Having grown up alongside the charity – from young hedgehogs kept warm in the airing cupboard situated in her childhood bedroom, to the exponential growth of an organisation, now, internationally renowned – Lou has been there every step of the way.
From assisting her parents’ vision in the form of feeding young orphaned wildlife and cleaning out cages until she left home, Lou came on board, in an official capacity, over twelve years ago. Lou, now, works alongside her father, sharing his ambition to realise The Wildlife Aid Foundation’s aim of caring for any sick, injured or orphaned British wildlife and helping to redress the balance between Man and nature.
Alice Serras-Carroll - Office Manager
Having been fascinated by animals and the environment from a young age, Alice was always a big fan of ‘Wildlife SOS’; little did she know that she would, one day, work at the centre in Leatherhead.
As well as her passion for wildlife, Alice has a keen interest in news and, after studying journalism and history, considered a career as a journalist. A naturally vivacious character, though, Alice was soon snapped up by the cinema and events industry, where she remained for ten years, before deciding she wanted to do something more meaningful. Initially managing a dog training centre, the charity world soon came calling and she embarked upon lending her expertise to International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals (IAPWA).
After volunteering for The Wildlife Aid Foundation in her spare time, Alice quickly realised she wanted to be more involved and jumped at the opportunity to join the WAF team, full time.
Maru García Urbina - Veterinary Surgeon
Maru García is a veterinary surgeon who is passionate about wildlife.
Maru studied veterinary medicine in Córdoba, Spain, graduating in 2012 and completing her final career project in the wildlife rehabilitation centre, AMUS. It was with AMUS that she helped to rehabilitate and release a red collared nightjar and, from that moment, knew she wanted to dedicate her life to wildlife and its conservation.
Since then, Maru has worked hard to develop her wildlife vet skills by taking numerous courses and internships in wildlife medicine, volunteering in several wildlife rehabilitation centres in Spain and abroad and participating in wildlife conservation programs like “A Little Owl in each Olive Tree” with nocturnal raptor rehabilitation centre, Brinzal, and “Montagu´s Harrier Captivity Breeding” program with AMUS.
In 2014, Maru started volunteering at WAF as part of the veterinary team and, the following year, she worked with us as a part-time vet. We are, now, delighted to welcome her back on a full time basis.
Naomi Turner - Hospital Coordinator
Naomi has always been a devout animal lover and spent her childhood looking after a wide variety of family pets. This love of animals was the reason she chose to study animals and conservation at college and university.
Deciding that helping wildlife, directly, and protecting its natural habitat was what she wanted to dedicate her career to, Naomi began by assisting with wildlife survey work. Alongside trained persons, she worked to survey reptiles, amphibians, bats and dormice, learning a lot about the natural behaviours and needs of endangered British wildlife, as well as the dangers it faces due to human intervention. This strengthened her want to help wildlife even further.
Naomi became a volunteer at WAF in 2010, where she gained hands-on experience helping injured and sick British wildlife. With qualifications in animal care, behaviour, welfare, ecology and conservation, in addition to several years of volunteer work with the charity, Naomi has able knowledge and experience to help rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife alongside WAF’s vet team.
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