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House & Garden

Water crisis threatens Surrey's wildlife A local charity is warning of "an impending catastrophe for Surrey's wildlife" this spring and summer. With a major water shortage already creating huge problems across the South East of England, and the Government saying that a hosepipe ban is likely to be imposed this summer, the Leatherhead-based Wildlife Aid Foundation - which has a veterinary hospital in Randalls Road - said it expects to have to cope with "a massive increase in patient numbers this year" due to the impact of the drought on the health and welfare of Surrey's wildlife. Simon Cowell MBE, founder and director of the Wildlife Aid Foundation, said that the prolonged dry weather could have "an absolutely devastating effect on wildlife here in Surrey and across the South East." The reason why the lack of rain is such a catastrophe for wildlife is that very young animals don't know how to find water when it's scarce. "The very least people can do," said Simon, "is to keep an eye open for orphaned wildlife and report any incidents to us here at the Wildlife Aid Foundation. As spring approaches, I would also encourage people to put out shallow dishes of water in their gardens, as this would be a huge help for small animals such as hedgehogs." The Wildlife Aid Foundation is one of the largest charities of its kind in the UK and its Leatherhead hospital handles some 20,000 wildlife emergencies every year. Animal-lovers can become members of the charity and can volunteer to help at the Foundation's wildlife hospital and rehabilitation centre. For details of the charity’s work, caring for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, have a look at their website: www.wildlifeaid.org.uk. 82

The Ashtead & Leatherhead Local  

Issue 78, Febuary 2012. Never underestimate the importance of community.

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