Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue has issued an urgent plea for help as it may face closure by autumn next year if it fails to raise sufficient funds to secure a new operational premises.

The animal charity currently rents land at a farm in Blewbury, near Didcot, and has been told by landlords that they must vacate the site by the end of October 2024 after their offer to purchase the land was rejected without explanation.

Despite having identified a new site in the county from which they can continue and expand their operations, leaders have been thwarted by the £250,000 price tag and are now appealing for help in securing the required funds. Their appeal page has to date has seen donations of nearly £20,000.

READ MORE: Residents turn out at Thames Water event to protest proposed reservoir 

Luke Waclawek, who founded Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue with his wife Ruth publicly in 2017, said: “Kind individuals, businesses and organisations are helping to make our future a reality. We started this charity from our home and it has now swelled to house 3,000 to 4,000 rescued animals every year.

“We do more than care for and rescue sick animals. We offer a 24-hour wildlife ambulance service and work closely with the emergency services and vets across the two counties to ensure our wildlife receives the very best care.

“We need to secure this new site to allow us to grow as we’re becoming busier and busier every year. We have received offers to temporarily accommodate but unfortunately, these are not on size or scale with our operations and with the number of animals we help now, we are not able to drastically reduce in size.”

The charity is planning to build the first ever Oxfordshire veterinary hospital with veterinary facilities onsite which will include x-rays and orthopaedic work for animals.

It currently rescues, rehabilitates and releases sick, injured and orphaned wild animals throughout Oxfordshire and most of Berkshire including voles, toads, swifts, garden birds, hedgehogs, foxes, owls and deer, many of which are found by concerned members of the public.

READ MORE: School student designs and unveils special Remembrance memorial

The charity has proven popular on screen with audiences, having appeared on Countryfile twice since 2022, most recently in August this year.

Mr Waclawek added: “We are so grateful for all of the donations we have so far received. We understand times are tough financially so for anyone without disposable income, you can still help us by talking.

“Word of mouth has allowed us to grow; people have spread the word about the work we do and we can only continue ask them to do so. It’s a way of connecting people so that they know our services are here should they ever require them.”