AN EAST Huntspill wildlife charity has issued an urgent appeal for volunteers to help them care for increasing numbers of injured animals coming through their doors.

With other wildlife centres closing their doors Secret World Wildlife Rescue said the pressure of more animals being admitted during the summer months has been ‘hard to cope with’ and there are currently more than 400 animals on their site needing care.

Laura Benfield, head of animal care of Secret World, said: “We never want to turn animals away but equally we must endeavour to make sure that our care is to the high standard expected from us.

“With the coming heat wave, wildlife again will be challenged to find food, which was such a huge problem last summer.”

With a team of experienced animal carers, the charity can only run with the support of volunteers.

The charity needs between 12 and 15 volunteers on each of its four sections seven days a week covering 12 outside enclosures, three water paddocks, 10 birds of prey aviaries, six duckery units, six garden aviaries, 15 inside pens, a wildlife orphan room, a hedgehog hotel and assessment/treatment room from 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 6pm and 6pm to 10pm.

The charity is also on the search for volunteer response drivers to rescue injured animals across Somerset.

Pauline Kidner, founder of Secret World, said: “People are unaware of the size of Secret World as many of the rehabilitation pens are off limits to the general public.

“With student volunteers finishing their courses and grandparents soon to be looking after grandchildren during the summer holidays, we always expect a drop in volunteers but this year has been exceptional.

“We are hoping that our that some of our supporters, who mean so much to us, may find some time to help out so that we can save animal lives and stop wildlife suffering.”

If you would be interested in volunteering call 01278 768701.