About The Cullompton Wildlife Care Centre

Cullompton Wildlife Care Centre is a small but very efficient resource run from the home of Doreen & Martin where over the many years they have developed the skills & expertise required for caring for and hand rearing orphaned and injured wildlife from a wide local area. Starting by taking in the odd nest of orphaned birds for friends and neighbours it became so widely known that before long there was a constant stream of admissions and in March 1992 it became an established Wildlife Care Centre. In the first two years the demand was so great that it was hard to keep up with the round the clock needs of the various creatures coming in. As a former Registered Nurse with the experience of breeding exotic birds in her younger life, Doreen transferred these skills to care initially for wildbirds but soon was accepting a wide range of small creatures that were either orphaned or injured including:


  • hedgehogs
  • bats (registered carer)
  • owls
  • other small mammals
  • rabbits
  • leverets
  • ducklings
  • swans
  • fox-cubs
  • squirrels


Since the Centre started in 1992 as a very small concern, it has grown with the increasing challenges facing our wildlife creatures. With new arrivals being orphaned or injured, the victim of predators or other incidents including falling out of nests, road accidents, window collisions, in some cases cruelty or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Wildlife referrals have come from the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust who do not deal with actual wildlife creatures as well as Veterinary Practices from across the area, The Blue Cross and the RSPCA.

As a voluntary and independent concern, the Cullompton Wildlife Care Centre relies entirely on the generosity of donations to continue this vital work.

Click on the Photomosaic above to see Martin and Doreen –
made from pictures of the animals they care for!
You may have to click on the picture again to enlarge it
as Explorer sometimes shrinks the pictures to fit your screen.
Another Photomosaic is on the thank-you page after you donate…


Each year as the intake demand of wildlife casualties increased, Doreen and Martin needed to invest in an assortment of specialised equipment to help support the care of ailing or very young wildlife. Throughout the summer months large amount of orphans cared for including rabbits, leverets, tawny owlets, little owlets, buzzards, tiny hoglets, bat-pups, newly hatched ducklings, baby squirrels as well as the usual mass of bird nestlings, some only hours old.

Although the centre cares for swans, it does not have adequate facilities for adult fox/badgers and other larger creatures and are referred to suitable care facilities. Fox-cubs are kept until weaning and then are transferred.

Tiny fox cub recovering after being
found abandoned and lifeless at the
side of a river

Over the years there have been a number of creatures admitted for care as a result of cruelty or carelessness. Most affected have been ducks and hedgehogs, some with horrific injuries inflicted upon them. With several traumatised hedgehogs being rescued by disgusted adults finding them being used as a cricket or football. Although Doreen and Martin spend exhaustive amounts of time doing their utmost, unfortunately, not all can be saved with damage sometimes being too extensive. Tawny owls are regular victims of being caught in discarded fishing line as well as swans and cygnets. This is something that has sadly become an increasingly common occurrence over recent years.

Young fox-cub shot in 3 places
found by an elderly lady whilst
walking her dog

Although a very small concern in comparison to some of the well known animal sanctuaries, in 2005, 577 creatures were admitted and cared for. This included 385 garden birds, 7 long-eared & 28 pipistrelle bats, 7 field mice, 9 baby rabbits, 4 baby squirrels, 2 swans, 9 ducks, 17 ducklings, 2 barn owls, 13 tawny owls, 6 little owls, 3 buzzards, 55 hedgehogs, 2 baby weasel, 1 fox cub, 1 escaped Chinese quail, (3 parrots & 3 cockatiel – admitted for care whilst their estranged owners found). The couple are unable to take in sea-birds, crows, magpies or other corvids.


Tiny squirrel rescued after falling
from a tree on the Quantock Hills


3 rescued when a tree cutter felled
a tree, unaware that there were baby
squirrels within it

In 2006 there was an increase with a total of 645 creatures being admitted. (In addition – 2 batches of kittens, rejected by the mother at 5 & 10 days for hand-rearing). There was a significant increase in the numbers of hedgehogs and bats to the point where for the first time, further admissions had to be refused owing to the volume of creatures needing care and attention. As a voluntary concern, the couple provide all care and resources at their own expense and risk, and do so with limitations of both time and space. Also mindful of Health & Safety factors as well as the animal regulations that came into force in 2007 for dealing with wildlife.

Over the years, all of the care has been carried out in the confines of their relatively small home, clearly causing some difficulties with the ever-increasing intake of creatures. The need to continue full-time work to pay for the spiralling cost of increased wildlife care coupled with little respite from heavy care demands, the hectic lifestyle took its toll with Doreen succumbing to a serious bout of pnuemonia and pluerisy which left her with residual lung damage. This was a stage when serious decisions had to be made if the wildlife work was to continue and highlighted the need to have a separate room, having outgrown the small utility area of their home (and every other nook & cranny used). At some considerable personal financial cost to Doreen and Martin, building work commenced late in October to have a small room built, and was completed in May 08. The lung problem from Doreen’s illness unfortunately had such an impact with caring for birds some types causing severe asthma reaction so regretably owls, ducks & swans will be the only feathered critters admitted in the future.

Hoglet Gallery!


The care centre has been inspected by RSPCA Officers, who greatly approved of the work and contribution being made to conserve wildlife and have even brought newly born creatures for specialised care.

Over the many years, the voluntary work has been purely self-funded by Martin and Doreen costing £5,000 – £6,000 each year just for day to day equipment, feeds and treatment costs, increasing with the creature demands. All attempts to draw grant or lottery funding to support the work has come to no avail with there being no support or interest for wildlife related activities.

The wildlife work has a dedicated bank account and it is hoped that people bringing creatures to the centre, might recognise the need to provide a small donation to support some of the care and treatments required. Any donations towards this would be most welcome.