Arson attack on wildlife centre forces it to close

The arson attack at Blyth Wildlife Centre, which has forced them to close indefinitely.
The arson attack at Blyth Wildlife Centre, which has forced them to close indefinitely.
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A vital wildlife centre in south east Northumberland has been forced to close indefinitely after a sickening arson attack.

In December 2014, the News Post Leader reported how Blyth Wildlife Rescue was targeted by vandals who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and released vulnerable animals into the wild.

And now, less than six months later, as the charity was getting back on its feet, it has suffered a fatal setback.

Fire crews were called out just after 8pm on Sunday night after a member of the public raised the alarm.

The latest incident is one of three break-ins at the site since the turn of the year, which brought the charity to its knees after years of tireless work and dedication.

The charity’s founder, John Anderson, said: “The charity has been hit by another mindless act of vandalism and arson at the main charity aviary site.

The charity has been hit by another mindless act of vandalism and arson at the main charity aviary site

Charity founder John Anderson

“The same site was targeted at the end of last year, which saw a number of the charity’s patients released into the wild, valuable equipment stolen and premises trashed and destroyed.

“Blyth Wildlife Rescue has never fully recovered from the initial act of vandalism, and the site has only been used for a small number of patients up until another attack on the site back in early April.”

Following April’s attack, the difficult decision was made to remove all patients housed at the facility for fear of another severe attack.

At the time of this latest attack, no animals were housed on site.

The charity are now in desperate need for new premises so they can continue their work.

Up until the date of the attack, Blyth Wildlife Rescue had dealt with 170 call outs this month and admitted great numbers of sick and injured animals from right across Newcastle and Northumberland.

Given the current state of affairs, the charity has been forced to close and is currently unable to admit any new patients until new premises are found.

For more information about the work of Blyth Wildlife Rescue or to make a donation, visit www.b-w-r.org.uk or by calling 07910 643122.

Donations to the charity can also be made by texting WILD16 followed by £2/£5/£10 to 70070.