Sara on her way to aid target

Did you know that the wildlife of Carrick is being kept in safe hands by a charity called the Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust?

Running for over 25 years, Hessilhead’s Rescue Centre is in Beith and cares for Scotland’s injured and orphaned wildlife. A 20-acre site, including woodland, marsh and open water, the Trust regularly receives calls for help from residents from every corner of Carrick when there’s a wild creature needing rescue.

Their aim is to rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release birds and animals back to the wild, and has facilities and experience to treat all species of Scottish wildlife.

Facilities at the centre include an intensive care unit, a swan/seal hospital with indoor pool, a hedgehog unit, a surgery with x-ray equipment and more than 60 outdoor aviaries, enclosures and release pens.

The centre operates a 24-hour emergency service, and is available to give advice on wildlife problems throughout the day.

It is not generally open to the public. This is because their patients are wild, and wild birds and animals are usually frightened of people. Regular disturbance would upset the patients, hamper their recovery, or result in hand-reared youngsters becoming tame.

However, Hessilhead holds just one open day a year and, this year, this is on Sunday, June 9 from noon till 4pm

There will be tours around some of the enclosures, the chance to see fox cubs, badger cubs, cygnets, ducklings, owls and many nestling birds being hand reared.

There will also be plenty of stalls including books, plants, cakes, bric-a-brac and other exciting attractions and activities for the children.

With free parking (no dogs) this open day attracts visitors from right across Scotland, both old and young. Entry is £2 for adults and children are admitted free.

So make a note in your diary to come and support this wonderful charity! You’ll find them at Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue, Gateside, Beith KA15 1HT.

Visit www.hessilhead.org.uk for full details of the open day. You can also read details of the Hessilhead’s Training Courses open to members of the public, and see pictures and read stories of Hessilhead’s patients on their Facebook page, so please take a look at who’s in the centre at the moment.