Twenty-five years on...

March 5, 2020

It hardly seems more than a blink of an eye, but already twenty-five years have gone by since the Sanctuary's founder Mrs Eileen Watkinson MBE passed away on this day in 1995. She was a remarkable lady, with infinite patience for those with a genuine interest, and she deserves great credit for preparing me to carry on her great work to this day and looking forward well into the future.


Having worked on a one-to-one basis with her since 1978, I have been priviledged to glean most of my wild bird knowledge from her; which I use each and every day even now to help save and enhance the lives of those birds living around us. My evenings and weekends are often taken up discussing different scenarios and treatments with both other sanctuaries and vets, as well as taking calls and emails from the general public. Only this week I have been giving guidance regarding pigeons, swans, geese, gulls, and kingfishers - and who knows what the next enquiry will bring.


This year marks the 10th anniversary of the expansion of Three Owls; from the single site we operated from in Rochdale to now operating over six sites in the north-west of England. Last weekend saw me assisting at Meltham Wildlife Rescue in West Yorkshire, then transporting five specialist birds up to Knoxwood Wildlife Rescue for ongoing care and rehabilitation prior to release on our two reserves at Wigton.


Whilst at Meltham I was talking to a young volunteer chopping up the lettuce leaves and remarked "that was one of the first jobs that I did when I started at Three Owls, way back in 1978". She was hopefully inspired as to where I am now from that small beginning!


So, a small toast to Mrs Watkinson for all her hard work and devotion; for founding the Three Owls and getting it all off the ground back in 1962, and for laying such strong foundations. Quite rightly she was awarded the MBE in 1992 for this achievement in her work with the birds; an honour which she openly shared with all the workers at the Sanctuary. Her forward-thinking ensured that come what may, Three Owls has been able to continue to help and support those wild birds in distress who need our help, and we are now further able to give onward assistance in providing secure reserve facilities for those birds who need an assisted release when returned to the wild.


Nigel


 

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