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Cutting It Pine!

Four orphaned martens saved in the nick of time as Scottish SPCA welcomes £400,000 boost
One of four orphaned pine martens now in the care of the Scottish SPCA, which has been given a £400,000 boost thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery

MEET Loris - a four-week-old pine marten who's had a pretty rough start in life.

Abandoned by her mum, she was found quivering and hiding out in a house with her three siblings in Spean Bridge, in the Highlands.

But thankfully the family is now in the care of the Scottish SPCA - a charity which has been given a £400,000 boost, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

The award marks the start of a new long-term partnership with the charity, which last year responded to around 200 reported incidents a day, and rehomed almost 4,000 animals.

The Scottish SPCA also runs the National Wildlife Rescue Centre near Alloa. It's a town with another connection to People's Postcode Lottery as last year more than 470 people in Alloa celebrated sharing a £3.2 Million prize in November's Postcode Millions.

New partnership - Kirsteen Campbell, CEO, Scottish SPCA and Laura Chow, Head of Charities, People's Postcode Lottery

Welcoming news of the partnership, Kirsteen Campbell, Scottish SPCA CEO, said, "We are so grateful for this incredibly generous support from players of People's Postcode Lottery. As Scotland's only all-animal rescue charity we rescue and care for animals right across Scotland. That means that every player of People's Postcode Lottery in every corner of the country is helping us to be there for animals, and on behalf of the Scottish SPCA I thank all of you.

"This support will help our wildlife team to rescue, rehabilitate and release thousands of wild animals and help us in our efforts to make Scotland the best place in the world for an animal to call home."

We caught up with Scottish SPCA Wildlife Assistant Carys Young to find out more about her work and the difference Postcode Lottery players' support is making.

Wildlife Assistant Carys Young outside the Scottish SPCA's National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross

What do you do at the Wildlife Rescue Centre?

"I am a wildlife assistant and have worked here for four and a half years. Injured and orphaned animals come to our centre from the wild and we provide them with the care they need and release them back into the wild. I predominantly work in the large mammal unit where we rehabilitate, hand-rear and release wild mammals such as foxes, badgers, roe deer, pine marten, otters, red squirrels, stoats, weasels and even beavers. We can deal with injured adults to orphaned mammals, and our day usually consists of cleaning, feeding, medicating, vet checks, monitoring behaviour and providing enrichment; all of which will ensure our mammals are fit, healthy and have the behaviours they need to thrive in the wild when they are released."

Loris, one of four orphaned pine martens being cared for by the Scottish SPCA

How important is the work of the centre?

"The work we do here is very important as it gives animals a second chance they would not normally have and allows us to release species into the wild that are potentially in decline or that are legally protected. It means that we can improve the welfare of each animal that needs our help which is very important."

A hedgehog in the care of the National Wildlife Rescue Centre

What do you love about your job?

"I love seeing the animals be released and improve in health and behaviour, especially when they have had a hard start in life or have come to us in a poor state. I love seeing our orphaned mammals find comfort in one another after coming in alone and scared, and begin to learn, play and thrive in our care. I also love finding new ways for our animals to be able to display their natural behaviours and ways to reduce their stress while they stay with us. Seeing the benefits to the animals after all the hard work you put in is very rewarding."

Smoothing ruffled feathers - an animal rescue officer with an adorable duckling

What is something about your work that might surprise players of People's Postcode Lottery?

"We are the only Scottish SPCA wildlife rehabilitation centre and in 2023 we admitted over 4,500 animals to our care. We admit and release thousands of wildlife a year from tiny voles and blue tits to large badgers and deer; the variety is huge! We work round the clock providing milk feeds and care, 365 days a year!"

A young owlet that was rescued earlier this year

Making A Difference

People's Postcode Lottery players are helping deserving causes like Scottish SPCA make a difference every single day. Read more about the range of Charities which our players support.

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Published: 17/06/2024

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