Welcome to East Winch Wildlife Centre
How we started
The Centre started in 1988 when the RSPCA responded to the seal distemper virus which struck common seals in the North Sea.
An emergency seal assessment unit was set up in Docking, Norfolk, in a disused bus shelter, provided free of charge by the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Borough Council.
After this emergency the RSPCA continued to treat sick and injured seals and also started to take in other British wildlife.
Move to premises at East Winch
In 1992 we moved to our permanent site at East Winch, and became known as the RSPCA Norfolk Wildlife Hospital. Our facilities and workload increased dramatically following the move.
The Centre is renowned for its care of orphaned, sick or injured seals: the staff having gained and passed on a great deal of expertise during the seal distemper virus epidemics of 1988 and 2002.
The Centre also takes in a wide range of injured, sick and orphaned wildlife including mammals, birds and occasionally amphibians and reptiles. Birds in fact represent 80% of casualties coming through our doors.
Vets with an in-depth expertise in diagnosis and treatment of wild life are part of our team of trained and dedicated personnel. Staff have a detailed knowledge and wide experience of wildlife care, rehabilitation and post-release monitoring. We are also very lucky to have a team of dedicated volunteers who regularly come along to work at the Centre.
Our facilities include:
- Intensive care unit
- Fully equipped operating theatre and X-ray unit
- Range of large pools, pens, waterfowl paddocks and aviaries
- Large flight aviary for rehabilitating bigger birds
- ‘Bryce Baker’ tank for rehabilitating diving birds
- Orphans Ward
- Dedicated pre-release hedgehog small looseboxes
Emphasis on Rehabilitation and Post-release Monitoring
In order to survive successfully back in the wild it is crucial that the animals and birds regain their strength and fitness. Our treatment and rehabilitation skills are therefore constantly reviewed and developed. Over the past several years we have placed increasing emphasis on the final stage of rehabilitation – post release monitoring.