Lost gannet crash lands in Lubenham

Bethany Goodwin and Tom Burgess of the Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital in Kibworth with Gordon the Gannet who was found in Market Harborough.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Bethany Goodwin and Tom Burgess of the Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital in Kibworth with Gordon the Gannet who was found in Market Harborough.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

They normally live on rocky outcrops in Scotland and the Shetland Isles. But this young migrating gannet turned up in fields near Lubenham recently.

Fortunately, this seabird was lucky - it was found by Sophie Allen, when she was out riding her horse.

And Sophie’s mother is Angie Downham, who runs Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital in Kibworth Beauchamp.

“It’s a young bird, so it’s dark rather than white” explained Angie. “It was the worse for wear when my daughter found it, and being attacked by crows.”

Now the young gannet is one of around 180 animals currently being cared for at the Wildlife Hospital.

“We’re a registered charity relying on donations, and we take in about 1,500 things a year here” said Angie.

“We’re inundated with hedgehogs at the moment!”

The charity was founded by Angie 32 years ago, when she found an injured rabbit and decided to look after it at home in Kibworth.

Five years ago it moved to a three-acre site off Fleckney Road, Kibworth.

“People think we’re a hut on a hill, but we’re a proper wildlife centre now” said Angie. “We’re staffed by volunteers, but we need £20,000 a year to run.”

Find out more at www.leicesterwildlifehospital.org