Volunteer shortage leaves Leyland bird sanctuary on the brink of closure

Barn Owl Bill and his wife Carole need help for their sanctuary
Barn Owl Bill and his wife Carole need help for their sanctuary
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Lancashire’s best-known bird santuary could be on the brink of closure due to a shortage of volunteers.

Run by local legend Barn Owl Bill, the Leyland owl sanctuary relies on help from local volunteers.

Now Bill said: “We’re looking for volunteers to help clean, hold birds, feed them, anybody who’s free for displays. We’re looking for four or five people.

“Volunteers have moved on, a couple of people have gone off to university from Myerscough, we rotate people round.

Bill, 62, and his wife Carole, 65, opened the centre 30 years ago with a single owl, but now care for dozens of sick or injured birds.

He said the much-loved centre in South Brook Road, Leyland, could be under threat if more wildlife loving volunteers are not found.

It could be forced to cancel or even stop the shows and demonstrations that it puts on because of dwindling numbers of volunteers.

“It is, because we’re relying on four volunteers,” said Bill, who has suffered ailing health in recent years.

“One, Maureen, is really not so well. She’s 71-years-old, she’s not fully fit, but she doesn’t like letting us down.

“She’s had a stroke, got kidney problems and had cancer, she’s gone through hell, but she comes down here and looks after the birds.

He added: “We’re really proud of Maureen, she’s a real trooper.”

To help out, call the charity on 07775746416, go to www.barnowlbill.co.uk