The home of Bird Aid CIO is under threat. We have one year to raise enough money to secure the site. We have a huge task ahead but have to protect our existing animals and ensure that 1000’s of gulls every year are not abandoned and left without rescue and rehabilitation facilities. Bird Aid is also a safe place for learning disabled adults to volunteer without being pressured to achieve results. No one who runs Bird Aid has ever received a wage and all Trustees give their time and money to ensure its survival.
History of Hydeaway
Bird Aid began in Eastbourne at the home of Julia and Ian Gould. Julia had worked with garden birds and gulls for many years and decided to set up a separate charity dedicated to gulls. They had aviaries in the garden and four learning disabled adults who came for work experience. The facilities were limited so they decided to look for a bigger property. A large factor in their decision was an urgent need to give their, much loved, blind gull a better life by building him a bespoke aviary. One of the Trustees said he wanted to give some of his own money to the Gould’s so that a larger place could be purchased. He said he was fully supportive of Julia’s work with the gulls and wanted Bird Aid to help as many gulls as possible. After a long search they found Hydeaway, which was perfect for the birds and would provide plenty of work for Learning-Disabled volunteers too. Hydeaway is set on a two-acre site which now has superb facilities that cannot be bettered by any rescue centre. It was agreed that, although the property would be in the Gould’s name (for mortgage purposes), the property and land would be given to Bird Aid once the mortgage was redeemed. Unfortunately, despite the other Trustee saying he had given his money to provide a permanent home for the birds, we now know that, from the beginning, he was already planning his future departure.
For the last few years, the Bird Aid Trustees have tried to protect the birds from this individual and have, after huge legal costs, come to an agreement that Bird Aid has one year to raise enough money to buy this person out. If the money cannot be raised, then this centre of excellence for gulls all over Southern England will close.