A wildlife rescue group which cares for thousands of injured and orphaned birds and animals is hoping to turn a derelict building in Pleasley into a wildlife sanctuary.
Volunteers are petitioning Mansfield District council to grant the use of the former Pleasley Vale Plant Nursery for use as a Wildlife Sanctuary to enable the expansion of Mansfield Wildlife Rescue UK which treats thousands of injured, orphaned and abandoned animals and birds annually.
Cheryl Martins who has run Mansfield Wildlife Rescue from her home for the past four years said it has seen demand for its services grow so much that the property is no longer suitable for the needs of the project.
She said: “I approached the council last October to ask what was happening with the building and they couldn’t give me an answer.
“They say they are still looking at the options such as turning it into luxury apartments - it has been a year now.”
The former nursery is in a heritage trust area and part of a designated protected area. Cheryl says it would be an ideal place to move the sanctuary to and keep it in the community.
She said: “I am working out of my own back garden and I am getting so many calls now for casualties from members of the public and local vets that I don’t physically have room to take on every animal that the public ring me about.
“At the moment I am tending tawny owls , a barn owl, ducklings, a young kestrel and wood pigeons which have all come in injured.
“We have had fox cubs , rabbits and were even called out to a couple of deers. It’s not just from the Mansfield area , we get calls from Doncaster Chesterfield Sheffield, Worksop and Lincolnshire.
“I need to expand where I can take on volunteers such as college students on animal care courses who may want to go on to veterinary school and youngsters or disabled people on work experience.
“If we get our centre I could apply for charity status and get RSPCA approval.”
More than 200 people have already signed a petition, which has now gone online .
To sign the petition visit https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/mansfield-wildlife-rescue-uk#.W2G-rdxT4b8.facebook