A CHARITY that looks after sick, injured and orphaned wild birds has launched a fundraising appeal.

Wild Bird Aid took in more than 1,000 birds last year, including pigeons and seagulls, garden birds, swans and birds of prey, and looks likely to exceed that number this year.

Nesting season is currently in full swing and the couple who run the charity — founder Claire Newsome and her fiancee, Vicky-Marie Hogan — are caring for around 50 babies and 200 more poorly birds at a sanctuary near their Wootton home.

This summer they are holding a raffle to raise money, and the grand prize is a children's outdoor mud kitchen donated by the Glorious Mud Kitchen Company.

Tickets cost £1 and are available from Bebeccino, High Street, Newport, Friends of the Animals, Riverway, Newport, and Medina Vets, Wootton.

The fundraising drive will also include collections and information events across the Isle of Wight.

Vicky-Marie said: "We are primarily a hospital and rehabilitation facility, with the aim of getting the birds fit to return back to the wild. We are funded by donations and run completely voluntarily.

"Every penny donated goes directly to such things as medical supplies, various types of feed, equipment such as aviaries and incubators, as well as day to day running costs."

For further information, or to make a donation, visit the charity's website www.wildbirdaid.org or check out the Wild Bird Aid Facebook page.