VOLUNTEERS looking after Bournemouth’s tropical and non-native birds are calling on residents to help raise the final £40,000 needed to build a replacement aviary for their donated and re-homed birds.

The aviary, located in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens, is a sanctuary for almost 400 homeless birds, the majority of which have been given to the volunteers for rehoming following their owners becoming unable to look after them.

The new structure will create more flight space for the birds and provide visitors with a 360-degree viewing experience. It will also be built sustainably and to higher welfare standards.

Bournemouth Central Ward Councillor Hazel Allen said: “Bournemouth’s aviary is a special heritage attraction for both the local community and visitors to the town centre.

“Many residents retell stories of how they once visited the aviary with their grandparents and are now bringing their children or grandchildren to it, it holds a special place in many people’s hearts.

“Being outdoors and connecting with nature is great for our wellbeing and I really hope our local community can help with the final push to reach the fundraising target.”

The rescue aviary, which has been in Bournemouth in some form for more than 100 years, is run entirely by a small group of dedicated volunteers and relies on donations from members of the public and local businesses.

The aviary volunteers hope that construction of the new building will start in the Spring 2021, providing the £40,000 fundraising target is met.

The aviary rebuild project is being fundraised for by local charity, Bournemouth Parks Foundation.

Cathi Farrer, Parks Foundation Manager, said: “There are a number of ways you can support the fundraising campaign for the aviary.

“You can donate online, organise your own fundraising activity, purchase a virtual Christmas gift or celebrate a loved one by sponsoring an engraved bird plaque to go on the side of the aviary.

“We’re really close to our fundraising target now, so we’re hoping everyone will really support us with ensuring the new aviary can be built.”

To donate, visit bournemouthparksfoundation.org.uk, https://bit.ly/aviary-virtualgift or call Bournemouth Aviary on 01202 451513.