Mystery donor’s £30,000 gift to Stubbington Ark

112589-460_ARK_WILDLIFE_SR_24/6/11'Kate Jackson (left) Vanessa Eden (centre), Paul Moody (back) and Barry Hobbs (right) in the wildlife pond which will be completed at the RSPCA Ark at Sutbbington thank to a 330,000 donation.''Picture:Steve Reid 112589-460
112589-460_ARK_WILDLIFE_SR_24/6/11'Kate Jackson (left) Vanessa Eden (centre), Paul Moody (back) and Barry Hobbs (right) in the wildlife pond which will be completed at the RSPCA Ark at Sutbbington thank to a 330,000 donation.''Picture:Steve Reid 112589-460
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WILDLIFE is set to benefit after a mystery benefactor made a £30,000 donation to an animal shelter.

A lifelong supporter of the Stubbington Ark made the generous donation to allow the charity to make major improvements to its wildlife area.

The supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, learnt of the cost of the project from Mike Ward, the shelter manager.

He then promptly handed over the cheque for the full amount to Vanessa Eden, its head of fundraising.

Grateful Mrs Eden said: ‘He’s been a supporter of the shelter for quite a few years and he also volunteers here, which is how he heard we were just about to try and start this project.

‘The shelter was in desperate need of a new pond to rehabilitate the many species of waterfowl that we get in.

‘At the moment, the birds have to make do with shallow trays.

‘I was all set to put out an appeal for funds, when I was handed the cheque. It’s unbelievable, particularly in today’s financial climate where so many charities are struggling to bring in the donations.’

The Ark receives no money from the RSPCA and has to raise all its funds itself. It needs £2,500 a day to keep the centre running.

Cash for special projects like this has to be raised on top of that.

And staff hope to have the revamped wildlife area up and running by the end of the year.

Mrs Eden added: ‘Not only will the money be used for a new pond but also to build large fox and badger pens and landscaping of the wildlife area.

‘We get injured foxes and badgers brought in here and at the moment their space is quite cramped and it can be stressful for them.

‘When they’re better we release them as close as possible to where they were found.

‘As RSPCA West Hatch on Somerset has offered to take any waterfowl and wildlife from us whilst building commences, work on the project should start by mid-summer’

The shelter, on Ranvilles Lane in Stubbington, is open to the public every day apart from Christmas Day.

For more information go to stubbingtonark.org.uk