BOSSES at a bird of prey centre in Renfrewshire are appealing for help after their gazebo was destroyed during last month’s storms.

Hootenanny Owls, based at Finlaystone Estate, in Langbank, has been struggling in recent years due to lockdown restrictions and a recent bird flu outbreak.

Donna Pickett, who runs the centre with her husband Billy, told The Gazette: “It’s been hard enough for the past two years with Covid and not being able to open.

“Obviously, lots of charities and rescues have been applying for funding and we have been unsuccessful and haven’t managed to gain any funding whatsoever.

“A lot of the funding available is to help with the rehoming of animals. As we are not looking to rehome birds of prey, we don’t fall into that category for funding. 

“We were beginning to look at reopening when the bird flu virus hit and we were told that we couldn’t.

“Safety of the community and the birds is paramount to us, so we remain closed.”

The centre recently suffered another unwelcome blow after its gazebo was severely damaged during February’s string of powerful storms.

Donna said the gazebo was mainly used for the centre’s Wee Falconers club – a weekend activity group that teaches children how to handle birds of prey.

She added: “Due to finances, we are not able to replace it.

“We have had to fund the rescue centre completely ourselves for the past two years and have also found that we have been asked to take on other birds that are at risk.

“We are hoping that the public might pull together and help us with the cost of a new gazebo.

“Any donations towards a new one or even towards the cost of the bird food would be gratefully received.”

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