TIME is running out to take part in a school poetry competition which has been set up to raise awareness of a wildlife rescue centre and its need to move to a new home.

The competition by Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre (OAF) in Somerford Keynes is asking schoolchildren in the area to research wildlife and then write a short poem, with a drawing of an animal or other wildlife.

Entries for the competition, which is being judged by legendary poet, Pam Ayres, must be received by the end of the summer term.

Barry Branigan, OAF general manager said: “We want to raise awareness of the relocation project and as part of that we have offered to make presentation at the schools and invited them to take part in the competition.

“It is also always part of our charity mission to educate the community in the care of wildlife and the environment.”

The best entries from two poetry competition categories (ages five to eight and nine to 11) will go forward to a final which will be judged by Pam Ayres, who recently became a patron of OAF.

OAF hope the competition can raise awareness of its need to move to a new home within a Wiltshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve near Cricklade, that will have improved and larger facilities.

The competition is open to schools across the Cotswolds and has been set up to highlight the important work it does caring for the thousands of sick and injured animals that it rescues every year.

The move is becoming increasingly urgent as the charity is struggling to cope with the large numbers of animals that comes through its doors and because its current facilities are badly worn out.

However, the relocation is dependent on OAF raising the money needed for the move, of which it has raised around £170,000 of the £220,000 required to make it happen.

Winners from each school will be decided by the school and staff from the charity who are expected to consider children’s ability, rather than just artistic merit.

To enter the competition or donate towards the fund to help OAF move then contact Barry on 01285 862439.