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RSPCA Cheshire Wildlife Centre and Cattery’s 30th birthday

A new photography exhibition in Cheshire is celebrating the life-saving work of one of the RSPCA’s busiest wildlife centres.

Animal lovers submitted hundreds of entries for the exhibition, which is being held to mark the 30th birthday of the charity’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre and Cattery at London Road in Nantwich.

Some of the winning images were taken at local beauty spots, including Queens Park in Crewe, Nantwich Lake and the countryside around Bridgemere.

The exhibition, which also celebrates the RSPCA’s 200th anniversary, is being officially launched next week at Nantwich Museum in Pillory Street and Nantwich Library in Beam Street and runs until 16 March. Free family-focused activities for all ages are also being run by the RSPCA at both venues throughout half term (details in attached poster).

Hannah Norris, Education Officer at Stapeley Grange, said:

“It’s been wonderful to celebrate our work through photography and we were overwhelmed by the number of entries we received. Some of the winning photographs were taken in the Nantwich and surrounding area, so some spectacular local scenery featured quite heavily, in addition to images of people’s much-loved pets. 

“The exhibition really caught the imagination of our supporters, the local community and photographers from further afield. The standard was extremely high and the love and enjoyment people get from animals and the natural world really shone through.”

The winning entries - which were judged by the centre’s education team - included ‘Moonlight Pilgrimage’ a photograph of a common toad (above), taken for the adults category by Rebecca Wells, and rescue kitten Pickle’s first day in her new home (below), taken by 11-year-old Darcey Podesta.      

The photographs will feature in Stapeley Grange’s 2025 calendar which will be available for sale later this year, with all proceeds going towards the cost of the animals’ care.

For more information on how to pre-order the unique, limited edition 30th anniversary calendar, please contact: 

stapeley@rspca.org.uk.

One of the busiest RSPCA facilities in the country, Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre and Cattery takes in around 6,000 animals every year including cats, seals, swans, foxes, badgers and birds. 

It was formerly the home of Cynthia Zur Nedden, a well-known local landowner who devoted her life to caring for sick animals and strays. On her death in 1990 the site was bequeathed to the RSPCA to ‘establish an animal home and refuge with a clinic.’

Opened in June 1994, it admitted nearly 2,500 animals in its first full year and was open 24 hours a day with staff living and working on site. The centre has evolved over the years and now operates from 8am to 8pm during the busy summer months.

It is currently home to the RSPCA’s award-winning RHS Chelsea Garden, which relocated to the Cheshire site in September after making its mark at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 in May.

Created by Martyn Wilson, the garden is a sanctuary for wildlife and people and sits in an area that staff and volunteers at Stapeley Grange are transforming as part of a community wildlife project.

To mark the RSPCA’s 200th anniversary, the animal welfare charity wants to inspire one million people to join their movement to improve animals' lives. 

To find out how you can get involved visit: 

www.rspca.org.uk/200

Pet category winners:

10 years and under winner: Amara Savas (aged 7) - Best friends, guinea pigs

11 - 18 years winner: Darcey Podesta (aged 11) - Rescue kitten Pickle’s first day in her forever home 

Adult Winner: Chloe Pay - Buddy the Labrador x Poodle sitting amongst the bluebells  

Wildlife: category

Ten years and under winner: Leilani Astbury-Field (aged 8) - Gull Reflection

11 - 18 years winner: Daniel Alcock (aged 16) - Taz The Little Owl 

Adult winner: Rebecca Wells - Moonlight Pilgrimage, Common Toad

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