Crafty plea to support wildlife in Australia

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Gill Evans is knitting for the Australian animals along with her sister Lynda Ettritch. Photo: Mark Williamson

DEVASTATING wildfires in Australia have prompted crafters in south Warwickshire to reach for their wool in support of animals injured or displaced by the blazes.

Spurred on by heartbreaking images of the fires, crafters in the Herald area are encouraging others to create knitted or crocheted items, including joey pouches, birds’ nests, bat wraps, possum/bird boxes, pouches and blankets.

Patterns are available from Animal Rescue Craft Guild’s UK division on Facebook.

But it’s not just those skilled with needles who are needed: anyone who may be travelling to Australia in the near future is being encouraged to come forward if they are likely to have spare luggage space to transport the items.

The original call for help came from an Australian group called the Animal Rescue Collective.

Stratfordian Gill Evans, part of an affiliated UK group, said: “There are more than 4,500 crafters in the UK who are currently working on this. We need people who can knit, sew, crochet and even those who are good with wood, because we need bird boxes too.

“We’ve been lobbying Qantas, Richard Branson and the Royal Mail to try and get some space on aircraft to send the items over. When Notre Dame cathedral burned down, millions was pledged to help rebuild it straight away. We need to offer the same level of support to Australia.”

Gill, who is willing to pick up items within a ten-mile radius of Stratford or Shipston, is also planning a trip to a collection point in Derby.

Her sister Lynda Ettritch, from Shipston, added: “Seeing what’s happening over in Australia to people and animals is just heartbreaking. We just want to do what we can to help.”

If you can help, email Gill at evans.gill@rocketmail.com.