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Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation

Two day Course - 22.5 CVE credits


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Due to the unprecidented demand for Wildlife Courses we are delighted to announce that we will be running them as frequently as we can. We have provided Wildlife Courses since 2011 and they have grown rapidly in popularity - a great sign for our wildlife!

This training course concentrates on the theory and practice of wildlife rehabilitation and in order to provide the optimum learning opportunity the course is limited to an intimate group of twenty attendees. With this small group size our instructors are able to tailor their teaching to the level of knowledge you already have. This course is therefore open to anyone - regardless of your wildlife experience.

This course - 'Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation' is a comprehensive introduction to this profession. You will learn about: the legal and ethical issues regarding wildlife rehabilitation in Ireland; safe rescue and handling techniques of wild animals; how to perform a physical examination; first aid and common ailments encountered; what to feed wildlife and how to house them; zoonotic diseases; and release considerations.
The highlight for most attendees- the practical sessions!!, include: capture and handling; physical examinations; injections; tube feeding; bandaging; and what you'll need in your 'Wildlife Rescue Kit!

This two day course has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland for
22.5 CVE credits




Programme - Day 1


Registration & Coffee


Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland
What is rehabiliation
Capture & transport
Handling & restraint
Clinical examination

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
Capture and restraint
Physical examination
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
Injections in birds and mammals
Round up, discussion & feedback


Programme - Day 2


Registration & Coffee


Initial treatment
Fluid therapy
Feeding & nutrition
Common conditions
Post release monitoring

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
Gavage / tube feeding
Avian wing stabilisation
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
Wildlife rescue kit




We are lucky enough to have these highly qualified veterinary professionals, all offering their services to WRI to teach this course. Each course is taught by one of the following Instructors:

  • Vicki Baldrey



BSc(Hons) BVSc DZooMed(Avian) MRCVS RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.
Vicki qualified from Liverpool Vet School in 2005 and has since worked in first opinion and referral exotics practices in the UK and overseas. She obtained the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine in 2014 and became an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine in 2016.

Vicki joined the RVC Exotics team in 2016 as a part time Exotics clinician at the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in Camden. Vicki spends the rest of her time based in Nantwich, Cheshire, working with exotic pet and wildlife species.


  • Kieran Corry



After graduating with first class honours from University College Dublin in 2005 Kieran worked in a busy large and small animal practice in County Tyrone.

To pursue his interest in the small animal field, particularly orthopeadic and soft tissue surgery, he moved to Birmingham to work in a small animal practice. After moving back to Ireland in 2010, Kieran worked initially in Clontarf Veterinary Hospital in Dublin, and now works in Campsie Veterinary Centre in Northern Ireland.


  • Joanne Hedley


Joanne qualified from Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2003 and spent time in mixed, small animal, exotic and wildlife practice before undertaking a residency in Exotic Animal and Wildlife medicine back at R(D)SVS where she obtained her RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine.
She is currently a RCVS specialist in Zoological and Wildlife medicine and European specialist in herpetological medicine. She joined the Royal Veterinary College in 2014 as Lecturer in Exotic Species and Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery. She is based at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden, where she leads the exotics clinical service and is developing student teaching of exotic species.


  • Mark Naguib


Mark Naguib BVMS(Hons) CertAVP(ZooMed) MRCVS, RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine.
Mark graduated from University of Glasgow in 2009 and has spent most of his career working with exotic pets, wildlife and zoo species. He is based at Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic in North Yorkshire where he sees a busy caseload of both first opinion and referral cases in practice and provides veterinary services for a number of zoological collections and to a local wildlife rehabilitation centre. He regularly treats a wide range of native wildlife and has a particular interest in avian medicine and birds of prey. Mark holds the RCVS certificate in Zoological Medicine and is an Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine.





Frequently Asked Questions  

Course Grant  


FEES for the two day course:



General Public and anyone NOT claiming CVE credits

€190 (170 GBP)

Registered Veterinary Nurses if claiming CVE credits

€280 (250 GBP)

Veterinary Surgeons (MVB) if claiming CVE credits

€500 (450 GBP)

Fee includes:
lunch (vegetarian soup & sandwiches)
morning and afternoon tea, coffee and biscuits breaks
delegate pack - magazines, brochures and wildlife information
WRI Certificate of participation

This course has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland
for 22.5 CVE credits




Q - How often do you run these courses
A - As demand dictates but roughly every 2-3 months. We announce dates in our e-newsletter as and when they are confirmed.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets and nurses than general public
A - Though we have issues with the price of CPD for the veterinary profession, we have to face the fact that they have to pay one CPD provider or another, and we can't afford not to charge similar fees to the other CPD providers.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets than for nurses
A - Vets are paid more than nurses!

Q - I'm a vet but don't need CPD, do I still have to pay the vet fee
A - No. Anyone not claiming CPD can register under the general public category.

Q - How do I get notified of upcoming Courses?
A - Click HERE to join our mailing list and be the first to hear date announcements for future courses.

Q - Can I get a refund if I can't attend after booking
A - Click HERE for Cancellation Policy.

Q - Can I reserve a place on the next Course?
A - Sorry no. You can't know if you'll be able to attend until you know the date so I'm afraid it's first-come-first-served.

Q - How do I use the online registration system
A - When a course is open for registration, there will be a sentence saying: 'Click HERE to register', at the top of the page. Clicking on it brings you automatically to the online system - if you're having problems, click the HELP button below for instructions.

Difficulty Registering?




If the fees are preventing your attendance you can contact us to discuss grant assistance

We have been asked by potential donors how to obtain the greatest good for wildlife from financial donations.   Our belief at WRI is that educating people about the importance and practice of wildlife care has the greatest long term good.

If you would like to donate specifically to the Wildlife Course Grant Fund to help subsidise our Wildlife Courses for those of limited means, please click on the DONATE button below.



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Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation

The Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation Course is an intensive and wonderfully engaging two day course that is geared towards wildlife rehabilitators, vets, students and wildlife enthusiasts. It is run by Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI); a not for profit organisation which exists to promote awareness of wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation in Ireland.

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Irish wildlife is constantly facing challenges and WRI aims to provide useful information to the general public in order to improve animal welfare in Ireland. Unfortunately there is a lack of national capacity with regards to managing and protecting wildlife in Ireland and this science-based course is a step in the right direction in terms of equipping participants with both theoretical and practical knowledge on wildlife rescue and care.

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Caring for wildlife differs greatly to caring for domestic animals and during the course you will be taught how to deal with mammals and birds of all sizes and behaviour. It is run by experienced and enthusiastic professionals who teach in an easy going, anecdotal way. Their ardent passion for wildlife comes through strongly in their lectures which makes learning even more fulfilling and enjoyable.

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Due to the small number of participants on the course, interaction with wildlife professionals and enthusiasts is part of the whole experience of the Course. Thus it not only provides you with invaluable knowledge but it also enables you to network with people within the wildlife sector which can lead to exciting opportunities in the future.

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The Course is carefully designed to cater for people of varying abilities and experience; it is both introductory yet keeps you on your toes. The course instructors are there to assist you with any trouble you may have with the course content. Upon entering the lecture room, you are given an introduction to a collection of excellent books - everything you need to know about rehabilitating wildlife. These books can be used in the open book examination that takes place at the end of the two days. The exam allows you to demonstrate what you have learned whilst simultaneously reinforcing your understanding through the process of revision. The course instructors are on hand to help you with any questions that you may have.

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This accredited (Veterinary Council of Ireland) Course is scheduled multiple times throughout the year and takes place in Ashbourne, Co. Meath. Only 20 people are enrolled for each course so make sure you book early. The applied nature of this Course makes it completely unique and will enhance credibility.

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If you want to make a difference and help promote standardisation of wildlife care in Ireland then it is an invaluable course to attend. If you are studying veterinary, the course will broaden your understanding of all animals; not just companion and farm animals. By the end of the two days, you will feel well-equipped and confident in knowing that you are carrying out wildlife rehabilitation procedures in the safest, most humane way possible.


Jade Dillon MA


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Accommodation options  

The Wildlife Course is held in Ashbourne Community School, at the address below:

Ashbourne Community School
1 Deerpark,
Co. Meath

Click HERE for map and details


Driving directions:

From Dublin Airport:
From the airport follow signs for the M1 (Southbound) and the M50 (Southbound). Merge onto the M1 and stay in the left hand lane. After approximately 2km, take the slip road for the M50 (Southbound).
Stay on the motorway for 2 junctions, following signs for the N2, Ashbourne & Derry. Once you are on the N2/M2, after approximately 14km you will come to another roundabout, take the 3rd exit and drive all the way through Ashbourne village until you reach a cross roads with traffic lights and a campus petrol station on the left. Turn left there, then first right, then drive round to the left and you'll see the school.

From the M1 (Drogheda South junction):
Take the Drogheda / Duleek exit off the motorway and go through the toll booth on the slip road. At the roundabout at the top of the slip road take the 2nd exit signposted for Duleek. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit towards Duleek / Ashbourne.
Go under the motorway and take the 2nd exit at the next roundabout, again signposted for Duleek / Ashbourne. Continue for 16km until you reach the junction with the N2. Turn left towards Ashbourne and travel along the N2 for approximately 8km until you reach a roundabout. Then follow the directions above (but taking the 2nd exit off the roundabout)

Public Transport directions:

From Dublin airport:
Bus number 109A click HERE for timetable

Taxi from Dublin airport roughly €48 (each way)

From Dublin city:
Bus number 103 click HERE for timetable



Price Range

Distance from Ashbourne Community School


32.8 km

Slane Farm Hostel
Harlinstown House
Co. Meath
Tel: 041 9884985 / 041 9824390

€ €

1.5 km

Baltrasna Lodge
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8350446

€ €

3 km

The Residents Hotel
Bridge Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8359300

€ €

4.6 km

Ashbourne House Hotel
Main Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 835 8400
Email :

€ €

6 km

The Pillo Hotel
The Rath
County Meath
Tel: 01 835 0800
Email :

Delegates can also choose accomodation through HotelsCombined who scan and compare discounted rates from thousands of major travel sites.




Comments from some delegates who have attended our Courses:

  2016     2018     2019  

2020 Courses

      Feb 20      

Feb 2020

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“Very helpful and inspirational”

“Excellent and interesting and comprehensive”

“Excellent teacher”

“The teacher was more than excellent. Lots of time to ask questions”

“Whet the appetite for further knowledge on this diverse subject”

“I enjoyed every aspect”

“The course covered all the basics thoroughly and I learned a lot and would be far more confident in dealing with any wildlife casualties, knowing who to contact if I did not feel confident dealing with them”

“Great fun, great teaching, lots of knowledge gained”

“Learned more than I expected, everyone was always helpful and friendly”

“Really enjoyed it”

“Excellent course. Vicki our teacher was very easy to understand and imparted the knowledge clearly through lectures and practical teaching”

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“Best course I’ve done, opened up a secret world of wildlife to my eyes”

“Teacher was superb. Every minute crammed with useful info”

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2019 Courses

  Feb 19   April 19     November 19


Nov 2019

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“Fantastic, so glad I did it”

“Covered a range of topics. Practical was excellent”

“Very informative and interesting”

 “Learnt what I wanted to learn, lots of questions answered”

“Give it a go, it’ll help you when you least expect it to to save a life possibly”

“Teacher very clear and informative. Liked how respectfully animals were treated. Teacher was also very good at explaining to students about different scenarios/ diseases/ etc. She was great at answering people’s questions and explaining in a way that people could understand”

“Amazing, informative, enjoyable”


 “Excellent – I recommend it”

 “Absolutely fantastic day, so educational”

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“Everyone should learn this stuff”


“One of the best courses I’ve been on very informative”

“Great introduction to wildlife rehabilitation”

“One of the only opportunities around to gain valuable experience to assist native wildlife”

“Very happy I decided to take this course”

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“Very informative and helpful”

 “Very impressed by the dignity and respect shown to deceased animals”

“Just the right amount of info.. will definitely want to learn more!”

“Great course, learnt a lot”

“I hope to pursue a career in conservation and wildlife rehabilitation; this will help me work towards that”

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April 2019

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“An excellent course, very informative with clear demonstrations, time for questions and lots of hands-on opportunities to practice”

“Fantastic course. I learned so much from it and feel more confident with care/rescue/rehab of wildlife”

“Very well organised, very knowledgeable presenters, friendly and good teachers”

“Very interesting, delivered by knowledgeable and enthusiastic people, great option for CPD also”

“Excellent, informative and fun course. Great CPD choice”

“Lots of info, delivered very well. Excellent speaker / presenter very experienced / knowledgeable, relaxed learning / teaching environment”

“Very informative, a fantastic overview of rehabilitation”

“Was run very smoothly and professionally and respectfully. Group of people really diverse”

“Good explanation of in both theory and practical session”

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“I really enjoyed the course and found it especially beneficially to follow up on knowledge I had previously gained during my 3 months externship in wildlife centre of virginia”

“What a wonderful, interactive way to learn so much about our Irish wildlife. Excellent two days of learning”

“Fantastic learning experience, super informative interactive and practical. Highly recommend”

“Fantastic and comprehensive course, essential for anyone serious about responsible wildlife rehabilitation”

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“If you love wildlife then this course is very worthwhile”

“If you have done any rescue in the past and want to do more and need more confidence then this is the course for you!”

“It is a practical and very informative course suitable to everyone with an interest in wildlife wishing to improve the level of care they can give them”

“Excellent two days, great information for starting off either working with or for your own personal use in your garden”

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February 2019

Course practical session “Excellent, well organised, educational, hands on course which gives both knowledge and confidence to help with wildlife”

“I learned a lot and it is a good introduction to this subject. Thanks”

“Definitely if you’re interested in wildlife you should do this”

“Very informative”

“Really enjoyed it, learned lots. Really informative and well run”

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“Great experience with hands on practicals and up close with wildlife”

“Good course for a beginner”

“Thoroughly enjoyed both theory and practical”

“Great weekend, so much learnt and so many skills”

“Excellent combination of both theory and practical”

“Great fun – and I learnt a lot. Highly recommend”

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“Awesome course! Gave me a hunger to learn more about our wildlife”

“Give back just a little to help a life”

“A brilliant course for veterinary students to take if they are interested in wildlife veterinary medicine in the future”

“Very good information for someone starting out in rehab and first aid. Worth missing the rugby for!”

“Great basic rehabilitation course, organised very well, excellent teacher”

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2018 Courses

July 18   October 18       November 18

November 2018

Course practical session “A brilliant course that is worth your time! Plenty of practical experience involved”

“Very worthwhile and enjoyable! Learned so many new practical skills”

“Good wildlife info for all levels”

“Practical, interesting, great value”

“Do the course – you won’t regret it!”

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“Great course for getting started and meeting those involved in wildlife rehabilitation”

“Absolutely loved this extremely interesting and fun course. Brilliant value for money”

“Essential for all those who want to help Irish wildlife in the safest and best way”

“Confidence building course”

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“Delighted with the course, very practical and informative, I feel like I have gained useful skills and knowledge, and can’t wait to help out”

“Excellent course if you have an interest in improving your knowledge of dealing with wildlife. Worthwhile experience”


“Excellent for anyone interested in wildlife”

“Wildlife needs our help!”

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October 2018

Course practical session “Absolutely brilliant course. Lots of opportunities for hands on practice”

“Vicki Baldrey (Instructor) was excellent. A wealth of knowledge”

“Excellent course, well worth doing if interested in Irish wildlife”

“Clearly explained, neither too simplistic or too difficult for my level of experience/knowledge. Very knowledgeable instructors. Fantastic to get practical practice of new skills”

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“Really good interesting course and very professional in terms of information and the way put together i.e. quiz, kahoot. Loads of experience from speakers and also with peers. Facilitation and lectures excellent”

“Really enjoyable course, lecturers clearly had great knowledge and care for wildlife, great to be able to learn from them and practice some practical wildlife care”

“Vicki Baldrey was excellent, very informative, very knowledgeable, wonderful lady”

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“Excellent, learnt plenty. Well worth doing if you have a keen interest in wild animals”

“A brilliant course that is run by dedicated team of people that have an obvious love and respect for Ireland’s wildlife”

“Great course for anyone interested in our wonderful wildlife and how it can be helped”

“Excellent course, you will learn so much”

“Fantastic, informative and confidence boosting”

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July 2018

Course practical session “Excellent Course. Very informative with fun practical sessions. Definitely worth doing”

“Fantastic opportunity to learn how to make a difference for the local wildlife”


“Always wear gloves!”

“Excellent course. Would thoroughly recommend for anyone wanting to work in rehabilitation”


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“Absolutely loved every minute of this course, so informative and practical, tutors were excellent. Cannot recommend enough for anyone with an interest in wildlife”

“Very helpful and informative. Instructors are happy and eager to help and very supportive of all levels”

“Very informative and fun two days. Would recommend to anyone who wishes to learn about Irish wildlife.”

“A fantastic opportunity to gain much needed knowledge on wildlife care”

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“The practical session were really useful and helped in understanding the theory session which was very beneficial!”

“Glove and analgesia important!”

“Very informative course delivered by very knowledgeable people. Being able to practice necessary procedures was extremely useful”

“Wonderful course, lovely crew, hands-on experience with many cadavers of wildlife creatures with in-depth discussion on species specific handling”

“An absolute must for anyone interested in wildlife or rehabilitation. 100%”

“A thoroughly interesting and enjoyable course with a lot of useful information that can be used on a regular basis while caring for wildlife. Professionally run and easy to understand and potentially use the guidelines given”

“Fantastic, applicable information to rehabilitate an animal in need”

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2016 Courses

Jan 16   Feb 16   Mar 16   Oct 16
Nov 16            

November 2016

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“Excellent course – Do it!”

“I learnt a lot in 2 days highly recommend”

“Amazing course, great fun!. Highly recommend”

“Great course, lots of hands on and knowledgeable people”

“Very informative, well taught and lots of fun!”

“Best course I have ever done”

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“Gives you a real insight into the life of a rescuer”

“Gives you a feel of what to expect in this area of work. One of my best experiences. Boost confidence a lot!”

“If I could do the course over I would, so fun, learnt so much, and everyone is so down to earth. 10/10”

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October 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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“A must do, if you have an interest in rehabilitation”

“Very informative and very enjoyable”

“Excellent introduction to wildlife rescue and rehab”

“Really enjoyed the course and meeting the tutors, can’t wait for the next one”

“Excellent course with plenty of info and hands on work”

“The best CPD course for vet Nurses interested in helping wildlife patients”

“Excellent course, hopefully I can use my new knowledge to make a difference to injured wildlife in Ireland”

“Take it!. Learn how you can help wild animals”

“A brilliant weekend with lifesaving skills learned”

“A fun interactive and informative weekend well spent!”

“An enjoyable and worthwhile course which I would recommend highly for anyone who cares about wildlife”

“Experience and knowledge gained in two days will greatly help you as a rehabilitator”

“Really enjoyable and very interesting”

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March 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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"A really informative and enjoyable course, full of likeminded people and led by persons with true passion, experience and knowledge"

"Superb course well worth every penny. Recommend it to anyone"

"Was a brilliant introduction to wildlife nursing. I highly recommend this course to anyone who would like to be involved in wildlife rescue and rehab"

"A must for anyone already helping wildlife or wanting to get involved"


"Fantastic opportunity to develop wildlife care skills in a supportive and safe environment. Would recommend to anybody in the animal industry or any animal enthusiasts"

"Excellent a must for those entering rehab or vet nursing"

"Great experience especially coming from Leitrim and enjoying every minute of learning new skills and info"

"Enthusiastic kind helpful staff. Very hands on"

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Feb 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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"I found this course extremely useful and think that everyone should do it!"

"Incredible to interact with mammals and birds of all kinds. Expanded my knowledge aon wildlife and gave me the ability to care for all animals"

"Brilliant course for anyone interested in helping wildlife"

"Excellent introduction to care of wildlife"

"Great selection of animals for hands on experience"

"Amazing course, would highly recommend"

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Jan 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath


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“Excellent course”

“I would recommend this course for anyone who wants to know more about how to get involved with wildlife in Ireland”

“An essential basic for the beginner”

“Get your wildside out and help out the wild”

“I really enjoyed it. I learned loads. I feel much more confident in rescuing wildlife”

“Great course. Long days but worth it”

“Fantastic insight - inspirational”

“Best weekend course”

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2015 Courses

Jan 15   Mar 15   May 15   Nov Ashbourne 15
Nov Monaghan 15   Nov Killester 15        

2015 - Killester College, Co Dublin

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Great course which covers a lot in a short space of time. Very beneficial for all”

“Very good course, so interesting and fun!”

“Excellent course, would really recommend”

“Extremely well run and practical”

“Great day. All the knowledge is there to take on board”

“Absolutely excellent and very relevant”

“Amazing course!!”

“Worth the smell!”

“If you love animal, do this course”

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Loved it! Great experience and very fun!”

“Amazing value for money, so enjoyable”

"Really interesting, loved the practical side”

“Brilliant course, very educational and provides great skill development.”

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Nov 2015 - Monaghan Institute, Co Monaghan

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“Overall brilliant course, very enjoyable”

“Brilliant course would recommend to others. Thank-you”

“Very good work that is being done”

“Fascinating, interesting and very useful for anything animal related”

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Nov 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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“Fantastic. Tutors had a great knowledge and personal stories helped in explaining scenarios”

“I learnt a lot from my two days and the hands on experience meant I would feel confident applying techniques learned in future”

“A must do for anyone involved in animal care”

“Excellent 2 days!”

 “Great to be in the company of so many enthusiastic, well motivated people!”

“Everything you need to help an animal!”

“Really enjoyed this course. Run very well and professionally. Would recommend”

“Absolutely fabulous, lots of useful information. Highly recommend!”

“Excellent, well taught course. Very enjoyable days”

 “Great way to show dignity to animals after human carelessness”

“Very informative and practical course. Very well run”

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May 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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 “Helped me re evaluate/learn new things. Good to meet people to network.”

“Lots of information but very clear and concise. Appropriate lectures and excellent practical experience.”

“Practical work was very valuable. Theory and presentation very well delivered.”

“Really enjoyed the whole course. Excellent 2 days with lots of useful information”

“I felt that all situations that may be relevant to me as a beginner were well covered. Instruction was informative, practical well delivered.”

“Excellent course, best wildlife course I’ve done, days good length.”

“Very in depth and covered a big range.”

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March 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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“Excellent and engaging, I will carry what I have learnt in to everything I do in the future”

“Great tutors – great course”

“Brilliant, enjoyable course to do”

“Very informative and great way of networking”

“Great course! Have learned a lot and feel more comfortable dealing with wildlife cases now”

“Great course, learned loads, well worth it!”

“Go Rehab!”

“We all have a responsibility to protect the natural world. Please do this course it’s amazing!!”

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January 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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“This course is a must for all wildlife rehabilitators and veterinary professionals with an interest in wildlife. Excellently presented and thoroughly enjoyable.”

“A must for all with injured wildlife at their door”

“Well organised, complete and useful course for everyone that wants to work with wildlife”

“Very interesting for all animal welfares in Ireland”

“A very enjoyable, informative weekend”

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