WEST Country poet Pam Ayres and otter expert Daphne Neville will be special guests at this year’s Oak and Furrows open day.

The authors are both patrons of the wildlife rescue centre based at Blakehill Farm nature reserve near Cricklade. Joining them will be fellow author and butterfly specialist Matthew Oates.

Tours of the facility, children’s amusements , food stalls and talks are on the programme between 11am and 5pm on August 26.

Manager Jon Bennett said it had been a busy summer for the centre. “It is a chance for us to raise a bit of funds and part of it is giving back to the people who have supported us.”

For those who had brought in casualties through the year it was an opportunity to spend a little time there and learn more about the work the staff did.

This summer, as well as looking after more than 100 hedgehogs, they have been nursing around 20 young swifts, along with swallows and housemartins who have fallen out of their nests before they are ready to fledge because of the hot weather.

"They are very tricky to feed," said senior animal carer Tori Webb. "We had to put them in the education room so we could concentrate on them."

Admission is £3. Children go free.