Design co-ordinator, Laura Barker has sparked widespread community interest in Peterborough with her nature camera. A camera was set up by Laura and her husband Paul, just before the start of the pandemic, and the couple shared their footage with other wildlife enthusiasts. From there an online community has been created where residents share their love of nature and images from garden nature cams.
Design co-ordinator Laura loves the community she has created on her dedicated nature cam group. She said: “It grew in to everyone sharing their own photos and videos- and in lockdown I know there were groups using the footage, elderly ladies and scout groups as they couldn’t leave the house.” Committed to helping animals, what started as just sharing footage has spiralled in to the couple helping to rehabilitate animals. Laura, who is a member of the RSPB and the local wildlife trust, said: “One of neighbours found a grounded swift and asked if I’d be able to help - and I knew what the bird needed. From then on, we’ve taken in wild birds and take calls for foxes, deer and smaller mammals.” The couple have had around 80 birds and have released 55% of them. When Laura started to help birds she ‘didnt believe’ she would help the number of birds she now has.
Laura, 33 said: “At one point during the summer of 2021, we had 22 birds and five different breeds.
“We were extremely busy. We had eight baby blue tits which we raised from about four days old, they ate up to 700 wax worms a day! Martin the crow is a stunning bird. He came to us lay on his side, I thought I’d lose him overnight but he recovered, we released him from here and he came back to our garden and back door each morning for breakfast.”
With tender loving care, Laura has helped birds who faced life-or-death injuries, even helping a pigeon who was shot in the chest.
‘Overwhelmed’ with support, Laura has been an ‘emotional wreck’ when she set up an Amazon wishlist for supporters to help her. She said: “I am so thankful to everyone who has donated to us.
“I truly can’t believe how much we’ve been sent having been self-funded for over two years, the support is phenomenal.
“There are some incredible people around, if it wasn’t for them caring enough to take an injured or sick bird in and then to donate feed and other basics, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”