The Greenwich Wildlife Network Team were greatly saddened to hear of the recent passing of Laurence Foxon, a supporter of the charity, a lover of animals and wildlife, and a generous and deeply kind man.
In the Summer of 2021, Laurence - along with his equally warm-hearted family - offered the charity use of a beautiful and tranquil piece of land adjoining his family home, for the purposes of building soft release aviaries.
At the time, we had no release facilities whatsoever, and so were entirely dependent on other organisations to release animals on our behalf. We were never able to see the end result for wild birds that we’d poured our hearts and souls into hand-rearing or restoring to health, and logistically, it was a constant challenge for our team to secure release placements for said animals. Laurence responded to our appeal on social media for land in the local area, a search which for many months had seemed totally hopeless. Friendly and easy going from the moment we first heard his voice on the phone, Laurence effectively gave us free reign to do whatever we needed on his property to make our goals for a release a reality, without asking for a penny in return. Laurence and his family felt like old friends from the very start.
I can’t overstate how transformative having the release aviaries have been to how we operate - they've made us a far more effective rescue service and removed a constant obstacle for us in rehabilitating animals. If Laurence hadn’t contacted us, I don’t know if we would have ever got past that road block, as land in and around London is so extortionately expensive. I don’t know if we could have come as far as we have in the past three years.
We will forever be grateful to Laurence for this act of kindness, and feel lucky to have met him and known him, even if it was for far too short a time. His legacy is all of the animals that the aviaries have helped and will continue to help. Those simple structures have gently eased many souls back into a life in the wild.
Even after his passing, Laurence’s family have continued to support the Greenwich Wildlife Network, asking that bereaved family and friends donate to the charity rather than purchasing flowers. That they would think of our cause at such a difficult time was truly humbling. It’s clear that kindness runs deep in this family.
Our most heartfelt condolences to Laurence’s loved ones, and a massive thank you to them and to everyone that donated in his memory.