ONE of Britain's greatest actresses, Dame Judi Dench, has opened a new building at Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital. 

The 89-year-old Dame Judi opened the new animal hospital building, which was completed after a recent fundraising campaign and an unexpected legacy donation on Sunday, April 21, at Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital in Newton Tony.

Around 100 guests were in attendance, including volunteers, supporters and the build project team.

Mike and Marilyn Korkis, who opened the hospital over 30 years ago, were "bowled over" when Dame Judi agreed to support their fundraising campaign back in 2020.

Dench is a passionate animal lover and conservationist and through her partner, David Mills (owner of British Wildlife Centre), came to learn of the challenges the team were facing with their old and worn hospital building.

She agreed to spearhead a fundraising film and has been an avid supporter of the hospital ever since.

The funds raised from this campaign, along with a legacy donation from a long-time supporter, ensured this first phase of the project could be completed.

The team can now move their operations into the new purpose-built facility, allowing the original barn to be cleared and made ready for much-needed renovations, without any loss of service.

A new fundraising campaign to support these renovations will be announced soon.

The Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital is a registered charity that relies totally on public donations and volunteer support.

The hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. It provides a vital service for Wiltshire and the surrounding counties, ensuring injured, orphaned or displaced wildlife is rescued, treated, rehabilitated and released.

When the hospital opened in the early 90’s, the Korkis’s were rescuing a few hundred wild animals a year. This number has now reached more than 4,000 a year, and the numbers keep on growing.

Mike and Marilyn are keen to ensure the facility and the services it provides can continue for many years to come, and these renovations are part and parcel of their vision to create a "modern, fit-for-purpose, future-proof wildlife hospital that meets the ever-growing needs of our wildlife and local communities".

For more information on the hospital, visit or to make a donation, readers can visit