OWLS could soon be turning heads outside a hard-hit bird sanctuary struggling to survive the Coronavirus pandemic.

The managers The Furness Owl Sanctuary have issued a fresh appeal for financial support as the centre continues to battle the economic fallout of the virus.

Pressures experienced by the organisation’s regular donors and the suspension of visits during lockdown brought serious concerns over its future.

Having hit the £15,000 fundraising target then set by boss Paul Rose, the sanctuary is now appealing for a further £15,000 in order to get through the winter period.

And in a bid to attract more business into its shop, Oscar's Nest on Dalton Road, he has applied to Barrow council for a licence to show off the flying creatures outside.

“We’ve applied to the council to get the licence to display the owls outside in the town," he said.

"But we haven’t received anything back yet from the council.

“Not many people are out and about at the moment - they’re so afraid of catching it [Covid-19]. You can’t blame them.”

If the owl centre fails to raise the funds to ensure its short-term survival, the 67-year-old predicts a ‘make or break’ meeting would need to be held in December.

31 owls are currently being cared for by the Furness sanctuary, according to Mr Rose.

He says the centre received a boost when its shop reopened as lockdown measures were lifted earlier in the summer. He is hoping a new sponsorship scheme and Crowdfunding page will help shore up some of the sanctuary’s financial losses this year.

Nicola Dawes, who runs the sanctuary with Mr Rose, said: “With all the new rescues we’ve been taking on, it’s been very difficult to dedicate a lot of time to fundraising activities - although that’s really what we need right now.

“We advertised the new ‘sponsor an owl’ scheme just two days ago, and we’ve had a number of applications so far - one from as far away as New Jersey.

“We’re very grateful for all the support that we’ve had."