Corporate sponsorship or celebrity patronage could be the only way to save the London Wildlife Hospital from closure.

The Beddington Park-based hospital, which takes in around 4,000 sick, injured and orphaned wild animals a year, stopped admitting new patients last month after losing its financial battle to stay afloat.

Now big money backers are being asked to come forward to secure the long-term future of the centre which needs about £150,000 to keep operating.

Until now, repeated fundraising appeals and open days have enabled the hospital to balance the books.

The centre, which is a registered charity, relied almost entirely on public donations for its survival. But rising costs mean no more animals will be admitted.

Hospital founder and director Ted Burden, 37, said: "We have always struggled to adequately fund the hospital and after eight years at our Beddington site we still have no cash reserves whatsoever."

Mr Burden founded the hospital at his home in 1994 before moving it to Beddington in 1997.

During its history the centre, run by seven staff and more than 100 volunteers, has taken in animals including deer, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and swans.

Faced with the prospect of the centre having to close its doors for good, a life member of the hospital has begun a personal crusade to find patrons, contacting the likes of Bill Oddie, Rolf Harris and members of the royal family.

Ian Greenop, 60, said: "The hospital does vital work there's nothing else to touch it within the whole of the M25.

"I thought, I'm not going to let this hospital shut'. If there's anything I can possibly do to keep it open I'll do it."

The hospital has also been thrown a lifeline with the founder of a centre for sick and injured animals saying he and volunteers from other clinics could step in to ensure any sick animals are saved.

To sponsor the hospital or to make a donation call London Wildlife Hospital on 020 8773 0632 or 020 8647 6230. Cheques and postal orders, made payable to London Wildcare, should be sent to Beddington Park, Church Road, Wallington SM6 7NN.