Trevor’s Week - December 14, 2011: Don’t forget our Christmas Extravaganza this Saturday

IT IS now costing us more than £100 per week to feed the 70 plus hedgehogs we have in care.

Most of them are at WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre, but we are starting to move some of them to the outdoor pens which makes cleaning and feeding easier, but they have to be up to weight before we can encourage them to hibernate.

Quite a few swans are crash-landing at the moment as the youngsters start to get chased by their parents who are already thinking ahead for next spring when they will have more cygnets. We have had reports of them crashing at Shinewater, Langney and of course Lottbridge Drove Eastbourne.

So please be careful when driving these areas. We had a call about an injured swan at Hamsey, near Lewes on Saturday which had been attacked by a dog.

The wounds were very smelly and the swan very poorly due to the infection which had set in. Rescuer Tony rushed the swan up to the Swan Sanctuary for their veterinary staff to take on.

• Sue, one of our volunteers was diagnosed as having breast cancer earlier this year. Her brother-in-law David has set up a justgiving page to raise money.

David wrote on his page, “On May 11, 2012, I intend to walk, self-supported across Scotland, west coast to east. A walking event known simply as, the TGO Challenge. I initially intended to raise money to fight this dreadful disease, however she asked if I’d mind raising money for a small charity that struggles to raise funds and is close to her heart, the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS). I was more than happy to oblige.”

David’s page is www.justgiving.com/walk4wras.

The TGO Challenge is an annual self-supported walking event across the Highlands of Scotland, west coast to east coast. It started in 1980 and was the brainchild of the well-known writer and mountaineer, Hamish Brown.

The Challenge is held every May. There are 12 permitted start points on the west coast. They are: Ardrishaig, Oban, Acharacle, Lochailort, Arisaig, Mallaig, Glenelg, Shiel Bridge, Dornie, Strathcarron, Plockton, Torridon.

You can finish anywhere between Fraserburgh and Arbroath in the east, but all participants have to report to our control centre in Montrose once they have finished.

The challenge is entirely non-competitive. A maximum of 15 days is allowed for the crossing. Most people take between 12 and 14 days to cross, and the average length for a crossing is about 180 miles.

The challenge demands a good level of competence in navigation, survival techniques, campcraft and general hillcraft.

We all wish David the best with this challenge and hope the weather stays good.

• We’ve managed to release a quite a few of our rescued pigeons this week. One had severe canker which Kate cared for at home, the other was a severe cat attack with a massive wound on his chest with ripped muscle.

Both have been released, and been replaced by two baby pigeon which were rescued under licence on a building site in Eastbourne.

Five of our hand reared wood pigeons were soft released this last week and flew off beautifully.

Chilli and Pepper, twins who came in at a about week old, Custard who came from Debs at Wildlife A&E found collapsed at two weeks old, Tuna who was 10 days old and fed tuna flakes by the finders over a three-day period plus Bon Bon, who was just over two weeks old and a severe cat attack with a broken wing, Canker and numerous injuries.

Left in the flight aviary are Fin, Godric, Blur and Chive who were all came in with severe injuries but are now just two or three weeks off release.

• Tony has also successfully rescued a fox which was found trapped in a rear garden of a pub in Hastings.

As the garden is surrounded by high walls, it is not known how the fox got there apart from potentially falling down the wall.

The fox was taken to the RSPCA Mallydams Wood Centre who kindly took in the fox and released it that night back into the wild.

• Don’t forget our Christmas Extravaganza at Westham Village Hall this Saturday from 6.30pm.

All the volunteers are dressing up in various costumes for the event which should be a great evening with a children’s decorating area, various stalls, plus cakes to eat and take away, mulled wine, winter soup, and displays from The Hunters Moon Morris Dancers at 6.45pm and a choir singing Christmas songs too.

It should be a great evening to celebrate Christmas.

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East Sussex WRAS is a voluntary organisation which relies on donations. We do not receive funding from government or the RSPCA. Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the treasurer at PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE

www.wildlifeambulance.org 24-hour rescue line: 07815 078234