Trevor’s Week - December 7, 2011: Can you help WRAS during the Christmas holidays?

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I HOPE everyone is getting into the festive spirit! At WRAS this can be a very difficult time of year, we already have numerous volunteers taking time off to celebrate Christmas with their family, but we also have some volunteers who are very kindly offering to help cover some of these shifts.

Kate, Kathy and I will no doubt have to cover quite a few extra shifts as we normally do at this time of year.

WRAS will try its best to provide 24-hour coverage over the entire festive season and into New Year.

We do have a few shift vacancies free, especially mornings, which are needed to help out at the centre working three-four hours helping to feed and clean our casualties.

If you are interested in committing to a once-a-week shift please contact Kathy on her e-mail kathy@eastsussexwras.org.uk or leave a message on 07931 519646.

It is hard to believe that a year ago our centre was snowed in and volunteers were having difficulty getting to the centre. I was having to sleep there to ensure the casualties were treated, fed and watered.

We’re hoping that it won’t be as bad this year especially as the centre is so full.

We are prepared in case we get snowed in and have extra food in stock too.

It is worth remembering our wildlife at this time of year, especially during snow and icy weather, to put out some additional food for our visiting wildlife.

Suet-based food is very useful and can provide valuable energy for our feathered friends.

Please don’t forget that cooked bones for wildlife can be dangerous as they are very brittle and can splinter easily causing internal damage.

It is best to avoid food which is spicy and salty, just remember to use fresh food sources and avoid mouldy food or bread especially when feeding birds.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) asked WRAS to check on a seal spotted at Lewes this week.

We were expecting to find it was our regular seal visitor Twinkle but it turned out to be a juvenile seal a little underweight but still with a good layer of fat.

BDMLR are continuing to monitor the seal in case its condition get worse, but as it has come inland I’m sure it will have a much easier time finding food than if out at sea.

WRAS’s ambulances have been busy this week, rushing to various rescues, including yet another two collapsed foxes at Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne.

Also two swans on Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne, which crash landed during the middle of the morning rush to work, causing considerable delays as the police tried to keep the swans safe and preventing an accident from occurring.

We have been to Little Horsted Primary School to rescue a little bat disturbed during construction work at the school.

The bat was nice and lively but its skin was very red and irritated, so the little creature was taken up to Bat expert Jenny Clark at Forest Row for a better assessment.

Even Jenny was a bit surprised with the skin colouration which was eventually put down to a reaction to the dusty environment caused by the development work.

Our baby deer are being released from their paddock this week to have the run of their foster parent’s garden.

They won’t be fully released yet, but they are certainly getting bigger and looking so much more mature than when we rescued them.

Looking back on their rescue photos I am amazed that any of them survived, and we are so pleased that they have done so well.

We are really looking forward to our Christmas Extravaganza on Westham Village Hall on December 17 from 6.30pm till 11pm.

We have the Hunters Moon Morris Dancers doing at display at 6.30pm, and we have singers into the evening with Christmas songs, as well as winter soup, festive drinks, children’s activities and various stalls.

Kate has also persuaded the volunteers to wear fancy dress too! It should be a great evening and we will be delighted to see you.

If you are still looking for Christmas ideas visit our eBay shop which you can get to via our website www.wildlifeambulance.org and click on the link on the right hand side.

Our new WRAS wallets are now available and our updated adoption packs plus an illustrated book about our deer rescues this year.

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East Sussex WRAS is a voluntary organisation which relies on donations, receiving no funding from government or the RSPCA. Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the treasurer at PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE.

24-hour rescue line: 07815 078234

www.wildlifeambulance.org