TREVOR WEEKS: Emotional roller coaster of a week

Brian Russell and Trevor Weeks SUS-160802-084438001
Brian Russell and Trevor Weeks SUS-160802-084438001

A roller coaster of emotions this week, with the opening of the Monica Russell Orphan Rearing Unit. Sadly Monica was too poorly to visit and open the unit but her husband Brian came along and it was an emotional time for everyone.

We’re glad Monica managed to visit a few weeks ago to see her centre and know that her legacy and all her hard work and dedication to wildlife will live on.

You can see a video of the opening and a tour round the new unit on our You Tube channel.

I popped in to see Hailsham FM last week, to talk about WRAS and how it has changed over the last 31 years, a rather nostalgic interview.

I think local radio stations are really important, and wish them well on obtaining a permanent community licence.

Sussex Police and WRAS rescuers dealt with an road casualty badger near Beachy Head after running out straight in front of the police car.

The officers stopped and turned around to check him.

Still very mobile he ran off.

Officers called WRAS and when rescuers arrived they searched the area and found him but he was too close to his sett and rather frustratingly managed to escape capture.

Thank you for the police for waiting for us to arrive and carrying a badger cage across the fields with our rescuers in the pitch black.

Our job is so much easier when people wait.

The big rescue of last week was the female fallow deer trapped in a garden at Whitesmith.

The deer could only have entered the garden from the road, and then became entangled in a football goal.

When Chris, Kathy and I arrived, the deer had freed itself and was running round.

We were able to catch it using a walk-to-wards net at the edge of the garden.

The hard part was then carrying the deer out of the garden, close to the road and then down a public footpath to a field and woodland outside the gardens which were enclosed by deer fencing.

It is impossible to rescue a wild animal without causing some stress and this rescue was certainly stressful for both the deer and rescuers.

Luckily we were able to undertake the rescue and release quickly enough not to cause any lasting damage to the deer.

This week we have also had rescuers dealing with a rare Leisler’s bat from Silverdale Road Eastbourne, a swan walking along The Rising in Eastbourne, a catted pigeon in Hampden Park, a young rabbit suffering with myxamotosis in Ringmer, a road casualty fox in Broderick Road Hampden Park and to rescue a pigeon trapped in netting and spikes on the shop front of a building in Hailsham High Street.

We also had a lovely pipistrelle bat come into care after being found flying around a bedroom in Alfriston.

Rescuer Chris caught the bat and took it to WRAS’s hospital, where Trevor was waiting to assess and give food and fluids.

Like the Leisler’s Bat from Eastbourne he was taken to Jenny Clark, at the Sussex Bat Hospital in Forest Row.

Kathy went out to a brown long eared bat in Wares Road Uckfield, found outside in the day time too.

Thank you to Jenny for all her help this week.

Thank you to Hooe’s Old Motor Club who presented me with a cheque for £500 after my talk to them last week.

This is amazing support for our charity and very much appreciated by both us and the animals.

This week Chris and I also went to Canterbury College, part of the University of Kent, to jointly teach students about wildlife rescue.

We took one of the ambulances across loaded with equipment and Chris explained what they were used for and how to use them and I ran through a PowerPoint presentation of photos and videos demonstrating the principles of wildlife first aid, rescue and rehabilitation.

If your college or community group are interested in me coming along to give a talk them check out the details at

We had a very poorly kestrel last week thanks to rescuers Kai and Daryl.

The bird had a large tick on his head and signs of others having come off.

Ticks are often fatal in birds, and will have weakened him which is probably why he then had a collision of some sort.

He had blood in his throat and was very cold and underweight through not being able to hunt.

Despite medication and treatment he sadly passed away overnight.

We also had calls to Network Rail at Selmeston for an injured bird of prey, an injured pigeon in Cade Street Eastbourne, another injured pigeon in Hastings, an injured gull at College Road Seaford, a bird flown into a shelter on Pevensey and Westham Railway Station, and a very poorly redwing from Plumpton Green.