Trevor’s Week - February 15, 2012: Freezing weather means many different casualties

A swan
A swan

WHAT a cold week – we have been keeping an eye on the weather forecast and staying at the Casualty Centre every time the met office issues a severe weather warning for snow, luckily we haven’t had to stay as much as the last two years.

This week has seen a change in the type of casualties come in.

We have had a heron in underweight and not very good at flying; we believe it is the same heron which we were called out to last week on Ersham Road, Hailsham, which escaped from us while we were trying to rescue it.

There is a wound to one wing and a swelling on the other; we have sent the bird up to the Swan Sanctuary for their specialist vets to assess.

As it is February this month we have a casualty name theme of Love.

Last weeks’ fox which we have named Cupid is recovering and getting much fitter and brighter, but still not completely right yet.

Caramel the road casualty deer which was rescue during the summer 2010 who has been off in the wild came back to see foster parents Chris and Sylvia last week joining Button who come back the week before.

Unfortunately we haven’t seen Billie yet, but fingers crossed she is out there somewhere.

Last year you will remember that Karen Breeze very kindly helped raise hundreds of pounds and awareness for WRAS by running nine marathons in nine weeks.

This year Karen has taken on a huge challenge in aid of WRAS.

On March 24 she’ll be running her first 50-mile Sussex Ultra run from Birling Gap and the following day on March 25 running the Hastings Half Marathon, that’s an amazing 63 miles over the weekend!

It will be an enormous challenge for Karen and we hope that you will join us in supporting Karen the more we raise via her just giving page the more encouragement she will have to complete the challenge.

Over next few weeks leading up to the big event Karen will be training and racing preparing herself for the challenge.

Please help anyway you can by making a donation at

We have now had more than 28 calls from members of the public regarding the swan at the Pells Pond in Lewes being trapped in ice, ambulances have been to the site up to three times a day due to the calls being received, but on no occasion has the swan actually been trapped.

Most reports are from people saying they can see one leg but not the other which must be trapped in the ice, but the foot is normally just tucked up under the bird’s soft and warm feathers.

People also report seeing the swan trying to push its way across the ice but it can’t move, unfortunately what most people see is the swan stretching and flapping a foot to either just stretch or get the blood flowing round the foot again if it has been sat on the foot for a long time.

Swans will conserve energy and sit on the ice to keep away, rather than stand or swim in water which will be colder and take up more energy.

You can check out a video report on our You Tube site

We have had two thrushes in care this week. One was the victim of a cat and the other possibly hit by a car.

Sadly one has not made it, but the other is starting to recover and under treatment. We also have a kestrel hit by a car at Lewes. He has a nasty blow to the head but he is on medication and starting to look more and more lively, so hopefully will make a full recovery.

Claire, one of our volunteers found herself at Haywards Heath Railway Station on Friday morning thanks to a bus replacement service on the rail network.

She just happened to decide to get herself a sandwich by chance walking under the railway bridge and found a young pigeon sitting on a wall, very cold and thin.

She went to Sainsburys who kindly found her a box, returned and ended up chasing the baby around in the traffic to catch him.

She then waited for senior rescuer and carer Kathy to arrive to collect the poor little thing. Definitely a life saved as he would not have survived, he is so thin, cold and has filthy feet bless him.

We also have a little hedgehog come in for care weighing just 294 grams, which is way too small for this time of year. What amazes me is that this little chap does not appear to be very underweight but just young and small so clearly born after Christmas!

The swan which was found covered in blood at Glynde Reach with a fishing hook in his wing and beak, has made a full recovery and was released last week back at Glynde. You can see video of the release at our You Tube and Facebook pages. If you are interested in volunteering with East Sussex WRAS based from our Casualty Centre at Whitesmith near Hailsham, why no come along to our volunteer recruitment day being held on Saturday February 25.

Just turn up on the hour for a short presentation about our work and to then talk to one of our volunteers about the roles and how you could help.

The day starts at 11am and goes on till 7pm. We are recruiting additional feed and clean shift volunteers as well as looking for volunteer rescuers who can be on call from the centre for at least one day a week, plus volunteers to help with fundraising and helping at and organising events. Our casualty centre is on the A22 at the Shaw Barn, A22, Whitesmith, south of Blackberry Farm Family Activity Centre.

Also tickets are available for our Unusual Quiz night at Berwick Village Hall on Saturday March 3. Tickets are £10 per person but include free entry to the quiz and free food.

They are great and fun events and not your unusual boring quizzes but a variety of questions (not just about nature or animals) covering issues like taste, smell, touch, vision and sound!

Tickets can be booked by contacting Kate on 01825 873003.


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