Hedgehog rescued in Eastbourne after being caught in netting

Hedgehog rescued in Eastbourne after being caught in netting

It was five years ago that we opened our Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith. Although we had been running a Casualty Centre at the location for 2 year previously, we moved into a larger unit in September 2010 from where we have been able to expand and grow. We have managed to achieve so much over the past five years, way more than we had originally planned; thanks to all the support and help we have received from our kind and generous donors and volunteers.

Well after the previous week being quiet, this week has been manic again! With staff and volunteers this week we have really struggled to attend as many calls as we would like to. The flash flooding and torrential downpours have washed a few hedgehogs out of their nests. The colder temperatures are affecting young birds which are now trying to cope for themselves without parents too. So we are seeing numerous casualties coming in as we change into Autumn weather. This is a natural event and one which we see every year.

We have had another mum and baby hedgehogs come into care from Eastbourne after their nest was destroyed during some landscape work. The mum and babies were taken straight to Kathy in Uckfield to her Maternity Shed where they were bedded down. We have to be so careful about disturbance as mums will often kill their young if disturbed too much. We were very worried as this family had clearly been through a lot already, and we were delighted when mum accepted them back and they started suckling. They are growing really well and mum is looking after them.

We also have had two hedgehogs in caught in netting. They have both been young and luckily not severely injured. One was from Eastbourne the, other from Quarry Lane in Seaford.

Duck with plastic ring round beak (1)

Duck with plastic ring round beak

Other calls this week have included an injured gull in Willingdon; an emaciated sparrowhawk in Isfield; an injured Robin in Eastbourne; injured pigeons in Ringmer, East Hoathly and Seaford; plus a lethargic swan at Princes Park which was luckily fit and healthy. We have managed to get out for release a vole and sparrow at Heathfield. Two gulls have been returned to Eastbourne for release. You may remember the duck which had its head stuck in a wall at the Pells Pond Lewes, he was finally released this week after taking a long time to heal. Four hedgehogs have gone out for release too. Two pigeons have been returned to Bexhill, as well as two in Eastbourne. Our hand reared Jackdaws have moved to our outdoor pen in Burgess Hill, two magpies have been released via one of our pens in Uckfield as well as some wood pigeons.

We have now got approval from Natural England to catch the cygnets at Decoy Pond Hampden Park Eastbourne next year to look at assessing them and treating them to hopefully avoid losing any next year and hopefully keeping them with their parents too. The ones we rescued a few weeks ago are doing well, and now growing strong up at the Swan Sanctuary.

We did have a call to the Decoy Pond last week after a duck was found with a plastic bottle top ring round its beak. The duck would not let us get close enough to catch unfortunately. We returned to the pond the following day but could find the duck.

I would like to apologise to Seahaven Bird Rescue for not mentioning them in last week’s column after their help and support in dealing with the pigeon rescue in Brighton. I would also like to thank them for attending and dealing with an injured gull found on Seaford Beach. We already had numerous rescues waiting so we were relieved that they were able to attend.

Duck with plastic ring round beak (2)

Duck with plastic ring round beak

About Trevor Weeks

Trevor Weeks MBE Operations Director for East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) Trevor started undertaking wildlife rescue and conservation work in 1985 when just 13 years old, and his life has been dedicated to the care of wildlife ever since. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue was established as a voluntary group in 1996 and became a registered charity in 2005. WRAS now has four veterinary ambulances and a Casualty Care Centre on the A22 between Hailsham and Uckfield capable of looking after up to 200 casualties at a time. The charity is primarily run by volunteers and relies of donations to fund its award winning life saving service.