Trevor examines the gull from Lewes

Trevor examines the gull from Lewes

Due to illness last Thursday the only rescuers we had available were Chris and I and later joined by Jen for the evening shift. To give you an idea of what our day consisted of and what rescuers are faced with on a daily basis here is a diary of that day.

The first call of the morning started quite late, at 8am. A Gull chick had off roof in Eastbourne; rescuers attended and took to Bird Aid. Whilst on his way into the centre Chris received a call at 8:40am about an injured fox in Eastbourne. Chris diverted to the scene, but after approaching the fox it ran off and the callers were advised to keep an eye out for it.

At the centre Trevor is going round checking new casualties from the night before, and checking email enquiries. 9:00am and Sussex Plants call about a cat attacked Moorhen at their nursery at Hellingly. Chris and I attended on site only to find the bird had disappeared, we spent a while searching round the pond and field but could not find the bird anywhere. We were then called to a woodpecker at Waldron which had struck a window and was being attacked by crows. He was collected and loaded onto our Ambulance. Our next call was to a fledgling blackbird in a garden in Hawthorne Close Heathfield, the bird was found but was clearly a fledgling and as we approached it flew across the garden and away.

As we returned to the centre the phone rang again and workers at Cross-in-Hand had found a nest of wrens on the floor. We finished off seeing to the woodpecker and answering several other calls on the rescue line, then jumped into the ambulance and drove up to see the wrens. No time to stop for lunch so straight back on the road again. It took about 20 minutes to get to Cross in Hand and to find the location, but sadly they were all dead when the box was brought out to us. It was gone 1pm by the time we got to Cross-in-hand and we had received calls to two baby swallows fallen from a nest in Netherfield, and calls to casualties in Herstmonceux and Hellingly. We rushed straight across to Netherfield and using ladders off the ambulance we were able to get the two baby swallows back into their nest above a light fitting in a barn.

Extra Fox at Lewes Castle

Extra Fox at Lewes Castle

After loading the ladders back on the ambulance it was about 2.30pm. We drove down to Herstmonceux to a young injured wood pigeon which had been left safely for us to collect. The next call was also in Herstmonceux and was a young sparrow which had hit a window and was also very concussed. The pigeon and sparrow were given first aid and put into carriers and loaded into the ambulance.

It was now gone 3.30pm but we couldn’t head back to the Casualty Centre just yet as the Moorhen at Hellingly had been found again. A long handled net was used to catch the moorhen which was clearly not well. After treatment on site, we rushed back to the Casualty Centre.

We couldn’t stop as we had received a call from Lewes Castle about a fox on the Castle Roof. Members of the public contacted staff at the Castle concerned the fox couldn’t get down or was getting too hot or was frightened to come off the roof because of the public visiting the Castle.

After booking our casualties in and leaving some with Lindsay and Emily at the Casualty Centre and drove across to Lewes. Staff at the Castle took us up to the Keep where we could look down and see the fox asleep on the roof. I climbed onto the embankment of the castle and onto the wall; the fox quickly got up and ran across the roof and to safety. It was clear the fox was in good condition and not injured at all.

From there we drove up to Uckfield with the two young wood pigeons for Kathy to take on at home to give them one on one care. We then had a call about a nestling fallen from a nest in Uckfield, so attended that next. Using ladders we were able to get this almost ready to fledge blackbird back to its nest without disturbing its parents.

Trevor returns swallows to their nest

Trevor returns swallows to their nest

It was now getting on for 6pm, and we had an emergency call to a badly injured gull outside Lewes Police Station and a baby bird and parents flying round inside a house in Hailsham. We rushed down to Lewes and found the gull inside the car park to Lewes Ambulance Station. The poor bird was very poorly and taken straight back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre for further treatment.

When we got back to the Casualty Centre rescuer Jen jumped on board the ambulance to continue with Chris and I finished off various paperwork and e-mails before heading home at 7pm.

The evening saw Jen and Chris dealing with the bird in the house in Hailsham, 8pm a hedgehog in Bexhill that was out during the day and found by a dog which turned out to be pregnant and has since given birth at the Casualty Centre. 11pm a baby bird brought in by a cat in Westham.

We’ve not included all the advice calls and calls from outside our area which have been answered whilst on the road and a few casualties which people delivered direct to us after ring the rescue line. Chris eventually returned home at 12:30am.


Trevor Weeks MBE

Founder & Operations Director

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS)

Reg Charity 1108880

Reg Address: 8 Stour Close, Stone Cross, BN24 5QU

Hospital Address: Unit 8 The Shaw Barn, Whitesmith, Lewes, BN8 6JD

24hr Rescue Line: 07815-078234

Private Mobile: 07931-523958

An award winning community charity.

IFAW Animal Action Award Winners 2010

ITV1 British Animal Honours Awards Local Charity of the Year 2013

BBC Radio Sussex & Surrey Community Heroes Award for Animal Welfare 2012