Latest News Friends of WildlifeClick here to find out more about the Swan Trust Friends of Wildlife scheme.  "Swan Notes" News items written by Trust members and volunteers and usually appearing in the “Berwick Advertiser" newspaper each  week. Unfortunately, sister newspaper the “Berwickshire News” are no longer following suit. For those unable to read these items, and  those living outside the Berwick area, here are the last few editions.. 14th November 2019 The season has most definitely turned now, the migrants having flown and the animals that remain bedding down for the winter. This autumn I’ve tried to give the garden wildlife a helping hand, not cutting back dead perennials and allowing the falling leaves to pile  together on the soil. Our local tree sparrows certainly seem to enjoy picking the insects off the shrubs, and I often see the dunnock in  the borders turning the leaf litter over. Things are settling down for the winter routine at the trust too. Outside, of the 12  hedgehogs currently in Hotchi Mews, four are sleeping right through and not eating.  Soon, instead of fresh pet food they’ll have a dry biscuit mix in case they wake up from  hibernation for a snack. They still get checked every day, but the food does not have to  be changed so much. Jim has been very busy over recent weeks building runs out of ‘two by two’ and chicken  wire for 10 new hutches in Hotchi Mews, our outdoor hedgehog accommodation. That’s  a whole new street for our hoggy housing estate, but we’re not talking urban sprawl  here; these are executive-style detached homes, each with a cosy straw-filled bedroom  and separate newspaper-lined dining area. And now each run – or garden, I suppose –  comes with wall-to-wall artificial grass, so that the more outgoing hogs can do their  business outside and their ‘staff’ can clean up more easily. Indoors, the hogs in the recovery room who aren’t at hibernation weight or in need of  treatment stay awake all winter, kept warm where necessary by electric heat pads.  These are the hogs we invite people to sponsor, to cover the costs of food and any  medical treatment it may need.   For a donation of £30, the sponsor gets to name the hog and receives a photo and a little background on what is known about him or  her, for instance what weight they were when admitted to the trust and where they were found. The following spring, an update of the  hog’s progress is sent out, so the sponsor can see at first hand how their donation has helped. For more information on sponsoring a  hedgehog, phone the trust on 01289 302882 – or come along to our Christmas Fair on Saturday 23 November at the Baptist Church Hall  on Golden Square. Elfrieda Waren 7th November 2019 I have not been so well recently so have not been down to the Rollo Centre. When I went in on Monday there have been a few additions  as well as a few releases. The last of the hedgehogs fit for release have gone out. It is now too late in the year for any more to go. Twelve of our little huts outside  are occupied, and we have twenty one hogs indoors. Some of these are very small, only two the three hundred grammes. This means  our winter is going to be busier than usual. We can still expect to see the odd hoglet brought in over the next couple of weeks. These  lovely little creatures take a lot of time to care for and are very smelly especially first thing in the morning when the door has been  closed all night.  Please can we ask for donations of dried hedgehog food, peanuts and dried mealworms and clean newspapers to help these hogs through the winter. I was pleased to find that the Tawny Owl with a head trauma is much recovered. It is flying  round the aviary and lands on the perches successfully. It really needs to be moved to the  big aviary for more flying space but that is occupied by the Buzzard and this bird will be  with us for some time as it has to grow half a wing of feathers! The Cygnets are all getting on very well together now. These birds will also be with us right through the winter. Everyone was busy also preparing for the Christmas Fair at the end of the month. Thank  you to everyone that has brought in raffle and tombola prizes. For this we also need  Christmas gift bags of any type (except the very large ones). We are holding the Fair at  Berwick Baptist Church Hall on Saturday 23rd. November 10.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone  welcome so please come along and show your support. There are lots of stalls and a cup of  tea or coffee and a mince pie. Look out for the piper, Brenda, who will be playing at the  Golden Square entrance to the hall. Many thanks to Brenda too. I shall be sorting out all the new hogs that are suitable for sponsoring in the next weeks,  so if you don’t know what to buy the person who has everything, why not sponsor a  hedgehog for them. Please keep your donations of loaf dog food coming as with all these hungry little hogs we need about 100 cans a week. More news next week. Pat Goff 31st October 2019 Doing my autumn garden tidy up recently, I got a shock when I nearly put my spade through a slumbering toad which had taken refuge  under some stones I’d moved. He was lucky I missed him, but it reminded me to take more care, and leave some unkempt areas for  hibernating wildlife.  The toad isn’t the only one trying to find a safe place to settle down for the winter; hedgehogs are now looking for a snug pile of logs,  leaves and long grass to wind down in over the cold months. In many ways, autumn is one of the most dangerous times of year for them; garden  tidy ups, cutting back of shrubs and grass and burning dead vegetation all spell  danger for sleeping hogs. And then there’s bonfire night. In all the fun of collecting the pile of wood for the  Guy Fawkes’ Night bonfire, it’s easy to forget that a woodpile is also the perfect  refuge for hibernating hedgehogs, especially if it’s been sitting there a few days. The  British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) advises that if possible the whole  woodpile should be re-sited before lighting. If this isn’t possible, then using broom  handles, lift from the base of the pile, shine torches, and look and listen carefully for  any sounds or movement. And if you uncover a hedgehog in your garden, do you bring it into the Swan Trust as  a ‘rescue’ or not? The BHPS has recently teamed up with the British Wildlife  Rehabilitation Council, the RSPCA and Vale Wildlife Hospital to produce a guide which  aims to reduce the numbers of hedgehogs needlessly removed from their natural  habitat by well-meaning wildlife lovers.  From October to February, it’s recommended that hogs weighing less than 450g  should be taken in to a rescue centre. Rescue at 500g or over, they say, is  unnecessary based on weight alone at any time of the year, and if the hog is more  than 600g, rescue based on weight alone becomes counterproductive, mainly because of the stress caused to the animal. But if a  hedgehog is out during the day or appears ill or injured in any way it should be brought in for treatment and care regardless of weight. If you find a hedgehog and are in any doubt about what to do, please contact us on 01289 302882. Elfrieda Waren