Latest News Please consider adding your name to a petition against the sale and use in UK of the A24 trap used to kill hedgehogs in New Zealand. Intended as a rat or stoat trap in UK it may also kill hedgehogs. Visit petition site. ******************************* We now have a YouTube channel with a number of new videos taken by Elfrieda Waren, including a new one of swans released on to the pond iced up during the “Beast from the East”.   Look on our Photos/Video Page. ******************************* "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.. 19th April 2018 We have a busy week coming up as we are able at last to do some releasing. We have two groups one of six and one of seven being released today (Monday). Although all the assorted birds are on our one large  pond they have separated themselves into groups so we shall release them in two groups. We would not be able to take so many in one  car anyway. We also have contacted the people who brought in hedgehogs last year that are now  ready for release. The process will take several weeks to complete as a few hogs are  still sleeping.  We have had brought in two hedgehogs that were in trouble after waking. One has  sadly died but the other is picking up and should be able to return to where it was  found next week. Whilst we are trying to clear the swans and hedgehogs that have been with us over  the winter we are beginning to get in young from this year. The David Rollo Centre is  full to bursting.  Last week we took in a swan that was in difficulty. It was probably an older bird that  had suffered in the long winter. It was covered in feather lice so had to have a good  spray to kill them off. The bird was weak when Kay brought it in but is eating well and  recovering. The gentleman that reported the swan was very surprised when Kay  turned up with a hook and a swan bag. He thought there should be a couple of men  and specialist equipment. The same thing happened on Sunday when we had a report of a sick swan in the middle of a rape field. I offered to go with Kay. Neither  of us can walk on uneven ground very well but there was no-one else able to go. When we got to the field it was huge. There was a  group of about thirty swans half way across the field but one lone swan about half a mile past this group. Fortunately it was a nice warm  day (did I really say that they are so rare) and the ‘tram lines’ in the field were dry and fairly smooth. As we trudged towards the large  group of swans they all took off circled round and landed down on the river. We walked on past the single bird and came up behind it. It  suddenly realised we were closing in and took off. It was fine just enjoying a little stay in the field. We were both impressed how we had  managed to walk so far across the field. We have also taken in a young Tawny Owl found well away from trees so it could not be put back for the parents to find it. It is feeding  well and the photo this week shows him having just eaten a mouse but still with the tail hanging out of its beak. Hopefully when we start the releasing we will have time for our annual spring clean but whenever we set a date it pours with rain so I  think we will hang fire for a week or two.  Pat Goff 12th April 2018 I had been getting a bit concerned about Milligan, the hedgehog who couldn’t be released back into the wild because of a lung condition  and came to live out the rest of his hoggy days in our enclosed garden. Most of the 15 or so hogs at the trust residing in Hotchi Mews,  the outdoor area, had roused from hibernation and were extending the volunteers’ morning cleaning and feeding routine by at least an  hour, but still no sign of Milligan. Kay reassured me a bit by telling me they can emerge as late as the beginning of May, so I’d decided to  give him another month before opening his box and perhaps finding he was never going to wake. I needn’t have worried; the very next evening after talking to Kay I saw the familiar Milligan bottom squeezed into the doorway of his  feeding station, and I immediately cracked open a tin of his favourite meaty dog  loaf. His eyes were still half closed – maybe the light was too much after three  months asleep – but his extremely good sense of smell was on high alert, and he  was soon tucking in to his first square meal of 2018.  Although he did look a little more svelte than before hibernation, he still weighed  a robust 1.2kg, so over the course of the winter I think he’d lost about a quarter  of his body weight. He’s cleaned his bowl every night since waking up, so I guess  it won’t be too long before he needs to go on a diet, as hogs are prone to  overweight. Back at the trust, the hedgehogs in the warmth of the recovery room have been  awake all winter, building up their strength for release in the next few weeks.  They may have been admitted last autumn because they were underweight and  unable to survive hibernation, but now about half a dozen of them have the sign  “OW: small meals only” on the front of their cage (‘OW’ denoting ‘overweight’). To  us humans they do look cute when they’re a bit chubby, but it won’t do them any  good when they have to fend for themselves as wild animals again. Many of the hogs were sponsored by kind supporters, who gave them names and  received a card with a photo of their hog plus some information as to why it was  with the trust. Pat has been busy compiling the ‘follow-up’ card for sponsors, with  a new photo and news about the hog’s progress. The trust has had more hogs this winter than ever before in the 25 years since its  foundation. That could be because hedgehogs are finding it increasingly difficult to find the food they need in the wild. Or perhaps people  are simply more aware that when they see a hog out in daylight, it’s probably in distress and needs help. Whatever the reasons, this  spring around 40 hedgehogs that wouldn’t have made it through the winter will hopefully be busy producing new hog families. Elfrieda Waren 5th April 2018 We were very pleased that we managed to get the hogs moved into the new hutches last Monday before the rain started on Tuesday. It is a horrible job to do in the rain. The trouble is that now there are so many outside, it takes so much longer just to feed and clean them  on a daily basis. I am currently doing the updates for the sponsored hogs now that they are waking up so I must also thank all those who have  sponsored, as it has certainly helped us to cover the cost of food and heating as well as laundry. We have two loads of washing being  done every day still, even though half the hogs are outside and having straw beds. Our two Muscovy ducks went off to their new home last week and we are still  hoping if the river is not too high to get the swans and cygnets out this week. This  will give us time to re-turf the two pond pens before all the babies start coming in.  Our small pond is in need of repair which is likely to be quite expensive so we may  have to make alterations to reduce the costs. The pond is deeper than we need it  and we could do with it being a bit wider but the cheapest option will have to do I  think.  We are trying to have a bit of a spring clean too. We usually set a weekend date  and ask volunteers to come to help if they can. The problem is as soon as we set a  date it turns out to be the wettest weekend possible and we can’t get all the work  done we wanted to outside. The new aviary which will be called the Longridge Aviary is now completed and is  looking very fine. We often need an aviary for small birds so that they have room  to fly to build up strength. The wire is very small mesh so  the aviary will be  suitable for anything from a Goldcrest to a pigeon. Providing there are no small  birds using it we could also use it for Kestrels and Owls. We are able to have water  in the bottom so it could also be used by small water birds. It will be very useful indeed. Our thanks go to Longridge Junior pupils who  raised the money for the materials. We hope as many pupils as possible will come to our Open Day to see the official opening on 26th  May. We were donated a kitchen with sinks and cupboards, worktops etc. which we are hoping to put in the recovery room. The cupboards we  have are very old so hopefully we can have a nice clean looking room. The trouble is we are all dreading the upheaval so we are hoping  to fit the work in after the hedgehogs go out and before babies come in. Practically impossible but it will be a stressful time space is  becoming tight at the Rollo Centre now. Pat Goff