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.. 22nd March 2018 Just when we were beginning to think about the warmer weather and looking forward to longer days, ‘The Beast from the East’ caused  major disruption across the country, and then just last weekend, a ‘minibeast’ blew in for a brief encore.  During the worst of the snow and biting winds, work at the Rollo Centre still had to  go on. Someone needed to be at the trust for the animals’ evening feed, and to  ensure the mealtime and cleaning routine was carried out the next day. Jackie  couldn’t get home for two days because all bus services were suspended but  fortunately she was able to stay in Berwick for a couple of nights. Some volunteers  were unable to make it in because they were snowed up in outlying areas, but  those that could get to the Rollo Centre managed to keep going with the essential  work. Most of the hedgehogs in Hotchi Mews, the outdoor hutches, slept right through  the snow and sub-zero temperatures, deep in their winter hibernation. But as usual there was one that bucked the trend; Kay said the little guy in Charlie’s Bothy  resolutely awoke every single night, even in the most bitter weather, ate all the  wet food in his bowl, then tucked himself back into his straw bed again.  It was obvious from the local news reports that coastal wildlife had suffered a  battering from the extreme cold and driving winds, with both seabirds and marine  life being washed up on beaches up and down the North East coast. At the trust,  two exhausted guillemots were brought in, and the following week a young fulmar  was also rescued. The pond was frozen solid for a full week so the swans had been grounded, but finally there was enough of a thaw to allow them back on the water. Kay broke the last covering of ice with a broom and Jackie herded them into the enclosure. What happened next (as they say  on social media) was amazing.   One of the two muscovies was quietly rinsing a piece of lettuce at the edge of the pond before eating, then suddenly about 10 large  cygnets barged him out of the way to launch themselves in the water, whereupon they whipped up a storm of frenzied flapping back and  forth creating waves and foam and splashing. I’ve posted a 45 second video clip on the trust’s YouTube channel for you to see the  commotion – and the swans’ obvious euphoria - on  The cold has forced our garden birds to be more brazen than usual in the quest for food. For the last couple of Wednesdays while I’ve  been cutting up bread and adding mealworms to the swans’ food buckets, a female blackbird has flown in to watch me at work. Then  when she thinks no-one’s looking, she swoops down and gobbles as many mealworms as she dares before flying off again. I think the  volunteers aren’t the only ones looking forward to spring. Elfrieda Waren 15th March 2018 I really must thank all our volunteers who made heroic efforts to get in to help out in the recent blizzards. I was on holiday and missed  all of this last spell of bad weather, although if I had been here our lane was impassable for a while due to the drifting snow. Jackie and Kay held the fort, although they had to move some of the birds around into different pens to keep them out of the worst of  the weather. The swans were not allowed into the big pond pen as the pond was  frozen over. Once the pond thawed they were allowed back and they went crazy on  the water splashing about. Jackie has put Elfie’s video of them first being allowed  back in on our Facebook page, do look at it if you can.  This week despite the cold and snow we had two hedgehogs brought in. The first one  refused to eat although it was drinking and despite being given our "First Aid"  treatment did not survive. The second one although very small (350grams) was  eating. It has also been given "First Aid" and when I weighed it today (Sunday) it was  up to 410 grams, so if all keeps going well this one should survive.  Some of our hedgehogs are beginning to wake up. Four of the seven in the big room  have woken up and are eating again. The outside hogs are still mainly asleep,  although the odd one will eat one night and then return to sleep. The ones in the  warm rooms are now well up to weight and some are on small meals so they do not  become too overweight.  A Blackbird that has been with us for a few weeks after a cat attack has made a very  good recovery and has gone out into a small aviary to build up his strength before  release. Another cat attack was on a Goldfinch. This beautiful little bird is being moved  to an aviary to check that it can fly well. Then it too can be released.  I must thank Ali who saw a photo Jackie put on Facebook showing our very worn out office chair and asked if anyone had one they did  not use. Within half an hour of Jackie putting the request on line Ali phoned and delivered a beautiful new black office chair. Many thanks  Ali  Special thanks also to Mrs. Gardener who has been altering bath towels that have been donated and also made us some lovely heat pad  covers from donated fleeces so much easier for us than wrapping fleece round them. They are very well made and so useful.  Last week we heard of the sudden death of Linda Charlton of Chester-Le-Street. Linda was very knowledgeable about all the swans in her area. She often brought up orphan Cygnets for us to rear and was a very caring and kind person. She will be greatly missed. Pat Goff 8th March 2018 Last time I wrote I said I would tell you about the swans we have in the pond pens, so here goes- We have 6 last year’s Cygnets who have been with us since they were tiny. We also have two Swans from last years admissions. One  from Pier beach is now doing well and has bonded nicely with the Cygnets so they can be released together later in the spring. The other  swan from Riverside called Harry has ‘pink feather’ so he will have to stay with us until he moults and gets nice new feathers.  So far this year we have taken in one Swan and one Cygnet from the local area, and four Cygnets via R.S.P.C.A. and other rescue  centres. ‘Pink Face’ came to us via R.S.P.C.A. His was a very sad case. He had a sibling and lived on a  pond with his parents. The parents turned on the youngsters to drive them off the pond. One  got away and was found uninjured in a field. He was taken to a safe site. This poor bird got  trapped under a tree root at the edge of thee pond and was unable move. His dad then tried to drown him. The only way he could be freed was to send for a man in a wet suit who carefully  waited for the cob to move away. The R.S.P.C.A. inspector thought the cob was quite happy as  he thought the man in the wet suit was drowning the cygnet and was happy to let him carry  on. He was very traumatised and bruised when he came but is slowly improving. The only  thing is that instead of having black markings on his face his are pink. I've taken a photo so  the difference can be seen. The Cygnet I wrote about a few weeks ago that landed badly in a car park and put a groove in  it’s beak is improving and has also integrated with the other Cygnets so can be released with  them.  Orange ring is now set to go after he was found by the side of the road lame and very thin, a dead adult Swan was found nearby. He has now put on weight and is a very handsome bird. One other arrived from Killingworth Lake after being attacked by a dog. He is very sore and is currently on painkillers and should make a  good recovery now, although he is on his own in an undercover pen as he has difficulty walking. One of the local Swans was brought in by Graeme, he is very lame and has been on pain killers which seems to help. He is making a slow  recovery. Anothe local bird brought in from Billylaw in the snow in January. He seems to be improving although time is young yet.  So not only are we full of hedgehogs, we are full of Swans and Cygnets too. Hopefully if the weather is warm enough in March we can  release many of them.  Next time I will give you some dates for your diary.  Pat Goff