Latest News "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.. 21st May 2020 As communities begin to take the first steps back to normal – or the ‘new normal’ as it’s being called – like many other organisations,  the Swan Trust has had to make some difficult decisions and adapt where it can. The rescue, treatment, recovery and release of wild animals has continued, with  14 or so hedgehogs still awaiting warmer weather for their freedom, two injured  swans recuperating well in the pool enclosure, and the two young crows looking  shinier and more resplendent every day. Pat is having to stay at home, but is looking after a couple of rescues, including a  leveret, while dealing with calls from members of the public needing help or  advice.   Other volunteers are also having to stay away because they could be at greater  risk from Covid19, but some who feel the risk is not so high for them are still  doing what they can to help Kay and Jackie keep the day-to-day tasks running  smoothly. For me, my Wednesday morning shift of cleaning and feeding the hedgehogs,  replenishing the crows’ food and water bowls and scrubbing down Errol the tawny owl’s aviary offers a kind of focus in these chaotic times. No matter what  happens, Errol still needs to have the leftovers from the previous night’s meal  collected up and some fresh water to bathe in. That short time with Errol and the  other animals soothes away (temporarily at least) all the anxieties of the current  human crisis.  If things were ‘normal’, we’d probably have already had our first open day of the year, where our supporters could look round the Rollo  Centre, see the animals in our care and learn how they can play their part in ensuring wildlife continues to thrive in Berwick and the  surrounding area. The events are also a great opportunity for volunteers to meet people who may not be able to give their time to the  trust but support its work in other ways and share the same concern for the welfare of wild animals. But with the current restrictions around the Covid19 pandemic it’s impossible to make plans. The trust relies entirely on donations from  the public and events such as the open days are one of the main ways we raise awareness and vital funds for the trust’s work. Hopefully  it’s not too long before we can welcome people again. Elfrieda Waren 14th May 2020 Although I am still in lock-down I am hearing news from the Rollo Centre.  The overwintering hedgehogs are still gradually being released. I know there was some relief when we had a little rain. It can be hard for hedgehogs to find food when the weather is dry and hot. I don’t normally expect to complain about heat and dry conditions at this time  of year but it did hold us back from releasing a few of the hogs. Now we have very few left although I must say there are more arriving.  Those that did not come out of hibernation well and a few dehydrated ones are now being treated. We also have one with a urine  infection, and one with ringworm, after antibiotics from the Vet these will recover.  There are also a couple of ducklings that were saved from crows when mother duck tried to take her brood to the river The swan with lead poisoning is now moving a little better and eating more. We  also have a swan with a limp due to a swollen foot. This swan has been kept in the small pond as it has to be caught up each day for medication. Then it is hoped to  put the two together on the big pond. They do so much better when they are not  alone. The leveret I have in lock-down with me is doing very well. If you can remember  the picture of him from a couple of weeks ago he is now over double the weight. I  think another week or so will see him down in the Lomax aviary away from human  contact. In this time of global crisis we have been trying to continue to work helping  wildlife and to make sure that all our volunteers are still being kept safe. We have  been altering the way we work to make things easier for everyone yet keep  everyone safe. From this week we are using phone transfer so that we can advise  anyone finding wildlife casualties how to proceed. If an animal or bird is injured  you will probably be advised to take it to a Vet first. If it appears uninjured but needs help you will be able to bring it to us. The public  are not allowed at the moment inside the Rollo Centre but we can, using social distancing receive an animal at the gate. At least using  this system you will get advice and a person to speak to about the problem. Very often at this time of year we get a lot of young birds  and animals that have just got lost. They may not need to come in to us just help finding their family. Sometimes just reassurance is all  that is required.   I must say a huge thank you for all the people that have dropped off food for wildlife in the box outside the Rollo Centre. This is a big  help to us to keep us going till we can start fundraising events again. Pat Goff 7th May 2020 What better way to celebrate Hedgehog Awareness Week than talk about hedgehogs? And one hedgehog in particular, pale gold in colour, that has come to live in my garden after overwintering at the Rollo Centre.  I’ve called him Rebus, because I’m reading all the Ian Rankin books in order, and of course because he’s a prickly character. Also like  John Rebus, he’s feeling his age and has trouble with his teeth. He came into the trust at the beginning of December, his face swollen from  an abscess under his chin. The vet treated him, and soon he was enjoying  his meaty pet food, although without the mealworm garnish; perhaps they  were too crunchy for his tender mouth.   While the other 60 or so hedgehogs are steadily being released back into the wild, Rebus’ teeth are so bad there’s a chance he may develop another  abscess. So he’s now a permanent resident in my completely enclosed  garden, with a fresh bowl of meaty petfood every day, a comfy hutch and  plenty of shrubs and borders to explore at night. Rebus is – like most hogs – a creature of habit. Nearly every evening, at  9.17pm precisely, there is a rustling as he pushes his way out of the straw  and leaves he sealed up the hutch entrance with the day before. He  emerges, sniffs the air, gives himself a shake and makes straight for the  feeding station. After supper, it’s off into the undergrowth for his  constitutional. All I need to do is keep an eye on his chin for signs of  swelling, or if he goes off his food; from his empty bowl every morning, I  can safely say that so far he’s in rude health. This week (May 3 – 9) the British Hedgehog Preservation Society is  highlighting many ways in which people can keep hedgehogs safe in their  gardens. Here are just a few: Create a log pile that will offer shelter and food Check areas carefully before mowing or strimming  Ensure netting is kept at a safe height Check compost heaps before digging the fork in Stop or reduce the amount of pesticides and poisons used Cover drains or deep holes Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools Leave a bowl of water and meaty pet food in a hedgehog-friendly feeding station There’s lots more advice on making your garden hedgehog friendly at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk Elfrieda Waren