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.. 5th December 2019 It’s funny how easily I’ve slipped into a routine doing my Wednesday morning volunteering stint with the trust.  On arrival at the Rollo Centre it’s ‘poop scooping’ round the big pool in advance of it being hosed down and collecting in the four cygnets’  food buckets for washing and refilling. Next it’s preparing the two crows’ lunch of bread, grain, mealworms and chunky pet food and  replenishing their water bowl. Then it’s checking the 16 outdoor hedgehogs to see whether they’ve been up and about during the night  and need their dry food topped up. Finally (if I’m not needed indoors where new volunteer Margaret is working her way through  the umpteen hogs that are being fed over winter) there’s Errol, our ‘mascot’ tawny owl. Errol is the trust’s one permanent resident; although he looks completely recovered on the  outside, he would not be able to survive in the wild because his head injuries left him without  the tawny feistiness needed to hunt prey. While other injured tawnies recover and grow restless to be free, Errol seems content to watch the goings-on of the trust volunteers from his own  custom-built aviary.  Last week Jackie and I were on our way to the pool enclosure when I noticed Errol was sitting  on top of his hollowed tree stump instead of his usual perch for that time of the morning.   “When he’s moved from the top of his box like that it usually means it’s dirty and he wants it  cleaned,” said Jackie. So the job of servicing Errol’s aviary instantly shot to top priority, and I  went to fetch the stepladders so I could see what needed doing on the box roof. While indoors I ran through the list of items I now think of as the ‘Errol Cleaning Kit’. First: a  couple of sheets of newspaper to collect up the assorted uneaten body parts from his overnight  meal, plus any pellets. Second: a scraper to remove any dried on matted bits from aforementioned repast. Third: a bucket of warm  lightly disinfected water and Errol’s personal scrubbing brush and fourth: a piece of toweling to dry everything off.  Once I’d scrubbed the box, I moved on to clean the hollowed log where he was sitting. I thought he’d fly off but he didn’t budge. He just  stared down at me as if to say: “You’ve missed a bit.” Elfrieda Waren 28th November 2019 When working with wildlife we seem to stumble from one crisis to another. A few months ago we were worrying that we had not got  enough aviaries for all the young birds coming in. We somehow managed and now we only have a Buzzard, a Tawny Owl which will be  released later this week, two Crows, and four Cygnets, and of course Errol, so we have no problem with bird housing now, but we do  have 45 hedgehogs that are taking up a lot of space. We have a huge problem with hedgehog cages. When small hogs come in they may need heat pads and these hogs are housed in plastic cages that are used mainly for Guinea Pigs. Heat pads fit easily in these cages. Jackie put an appeal on Facebook. The hedgehogs coming in have all been small and needed heat pads and plastic cages, so we had to get  more. We were very surprised to find that within just a few days £330.00 had been  raised from which we bought one cage and a very kind lady went and bought the last  two available from the garden centre. Three very kind people brought in smaller cages that will be very useful for when the  really tiny babies come in the spring. Many thanks to all who helped and donated. We  really do appreciate it.  Back to the Hog story. Once the hogs are up to 500 grams we move them to the  Towers which are lovely cages that are easy to clean and take up much less space  than the plastic cages as they stack up three cages high. We have twelve cages in a  tower block three cages high four cages wide.  In the space that these cages take we  only had five cages before so it does mean we can accommodate more hogs. As soon  as the hogs that are in the plastic cages are big enough we then need more tower  space. At the moment we have the plastic cages on every flat surface we can find so  it will be good to be able to move them into the easy clean space saving towers. Each  set of three cages costs £480 and we shall use the money left from the appeal to go  towards at least two of these possibly even three.  We raised the great sum of £1,096 at our Christmas Fair and our raffle is still bringing  in money from ticket sales. We still have a few tickets left which can be bought at ‘Baby Steps’ shop or from the Rollo Centre. So we may  be able to use some of this money for towers. I think everyone had a great time at the Christmas Fair despite it being such a wet and miserable day. The Wine or Water table soon sold out and the Tombola was very busy. Elfie’s beautiful glass ornaments were a great hit, as were the hand made cards, wreathes and  brooches. Quite a few visitors sponsored one of our hedgehogs. This helps to feed and clean them through the winter months. Thanks to  everyone who helped at the Fair and who has kindly supported us. Pat Goff   21st November 2019 It has been all hands to the pumps this week getting ready for the Christmas Fair on Saturday. We start at 10.30 a.m. and close at 2  p.m. We are at the Berwick Baptist Church Hall on Golden Square. Look out for our Piper Brenda who will be playing at the end of the  lane. We have lots to see and do at our Fair. Try your luck on the Wine or Water stall or the Tombola. We have some lovely sales items and  craft items which will make lovely Christmas presents, or for the person who has everything why not  sponsor a hedgehog. One of our nearly forty hedgehogs will be there. There will be tea or coffee and  a mince pie too. Thanks to Jackie for getting everything organised while I have been off.  Meanwhile the work at the Rollo Centre goes on. We have had a Grebe brought in when it was found wandering outside Aldi. It is a juvenile bird and does not seem to be injured. It has very unusual  feet not webbed but each toe is flanged all round to help it swim. We kept it indoors for a few days  but it has now been put outside so that it can keep itself cleaner. We shall then have to look for a  release site if it goes on OK. It is eating very well so we are hopeful.   Another bird brought in is a female Eider. She has a wing problem but it does not seem to be broken.  She may just need a little time. She was kept indoors for the first night but the mess and the smell  the following morning meant she needed to be outside in one of the small aviaries. We will give her a little time to see how she goes. Yet another unusual bird was brought in this morning. A Woodcock. These beautiful birds, once shot  just for the feathers which were used to adorn hats, are rarely seen now. This one is holding one  wing very low and there is a swelling underneath. We will send it to the Vet tomorrow for an X ray to  see exactly what is going on. We are still moving hedgehogs around as they get bigger but the tiny ones are still coming in. One at 215 grams today came in just a  few days ago under 200 grams. How they are surviving is a mystery Once again I must thank everyone who kindly donate food for all  these little animals.  The Tawny Owl will have to stay a little while longer as the weather has been so wet and windy as well as cold. He is quite happy where  he is at the moment.  The four Cygnets are all very well. It doesn’t seem to matter to these birds what the weather is. They stay on the water when the  heavens are opening and with a quick shake of their feathers they are dry. Wish I could dry that quick.  Hope to see you all on Saturday. Pat Goff