Latest News We now have a YouTube channel with a number of new videos taken by Elfrieda Waren. 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.. 14th December 2017 Are you all ready for Christmas? At the trust, we’re busily preparing for the festive period to ensure the animals in our care continue  being well looked after while we volunteers enjoy time with our friends and families.  A rota has been drawn up to cover the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day shifts,  and routine jobs that can be done in advance of the ‘big days’ are being carried  out alongside the day-to-day work. Because the cygnets were too young to be released in the autumn, they’ll now be with us until next spring, so they and two swans (plus two Muscovy-mix ducks  and a crow) need their daily bread along with the grain, pet food, mealworms  and other things that complete their diet. One of my jobs on Wednesday mornings is to cut loaves of bread into cubes. Yes,  it’s boring, but is vitally important for the wildlife at the Rollo Centre. Some goes  into the buckets and trays of food that day, and as much again is cut for the  evening meal. Now, to help the volunteers covering Christmas and New Year’s  Day get home that bit sooner, we’re trying to amass as much cubed bread as  possible in a chest freezer. When others are sitting round their tree excitedly opening their presents, some  of our volunteers will be cleaning out, replenishing bedding and preparing food  for the 36 or so resident hedgehogs which are also going to be with us until  spring. As you can imagine, that number of hogs requires huge amounts of food  and fresh bedding, so this is my ‘Santa’s list’ of gifts we volunteers would love to  receive this Christmas…  Newspapers: We use clean newspapers every day to line the floors of cages and hutches. Now more than ever before we need you to  keep those papers coming. Hand towels: Each hog gets a freshly laundered terry towel to snuggle into on a daily basis; we could really do with any old terry hand-  sized towels readers may have – the softer the better. Tinned pet food: Some of the hogs are hibernating now, but many are too underweight to go to sleep. They need the meat flavours as  opposed to fishy, and loaf types as opposed to meaty chunks. Una, my fellow Wednesday volunteer, is a big fan of the large tins of  Butchers loaf; it’s really moist, and easily broken down with a fork into hog-sized bites. But other brands are also fine.  And all the crows and pigeons want for Christmas is… Old wallpaper: To keep the raised wooden areas of the outdoor aviaries clean, Jackie has hit on the idea of lining them with old  wallpaper, and is finding it ideal for catching all the mess that crows and pigeons can create. So any readers who have left over wallpaper rolls – as long as they’re not pre-pasted – please load them onto Santa’s sleigh for delivery to the Rollo Centre. Elfrieda Waren 7th December 2017 This week I can catch you up on the swan that Kay went off to pick up. It was found sitting in the middle of a field, near power lines. It  was quite a walk to get to it. The bird was unable to stand so she brought it in to the Rollo Centre. The swan looked a good size but we  could find nothing wrong with the bird’s legs so it went to Vets for an x-ray. Sadly the swan had broken its back and there was no hope  of a recovery so the poor swan was put to sleep. So many swans are killed when they fly into power lines and it is a sad end for these  birds.  There was a happier outcome to the bird that was brought in this week. It was a Cormorant that had been thrown about in the surf and  thrown up onto the beach at Spittal. The photograph shows the hooks and some of the  line and the weight attached which had held the birds wings to its body, and tangled with a weight round on one leg and foot. One of the hooks had entered just below an eyelid  and had gone through the birds face and beak. It was in some mess when it arrived,  covered in sand but it was very cross and tried the get the hook of its beak into us  despite its injuries. We had to anaesthetise the bird so that we could safely handle it. Once it was sleepy we could undo all the fishing line. We found another hook which had  caught the side of the birds body but it had luckily caught in the feathers and we were  able to get it free. The bird had bruises which were probably caused when it was thrown  around in the waves. We had to cut the hook through its face as it was barbed and would rip the flesh it we just tried to pull it out. We cut the hook in half and we were able then  to draw the two ends out. Luckily there was no damage to the eye and once we had  washed the blood away it looked OK. Kay gave it a long acting antibiotic. As soon as it  came round it let us know just how cross it was despite the fact we had freed it. The  next morning it was throwing itself round the cage so once we found it could walk and  use its wings Kay took it back to the slipway. It was very happy to be back on the river  and flew beautifully over the river. Hedgehogs are still coming in. We now have 34 so we have plenty left if you would like to sponsor. Today we had our Christmas Fair and we made the brilliant total of £776.00. Thank you to everyone who helped or donated or made the  lovely crafts we sold. It  was a really happy day and it was good to catch up with old friends over coffee.  Elfie will be writing for the next couple of weeks.  Pat Goff 30th November 2017 Last time I wrote I mentioned that Dick had gone off to try to catch a heron which had some sort of line wrapped round its beak. When  he arrived the lady that had found the bird earlier showed him where the bird had when she phoned. They checked along the river bank  and found the bird just a dozen yards away. They tried to get closer to it but it was aware of them and kept its distance, just out of net  reach. Dick checked him over using the binoculars and could see no line round the beak, so presumed the bird had managed to dislodge  the line for itself.  Sadly the swan that was unsteady on its legs and was showing no improvement has been put to sleep. Sometimes its the only thing that can be done. Kay has gone off today to pick up another swan grounded after hitting power lines so I  will update next time I write.  The Buzzard was successfully released last week. We also released several assorted  pigeons, wood pigeons and racers. We now have 32 hedgehogs in our care so the quiet time we were looking forward to will not arrive. We are fully occupied feeding and cleaning. We have eighteen hedgehogs in  cages indoors that have to be kept warm as they are either sick or small. Then we have  six larger ones in little runs in the big room which is not heated so that they can prepare  to hibernate. We also have eight hogs now large enough to hibernate in outside runs.  These hogs could not be released as they were not big enough before the autumn. When they are returned to the wild they need time to find their way around and find  somewhere suitable for the winter. Hopefully the ones staying with us will sleep away  the winter in their comfy little houses in Hotchi Mews.  I must thank the kind people who have sponsored a hog or brought us in food and  mealworms. We have had so many small hedgehogs in that we were running out of  cages for them but thanks to a very generous donation we were able to buy two more so that we did not have a housing crisis. Last autumn I did a day filming at the Trust for Escape to the Country. We heard last Friday that it is to be broadcast on Wednesday 29th  on BBC1 at 3pm. And although too late for this write up you should be able to catch it on BBC i- player. It does show some of what we  are doing at the Rollo Centre. Last year when the filming was done we had eighteen hedgehogs. We have had donations coming in daily too for our Christmas Fair on Saturday. Please do come and have a look round our stalls, and  have a cup of coffee and a mince pie. We are at Berwick Baptist Church Hall, Golden Square,  10.30am.-1.30pm. Do call in and see us.  We shall have a hedgehog with us for you to guess its weight. Pat Goff