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... 2nd December 2021 The photograph this week shows the devastation that Mike found on Saturday morning when he came in to feed and clean. The new  ‘Hogwards’ overwintering hedgehog shed had been completely demolished. It had been ripped apart by the storm on Friday night. Some  of the hedgehog huts that were outside were under bits of the shed but thankfully, all hedgehogs are safe and well. All our plans for the  super new shed are now in tatters as we are not sure if this will be covered by insurance. Jim has worked so hard on the shed with other volunteers helping. It took us nearly twelve months to plan, and thanks to two  lovely big donations to help, managed to get the funds to complete the job.  When the volunteers arrive and see the wreckage their first thought has always  been for Jim. He had put so many hours in getting it up and ready. All the little  huts had only just been put in. We were all so pleased to see our plans working  out. Fortunately Iain and Mandy were passing and noticed that the shed had  gone and came in to help. All the little huts were scattered round about, and  most had got wet. They together with Mike and Dick managed to get all the little  huts into the big room where they could dry out. At least these have been  saved. We also found the roof to the big room has been damaged and some of the  aviaries have doors hanging by one hinge with the windbreak material ripped  off. All of this can be sorted but the shed is not so easy to deal with.  On Saturday it was too windy to do much other than make sure the animals  were safe, but as I write (Monday) we are beginning to get repairs under way.  Peter is fixing the hinges on the aviaries, which were fortunately empty at the  time. When we can get a few men in together we can move the shed panels so  that we look a bit tidier, for now we will have to walk round them.  We need somewhere for overwintering hogs and with the warning of  extreme weather like the storm likely to increase we need something more stable. This year we shall have to put the little huts on trestle  tables in the big room. We currently have over forty hedgehogs in our care so it may get a bit crowded in there but we shall cope  somehow. We always have done. Next year we will have been looking after wildlife in the area for thirty years and although we are all  very upset at the moment we won’t let this setback stop us doing our work. The storm also brought in two Buzzards. One had been caught up in a tree brought down by the storm. It has an injured wing but it is  able to move it easily so it should just need time to heal bruising. He should be able to go into an aviary quite soon. The other one has a  nasty eye injury which needs treating daily for a week or so. It takes two volunteers to do this, one to hold the bird one to bathe and  treat the eye. Both Buzzards are quite feisty.  If we find the shed was not covered in our insurance we shall have to start fund-raising all over again. With this in mind, please, please  come along to our Christmas Fair on Saturday 10.30a.m. to 1p.m. at Berwick Baptist Church, Golden Square, Berwick Upon Tweed. There  will be lots of stalls and refreshments and we really need your help. Pat Goff 25th November 2021 We have been having a few calls recently about swans turning up in odd places. This is the time of year when single swans or a small  group will take to the fields to graze. The weed in the river is not growing as fast and the birds are looking for greenery. They love the  fresh shoots of a growing crop and will fly in to fields. This happens more if the river is in full flow as it gives the birds a rest from  battling against strong currents. Please do not worry about the birds they will certainly be able to fly off if necessary. We do not like to  disturb the swans and make them fly more than they need, as it takes a lot of strength for take off. The birds are quite happy where they are. Do not rush up to them to make them fly it will just tire them.   There are also a couple of older swans around the town who do not walk well. They have arthritis and do struggle in the winter. They are far better out on the river as they have a large area of water to rest their legs.  If we take them in we can do nothing for them, it is a condition a lot of swans  develop as they get older, just like humans. We now have Avian Influenza around. Please do not touch a bird that looks  sick. The symptoms of Avian Influenza are as varied as Covid symptoms seem  to be, mainly mucous around nose and beak, laboured breathing and lethargy.  Any bird with these symptoms should be reported to A.P.H.A. (Defra). We  cannot take in any bird with displaying these symptoms. We must keep birds in  our care safe. On Saturday we were at the Berwick Riders Christmas Fair. They made us very  welcome and the hall was full of tables. We took a little tombola which sold out  by 1p.m. Many of the stalls were displaying craft items which seemed to be  selling well.  We had our Christmas cards and calendars and were able to sell  some of them. Some people bought raffle tickets for our grand Christmas Draw.  Four Hedgehogs were given nice names by their sponsors. We made nearly  £300.00. I must thank all the volunteers who came to help out, especially  Jackie and Alice for sorting out the tombola and packing everything so neatly.   We were very lucky too, a friend of mine, Pauline, gave us a lovely donation cheque, which was completely unexpected. We are needing  another tumble drier very badly as we have 28 hedgehogs indoors. This means daily we wash 28 hand towels 15 fleeces and 15 heat-pad covers. It is difficult at this time of year to get them all washed and dried during the day. Thanks to Pauline we can now get the laundry  done. The picture this week shows Sam one of our new volunteers cleaning out the hedgehogs. Jim is working hard on getting the ‘Hogwards’ shed ready for the hibernating hogs. The huts are going in now and the floor of the shed  will soon have a nice vinyl floor that we can mop and keep clean. It is a very big improvement on the outdoor huts. On Sunday it was  very cold and blowing a good bit, this is when it’s hard doing the outside hogs. We are busy getting ready for our own Christmas Fair which is on 4th December at Berwick Baptist Church from 10.30 a.m. till 1 p.m. Do  come along and see some of the craft things we have for sale. There will be refreshments so you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee too. Pat Goff 18th November 2021 The photograph this week shows the inside of our new ‘Hogwards’ shed for over wintering hedgehogs. It is difficult to show the size of  this, it always looks small to me. Kay and me went down to Ideal Carpets to choose the vinyl for the floor of the shed. Volunteers will be  going in every day to feed and clean so we need to make sure the floor can be cleaned properly. At this point I must thank Denis from  Ideal Carpets for all the small off cuts he donated to us for the base of the little hog huts. Volunteers have been busy fitting out the huts  ready for fixing into ‘Hogwards’. It is beginning to come together now, it seems to have been a long time since Kay and me had the same  idea and decided we needed an undercover area for all the outside hibernating hogs. It was last winter, when it was coming down in  sleety rain and we were both cold and wet when we were checking on the outside huts. Now at last we can see it is going to work. We  hope to have a small gathering of BSWT friends and the two special people that have made this project possible. I was pleasantly surprised when I took the feed buckets up to the Cygnets and Swan in the big pond, seeing how well they were all  getting along. The four Cygnets that have been with us since they were tiny are still in their special ‘gang’, but they are tolerating the  others and the swan seems to keep herself to herself. The cygnet that was injured in the fight with the ones we released, is walking well now. It is  nice just to go and have a look at them.   We also have a wood pigeon and a feral pigeon which are ready for  release both came in with leg and foot injuries. They have been in the  Lomax aviary for a few weeks and are flying well and have no difficulty in  perching.  Hedgehogs are coming in thick and fast. We have 33 with us at the  moment. This number is bound to rise over the next few weeks. Any hog  that is under 500 grams will not survive hibernation so needs a helping  hand. Avian Influenza is getting closer and we are being very careful about  taking in any sea birds that may be sick. If we bring the infection onto our  premises it will result in our cygnets that we have cared for since they  were not much more than chicks being culled. That is something we  cannot bear thinking about. We have been doing a bucket collection at the end of the shows at the  Maltings this week. I must thank the Maltings staff for their assistance and also Berwick Operatic Society for asking us to do the  collection. We raised £230.00.  We need all the money we can raise with winter coming on and hedgehogs needing to be kept warm. On Saturday 20th November we shall be at the Town Hall at the Berwick Riders Christmas Fair. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Do come and look for  our table. We are putting together a tombola with super prizes. You can buy a calendar or even sponsor a hedgehog. It makes a lovely  present. So do come and look us up. Our next fund raising event is our own Christmas Fair at Berwick Baptist Church on Saturday 4th December 10.30 a.m. till 1 p.m. We  have ‘wine or water’, tombola, lovely craft table. We have a huge raffle and there will be refreshments. Do come along and join in the  fun.  Pat Goff