TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Don’t feed your left over pizza or cooked bones to the wildlife

This is health and safety gone mad!
This is health and safety gone mad!

What a quiet run up to Christmas for a change, there have been a few busy moments but generally fairly quiet on the rescue front – however, that doesn’t mean we are sat down with nothing to do.

As ever we are working hard with over 95 hedgehogs in care.

Many of the jobs which we have not had time to do during the more busy times of year all get started whilst quiet. We’ve been doing some deep cleaning around the centre and re-organising areas, but I’m not sure the pigeons have been very impressed with the health and safety!

We have been in touch with Natural England and are looking at starting to microchip the hedgehogs which come into care, so we can guarantee hedgehogs are returned to the locations where found and can be monitored more accurately when in groups.

It does get a bit tricky at times trying to work out who is who when relying on tipex marks on their spines. We will also be monitoring a number of gardens where they are returned to see who returned to their release sites and over what period of time.

We have a nice adult tawny owl in care at the moment. The poor bird was rescued after being stuck in a chimney for three days in a house in Buxted. The owl is now at WRAS’s Casualty Centre where she is being encouraged to put on weight and will be released very soon back where found.

Have you seen any waxwings, fieldfares or redwings? These are some of the migratory birds which start appearing around the county in front of cold weather. Often fieldfares and redwings fly in front of the cold weather and are a sure sign of very cold or snowy weather on the way.

Over the festive season do be careful what you put out for the wildlife. Cooked bones can be dangerous for wildlife as they splinter easily and can be sharp, it is better to take meat off the bone when cooked.

Also avoid putting out anything spicy or salty like left over salted nuts. I’m sure most people already know chocolate is bad for many animals. It never fails to amaze us what people try feeding wildlife casualties which have included trying everything from pizza to spaghetti. If you are unsure if someone this safe to feed, don’t feed. Always look up advice on the internet or phone someone to ask.

WRAS has launched a Christmas Casualty Appeal and is asking for people to think of our local wildlife at this time of year. Sadly thousands of wildlife casualties across the country are likely to die over the Christmas and New Year because there is no one there to help them.

WRAS tries to keep at least one ambulance on the road at night to deal with emergencies but this is becoming harder and harder with an ever increasing demand, and continually increasing costs.

Our service’s funds are already stretched to the limit. We need your help to ensure we can continue to provide a round the clock service. This winter is expected to be harsher than normal. We don’t want to let any wildlife casualty down. That’s why I need you to help us. Please make the most generous gift you can afford this winter to WRAS’s Christmas Casualty Appeal.

East Sussex WRAS may be a small charity. But our volunteers achieve an amazing amount of work with our limited funding. This is only possible thanks to your support. You can donate by calling 01825 873003 or send to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE or visit www.wildlifeambulance.org.

WRAS will be operating through Christmas and New Year and our volunteers have been swapping shifts and changing rotas to ensure all our casualties staying with us are fully taken care of.

I would like to say Happy Christmas and wish all our supporters and volunteers the best for the New Year.