TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Hibernation season – intake of hedgehogs biggest this year

The trapped badger, who found himself walled-in.

The trapped badger, who found himself walled-in.

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We have had more hedgehogs coming into care this past week than any week so far this year – a total of 22 hedgehog rescues.

Most of them were from Eastbourne with two being picked up from Ashgate Road weighing just 180 and 190 grams, clearly too small to hibernate; one at 303grams in Whitbread Close found too small to hibernate; a 233gram hedgehog in Priory Road wandering out during the day; as well as a 383-gramer in Pensford Drive again out during the day.

There were two from different gardens in Tolkien Road both too small to hibernate and out during the day time; three from the same garden in Tidebrook Gardens all out way too small to hibernate and two that were found out during the day time and there was a road casualty hedgehog at Goldsmith Close which sadly didn’t survive.

We also picked up hedgehogs from Wannock Drive in Polegate, St Boswells Close in Hailsham with a head injury; a poorly hedgehog in Coombe Close, Windmill Hill; from St Johns Drive in Westham, Nutley Mill Road in Stone Cross, in the High Street in Buxted, a road casualty in Newton Road Lewes, from Baxter Road Lewes, Vale Road in Seaford, Pipit Meadow in Uckfield and Chantonbury Road in Burgess Hill.

Not all hedgehogs are hibernating yet. A study undertaken by St Tiggywinkles showed that hedgehogs which weigh over 600grams stood a good chance of surviving hibernation where as many under 600grams struggled or did not survive.

As it is early winter, we would advise people to try to feed up any which are between 500-600grams but if below 500grams they are likely to struggle to survive hibernation.

Finally, with the recent spell of dry weather, we released some of our birds. A dove, kestrel, young woody, gull and robin, who were all raring to go, have been released back to the wild. We have also released some of our rescued pigeons.

We have had one of the most severely injured fox casualties we have seen in many years to deal with this week. The poor creature in Bexhill was reported several times to us, but as it was mobile we were unable to find it despite several searches. The fox was finally spotted collapsed under a car but passed away before rescuers arrived.

Rescuers Chris and Jen rushed out to a badger which had fallen into a walled garden. The surrounding wall was the same height as the house so would have been like us falling off a roof! Amazingly the badger was mobile and trying to find a way out and possibly there for up to 48 hours before being found. The badger was caught and taken back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre for observation to ensure there were no spinal problems.

I must thank everyone who attended our clothes swap in the Enterprise Centre last weekend and to Lindsay, Julia, Jade and Monica for helping to run the day. I must also thank volunteers Lilian, Jade, Dave, Marcus and Lynne for raising an amazing £547.36 at the South Street Bonfire Society’s march on Lewes Bonfire Night. Well done all.

In the run up to Christmas many may wish to head to our website www.wildlifeambulance.org and click on the link to our ebay shop. You will find some various items - many ideal as Christmas presents – being sold to raise money for WRAS. There are WRAS and non-WRAS goodies being sold by private sellers who are willing to make a donation to WRAS for each item sold. Alternatively visit our Amazon Wish List and buy a present for our wildlife, all you need to do is visit www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/35VQCQWZZ8PM1.