TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Swan found with fishing hook embedded in neck

Trevor weeks with the Piltdown Pond swan.
Trevor weeks with the Piltdown Pond swan.
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This is the poor swan from Ditchling Common Country Park who had to be rescued after being found with a long length of fishing line and weights attached a hook embedded in the swan’s neck.

It had been reported as being entangled round his wings and body as well. Rescuers Murrae and Tony attended on site and managed to catch him with a bit of effort. We have had a lot of problems from this location over the years with fishing lines and hooks and also dogs attacking the swans and their young and we have also witnessed people in our presence encouraging their dogs into the water to chase the ducks. This swan was very lucky and the hook was cut, easily and safely removed. After 48 hours in care the swan was suitable for release and returned to its mate on the lake. There is a video of the release on our facebook page, which includes the rather embarrassing falling over in the mud of Centre Manager Lindsay while filming the release!

The Ditchling Pond swan found with a fishing line embedded in its neck.

The Ditchling Pond swan found with a fishing line embedded in its neck.

One of our ambulance also responded to an emergency call-out by Sussex Police to a swan on the main road next to Piltdown Pond near Uckfield. On arrival the swan had been moved into the car park, where it was very reluctant to return to the pond due to a new and very territorial pair of swans present on the lake. The swan was caught and checked over and found to be in good condition otherwise. To prevent this territorial battle continuing and to prevent any road accidents the swan was relocated to Princes Park in Eastbourne to be released with the non-territorial flock of swans.

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Unusual Quiz Night last week. Thank you as well to Brian, Monica and Sue for helping in the Kitchen and preparing the food. Also thank you to Kathy, Chris, Kirsti and Lindsay for helping with the bar and handing out all the quiz items too. It was yet another really good evening of fun and made about £500 profit to help wildlife in need. Our next Unusual Quiz Night is in August who knows what the theme will be this time?!

If you find a wildlife casualty it is important to remember that they feel pain the same as us and your pets. In the same way that we humans go to hospital when we get bitten by a dog, hit by a car the same applies to animals. Wildlife wants to be treated by people who know what they are doing, as do us humans. So if you find a wildlife casualty you should ensure it is treated and looked after by either a local rescue organisation or taken to a veterinary practice for treatment. Washing wounds and using just homeopathic medication or cream out of your first aid box is frequently not suitable, and in many cases could even be classed as neglect if the casualty does not receive proper veterinary treatment by a professional. Often we get calls from well-meaning people who think that vets are not interested or “it’s only a pigeon”, please remember that all animals feel pain and therefore regardless of species they will need some form of veterinary help. Please DO NOT keep any casualty yourself without seeking veterinary support. We have a few casualties recently where they have been kept by people for two weeks or more without any veterinary help, the last being a couple of horrendous wounds to the wing of a pigeon. Our vets assessed the injuries and decided that as the wounds had been left for so long and dried out so much, they were not going to recover now. Please, please, please, if you find a casualty don’t ignore it seek help from your local wildlife rescue or get it into a veterinary practice.

This week has also seen us dealing with a dove in Bexhill, a dove in Eastbourne, a road casualty gull in Bexhill, a catted mouse in Uckfield, a pigeon hit by a car in Lewes. Rescuer Tony rushed out to a badger near Winchelsea but sadly it died before he arrived, unfortunately there was no one closer available to help. Two white and brown pigeons from Hailsham Town Centre were rescued on two different occasions, but in very poor health. Two feral pigeons were admitted as well as a fledged youngster which was emaciated. We have also had a Dunnock in caught in netting in a garden at Little Horsted near Uckfield. There was a hedgehog found in someone’s utility room curling up trying to sleep! Rescuers responded to a pigeon and a injured gull in Vale Road in Seaford. We have been able to release 7 feral pigeons back to their home locations and 2 doves as well.

We are still looking for helpers to join our orphan rearing team here at our centre in Whitesmith, particularly for Tuesday and Thursday morning shifts (7am-9am) and Friday evening shifts (6pm-10pm). The role will include feeding and cleaning baby garden birds, crop feeding young and underweight pigeons and assisting with the feed and clean shift when possible. Full training will be provided so please email Centre Manager Lindsay at for more information. We are also looking for people to help with a few feed and clean shifts , in particular Monday, Friday and Sunday mornings 9am until around 1pm and Sunday evenings 5pm until around 7.30pm, if interested please contact Kathy at