TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Unusual visitor found on Seaford station’s platform

Doormouse found on Seaford station platform
Doormouse found on Seaford station platform
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Seaford Railway Station had an unusual visitor last week.

A passenger getting off the train noticed a little mouse on the station platform. The small ginger creature turned out to be a dormouse.

A kestrel brought in from Chiddingly

A kestrel brought in from Chiddingly

These dormice are a protected species, but are not normally found on station platforms. Very cold and probably trying to hibernate, the mouse was picked up and WRAS was phoned.

We only have one species of dormouse in the UK which is called either the hazel dormouse or common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius). This small mammal is the only living species in the genus Muscardinus. They are about 6 to 9cm long with a tail of 5.7 to 7.5cm. They generally weigh just 17 to 20 grams during the summer but fatten themselves up to 30 to 40 grams just before hibernation, which is between October to April–May time.

It is the only dormouse native to the British Isles, although the edible dormouse, Glis glis, has been accidentally introduced in some areas. We certainly wouldn’t expect to find a dormouse on a train station platform.

They normally travel no more than 70 metres from their nest which is usually in woodlands and hedgerows, so we suspect a predator has picked the poor creature up and dropped it.

The mouse was taken to RSPCA Mallydams near Hastings by WRAS ambulance as Mallydams have more experience in dealing with then, and at WRAS we always want the best for the casualties we rescue.

Yet more hedgehogs have come into care again this week as the cold weather continues.

These have included calls to West Close, Eastbourne; we have had our first hedgehog from The Avenue in Lewes – we seem to get multiple hedgehogs from there every winter; another hedgehog from Ashgate Road in Eastbourne; one from Valley Road in Newhaven weighing just 182grams; a young hedgehog from Chamberlain Road in Eastbourne; another hedgehog from Court Road in Lewes weighing just 186grams; a 300gram hedgehog from Oakmeade Way in Ringmer and also two hedgehogs found about an hour apart in Hawkins Way in Hailsham.

We now have 10 hedgehogs which are in outside pens being encouraged to hibernate, out of the 67 hedgehogs which are currently in care.

This is luckily down on last year’s figures probably due to the better autumn we have had this year.

Another young kestrel came into care this week from just north of Chiddingly. The bird is rather underweight and clearly been having trouble finding food without the support of parents during this cold weather.

We have two spare adverts in our winter edition of our Newsletter. They are just £20 each. If interested please contact trevor@eastsussexwras.org.uk or call 01825-873003, please do not ring this number for rescue as it is not manned 24 hours a day.

Finally a big thank you to supporter Sue for donating five night lamps for our indoor pens, five bottle of sterilising fluid, two tubs of Probi-Zyme, and a torch, all off our Amazon Wish List.

Thank you so much. If anyone else would like to buy our casualties a Christmas present please visit our Amazon Wish List using this link http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/35VQCQWZZ8PM1.

Any help with the purchase of outdoor hutches and runs or hedgehog houses or the plastic indoor cages on our wish list would be very much appreciated especially with the numbers of hedgehogs being admitted. Due to hygiene and disease control issues we are unable to accept used wooden hutches and runs.