TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Guillemot sea birds on Sussex coast often mistaken for pengiuns

Marciana the hedgehog, who was found wandering around Eastbourne streets on November 5, has now been soft released with a hedgehog box.
Marciana the hedgehog, who was found wandering around Eastbourne streets on November 5, has now been soft released with a hedgehog box.

Thank you to everyone who visited Waitrose in Eastbourne as you have raised £330 for East Sussex WRAS! If you couldn’t get down to Eastbourne, we are delighted to say that we are one of the chosen charities at their Hailsham branch during December.

So please visit and drop off your green tokens in our tub in their store to help support our work.

The hedgehogs just keep on coming into care; we now have around 95 hedgehogs in WRAS’s care. On December 16 2012 we hit the 100 mark, and we are well on our way to beating that number by the same date this year.

You may remember Marciana the hedgehog, who came into care on November 5, found wandering the streets in Eastbourne with the plastic rings that hold cans together round her head and under her front legs. The plastic had cut deep into her skin and the wounds were badly infected. She needed emergency treatment at the vets late that night and three further anaesthetics in the first week to clean the wounds before they were able to be stitched. After a further anaesthetic to remove the stitches her wounds have now finally healed and she has gone to be soft released back to the wild with a hedgehog box.

Rescuer Tony responded to a call to a bat inside the Travelodge at Boship Roundabout on the A22 at Hailsham. They called after finding the pipistrelle bat inside their building. After a check over at our Casualty Centre, seeking advice from the Sussex Bat Group, and test flying the lively chap he was taken back and released, fit and well.

Penguins on the Sussex Coast – well not really, but every winter we get calls from the public saying they are on the beach. In reality they are Guillemots and Razorbills. When I first started rescuing wildlife in the late 1980s, I found two oil covered guillemots at Cow Gap which is at the bottom of Beachy Head. They were taken to a lady in Seaford who used to run the Seaford Bird Hospital from her home. This lady, Meta Mann, is the one who got me started many years ago. In the late 1980s and early 1990s up to 600 oil covered birds used to wash ashore covered in oil every winter on the Sussex coastline. The oil mainly came from tankers washing out their tanks before filling up in port, but this practice is now illegal and as a result we see very few birds washing ashore covered in oil – fewer than 20 a winter.

We have drawn our Grand Raffle 2013. I am delighted to announce the winners are of our Star Prize – ticket 05829 Miss M Walls from Eastbourne, 1st Prize - 17314 Linda Hill from Seaford, 2nd Prize - 07426 Tim Fox from Hailsham, 3rd Prize - 11173 Viv from Seaford, 4th Prize - 03997 Diana Lock from Eastbourne, 5th Prize - 04644 Mr N White from Bexhill and 6th Prize - 18523 P Sutton no Town given. Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and entered the raffle and helped raise so much money for WRAS.

East Sussex WRAS has been the chosen charity for the year for the Spotlight players, and I was invited onto the stage at the end of a a three-hour Wizard of Oz Panto to receive a cheque for a staggering £1,450. Throughout the whole panto it was constantly going through my mind how much hard work by so many people had gone into this panto and other productions in order to raise so much money for the rescue work I started so many years ago. When I was asked up onto the stage and presented with the cheque I was genuinely moved and humbled by everyone’s efforts. Thank you to the Spotlight Players and everyone else who has thought our small charity worthy of their time and energy when raising funds throughout 2013 - from the bottom of my heart (and on behalf of all the casualties) thank you all very much.