Latest News We now have a YouTube channel with a number of new videos taken by Elfrieda Waren. Look on our Photos/Video Page. ******************************* "Swan Notes" News items written by Trust members and volunteers and usually appearing in the “Berwick Advertiser" newspaper each  week. Unfortunately, sister newspaper the “Berwickshire News” are no longer following suit. For those unable to read these items, and  those living outside the Berwick area, here are the last few editions.. 18th January 2018 Feeding time is always a fun part of volunteering at the trust. Just as with us humans when we’re hungry, animal manners can go out of the window and tempers can get frayed. Billy No-Mates the cygnet (as I think of him) has been having a hard time fitting in after joining the group of siblings that were admitted as very young birds. At mealtimes he was confined to the edge of the pond, and if he ventured in the water to grab a scrap of lettuce he’d be nipped firmly on the bottom by the other cygnets. Swans are sociable creatures, Kay says, and groups do eventually settle down. But on last Wednesday’s shift Billy’s fortunes seemed to change as another swan was brought in after being found in a weak state and under weight. The plan was to put Billy with this new swan in another enclosure where they could keep each other company but be apart from the more rambunctious cygnets. The little three-legged female hedgehog I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is coming on in leaps and bounds – even without her fourth leg. Kay had thought she’d been born without it, which she’d never seen before, but next time I spoke to her Kay said she’d finally found a tiny scar where the leg had been. Kay thinks she may have caught it in something and had to pull herself free. Amazingly the injury has healed cleanly in the wild. There’s more good news about this little hog; she’s now completely clear of her mites and is really tucking into her food, so much so that the volunteers have instructions not to give her too big a ‘top up’ at night. Last Friday evening I was asked to feed the three owls, which is always a treat. The barn owl in the ‘Claw and Talon’ quiet room needed two chicks and a mouse, a tawny in the under cover aviary also needed two chicks. As I approached his box to collect the leftovers from the night before, he came swooping out and flew low over my head. When I began volunteering at the Rollo Centre eighteen months ago I’d had that childhood terror of flapping, fluttering wings from teasing my pet budgerigar at the age of three and would barely stand at the aviary door. Now I’m striding over to a tawny owl’s nest box and just ducking when he bursts out above me; it’s an interesting way to conquer your fears. And finally I fed the lovely, calm, pensive Errol the tawny, mascot of the Rollo Centre, who wouldn’t swoop at you if his tail were on fire. I left his meal on his tree stump, picked up a discarded chick head from a previous repast, and replenished his bath bowl with fresh water. Jackie and I left him in the gathering darkness contentedly swinging on the trapeze Jim had made for him, no doubt reminiscing about nights in the wild woods. Elfrieda Waren 11th January 2018 Firstly I must thank Elfie for doing last weeks jottings for me after extra family descended for New Year.  It has been very busy and the  Rollo Centre over the holidays.    We currently have 38 hedgehogs in our care. Fortunately the 11 that are in pens  outdoors have now all hibernated although they do have to be checked on a daily basis  as they will sometimes wake up and have a little snack before going back to sleep. We  keep a bowl of dried food in each pen and then we only have to replace it once a week. We have another 7 hogs in the big room which is cold they too are more or less asleep  and they also are on dried food. The other twenty are being kept in warm rooms so they are all awake. Here I must thank all the kind folk who bring us canned food and  mealworms for them also the sponsors who really do help with the costs. We still have  three female hogs needing sponsors so if you are interested please give us a ring at the centre for details.  We have had three new arrivals this week. A swan was brought up from Newcastle. It  had made a crash landing onto a wet car park which resulted in concussion and are very  sore beak. It is not known if the bird mistook the wet tarmac for water or if it collided  with power or other cables which would have brought the bird down. It’s wounds were  treated locally and it was given painkillers before it was brought up to us. We shall have  to keep the bird for a couple of weeks to make sure no burns show up in case it hit  power lines. We have another swan that came in a week or so ago that did hit power  cables. When it arrived there was singeing to one wing and it can take up to a couple of  weeks for any serious damage to show. Hopefully the next few days will show they are both OK. We now have a full pond with 12 swans and this is causing us other problems (apart from cleaning and feeding in the freezing cold) we  are now out of grain that was kindly donated by Simpsons, so if anyone has any grain they can spare we will be very grateful it doesn’t  matter if its oats barley or wheat. We are having to buy mixed grain which is proving expensive. The birds are fed grain, brown bread  and lettuce with a sprinkling of mealworms on the pond.      Pat Goff 4th January 2018 The early days of January are usually a time for reflecting on the milestones of the previous year, and looking forward to what the  coming 12 months could bring.  At the Trust, 2017 was the 25th anniversary of the wildlife rescue centre’s foundation, and to mark the occasion, a fundraising campaign  collected money to carry out a series of improvements to ‘The Big Room’.  The old stone sink was replaced by a larger stainless steel double sink for washing out  food buckets and bowls, and a larger capacity, energy efficient washing machine and  tumble dryer were installed so that volunteers could keep up with the vast volume of  clean towels required for indoor hedgehog bedding. But the change that has perhaps  had the greatest impact for the wildlife has been the building of the ‘Claw and Talon’  room for larger animals such as buzzards and owls that need seclusion from the daily  noise and business of the main area. Many birds have already benefited from this  calmer environment and their reduced stress levels seem to speed up the recovery  process. For 2018, Jim is constructing a large indoor aviary at the far end of the big room,  completing the alterations and refurbishments to make this space fit for purpose.  For we volunteers, helping out at the trust enables us to experience wild animals at  close quarters, and inevitably particular ‘residents’ stand out, either because they are  an unusual species or for sheer character alone. In 2017, if there was to be a trust  ‘Animal Personality of The Year’, for me it would be Harry the swan, who is currently on  his second stay with us after his concerned human friends at Riverside Park, Wooler  reported that he was losing weight and condition. Swans aren’t best known for their  gentleness and approachability, but Harry just loves being close to people, especially when they’re putting out the food buckets. A strong contender for the 2018 ‘Personality’ accolade is a female hedgehog in the recovery room. The poor thing has already achieved  the record for being the hog carrying the most parasites that Kay has ever seen. She has to wait until last in the cleaning and feeding  regime as hog mites can be easily spread. She also distinguishes herself by having just three legs, although Kay thinks she has been  born like that and hasn’t lost the leg in an accident. Kay can also tell that, despite her difficulties, this little hog has successfully brought  a litter of hoglets into the world.   So what of 2018 and further into the future? There’s no doubt about it, there are massive challenges ahead for wildlife, from global  climate change, the loss of habitats and food sources, to the more local issues of thoughtless littering and deliberate cruelty. Animals are  finding it increasingly difficult to survive through all of this; it’s up to us humans to do what we can to provide the conditions in which  they can thrive.  Elfrieda Waren