An early start to the festive season

This Saturday is the day when Christmas gets into gear for the Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust with the annual fair, a fun event for volunteers and supporters alike.

Friday, 23rd November 2018, 12:10 pm

The doors are open from 10.30am until 2pm.

Visitors will be able to browse the stalls for gift ideas, have a go at winning some fantastic prizes in the tombola, or simply pop by and enjoy a cup of tea and a festive mince pie or two.

The fair takes place at Berwick Baptist Church Hall in Golden Square. The hall is set back from the road, between Charlie’s nightclub and the pedestrian crossing.

Entry to the fair is free, and all the proceeds from the day will go towards the trust’s wildlife rescue work.

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Among the great gift ideas visitors will be able to buy are the trust’s two super calendars for 2019, the main one featuring pictures taken by volunteers of various animals that were resident during the year.

The other calendar is totally dedicated to our hedgehogs in all their prickly glory.

I’ve also been busy making pretty, fused glass tea light holders, wall plaques and bowls, which I’ll be selling at prices to suit all pockets.

At the moment Pat and I seem to write one week about swans, one week about hedgehogs, so I was delighted when Jackie rang me recently to tell me a highly unusual creature had come in.

It had turned up in even more unusual circumstances.

A bin wagon driver from the compound across the road had come over to the Rollo Centre with his hands tightly cupped around what is probably one of our tiniest rescues ever.

The driver had come to the end of his shift and was just making a final check over his vehicle when he’d discovered a tiny figure huddled in the back of the wagon.

It was a bird, but it was so wet and bedraggled that Jackie couldn’t tell at first what kind it was.

Being so tiny, it was vital to get it warm and dry on a heat pad.

And once the bird’s feathers had dried out, the dazzling yellow stripe on its head became obvious: it was a goldcrest, a long way from home.

The goldcrest is the UK’s smallest bird, weighing in at just six grams.

Its habitat is usually coniferous woodland, not an industrial estate like the Ramparts in Berwick.

After establishing that the bird had no injuries, the next problem was where to release it.

Fortunately, volunteer Jim was at the trust that day and was able to come to the rescue. He lives just outside Coldingham, near some woods, and has seen goldcrests in the trees near his home.

So off the tiny bird went with Jim in his pick-up – its second journey in a motorised vehicle that day.

The bird was released to hopefully join the other goldcrests in the woods as in winter they do tend to flit about in groups with other small birds.