Check for hogs on bonfire night
It's always a stark reminder when the clocks go back that winter most definitely has arrived, and at the trust it's the time of year when we stop releasing recovered hedgehogs into the wild.
The hogs that are with us now will be here until Easter, either building up their weight or continuing their recuperation from illness or injury.
Three will overwinter outdoors in their plush new suites at Hotchi Mews, where Jim has laid out a gravelled area to keep the hutches dry and prevent the hogs from digging escape tunnels in the grass.
This leads me rather neatly to that annual reminder in advance of Guy Fawkes Night to check any bonfire woodpiles for hedgehogs.
Heaps of old wood and garden refuse are a hog’s dream home so please ensure they’ve had a chance to wake up and move on before lighting the bonfire. Use a broom pole to disturb sections of the bonfire, not a spade or garden fork as this could injure a hidden hog.
The Claw and Talon Room, which was constructed in the summer to mark the trust’s 25th anniversary, has really come into its own in the last week, with no fewer than three buzzards needing our help.
The most recent admission comes from Allanton and has an injury to its upper wing.
Three very young collared doves and a couple of adult pigeons are in the recovery room, and outside, an already discharged ‘patient’ obviously enjoyed his stay so much he just keeps coming back.
He was spotted by my fellow Wednesday volunteer Una hanging around an outdoor aviary where another pigeon is currently resident.
We’d like to think it’s love, but it’s probably more to do with food.
Of course, it’s our supporters, whether individuals, businesses or groups, who help us continue to safeguard the survival of wildlife in our area.
Many Berwickers will remember Iris Hogg with great fondness – indeed many of them were brought into the world by her.
Iris died in March at the age of 89, having spent many years as a maternity sister at Castle Hills. She had requested that a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of some of her belongings should be donated to the trust, and as a result we have received £300 in her memory.
Thanks also go to the quizzers at The Pilot pub, who raised £40 for us at one of their quiz nights, and the customers and staff at B&M Bargains, who put £20.45 in loose change into our collecting tin on the shop counter. If any other shops or local businesses would be happy to have one of our collecting tins, please get in touch.
Of course, donations of goods are just as important as financial support. I must include a special ‘thank you’ to Berwick Decorating Centre for providing the paint which will brighten up Jim’s next construction job, a large indoor aviary at one end of the big room.