Come along and see what we’ve been doing

A WEEK come Sunday is a date to make a note of. At 11.30am on July 31 we will open our doors to the public and you will be able to see what new facilities we have for our patients, and also those patients we deem fit enough to have visitors.

There will also be stalls and refreshments available. Pat will have full details next week. At 3pm we will have our 19th AGM since our Inaugural General Meeting on May 20, 1992. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? I will try to get through the business part as quickly as I can and then we will have a slide and film show.

You may remember some time back I showed a picture of a swan attacking Ron McCombe on the little beach at Berwick. Ron and another photographer, Jim Gibson, are currently showing an exhibition of photographs in the Hayloft Gallery at Paxton House.

I have been told there will be no charge for parking or admission to the Gallery if that is all you are going to see, but the Gallery will not be open until after lunch tomorrow, Friday. Otherwise you will be able to visit any day until July 31 from 10am to 5pm.

While I was there admiring all the beautiful photos, I met Ron for the first time and without any scrounging from me, honest, Ron asked me to select one of his framed photographs and we could have it for a raffle prize. I was spoilt for choice but eventually picked the one shown here of a gannet with young. We had already been given a watercolour painting on canvas of a swan by Gillian of www.animalsoncanvas.co.uk and, rather than have two raffles, we decided to have one raffle with what amounts to two first prizes. Pat will have a picture of Gillian’s painting next week. Raffle tickets will be on sale at our open day and also at the forthcoming production of Swan Summer at the Maltings on September 1-3.

Normally we draw the line at travelling more than a radius of 25 miles from Berwick on wildlife rescue missions, but I got a call last Sunday evening. The lady was desperate for somebody to do something about a swan trapped in her back garden at Hipsburn. The swan was preventing her from going out of her French windows and she was terrified of the possible consequences if she tried.

Being a soft touch, I couldn’t just say no, so said I would be there within an hour. The bird turned out to be one of last year’s cygnets. The swan was dropped off on the Tweed the following day amongst all the other flightless moulting birds.

The past week or so has seen a number of calls from people wanting advice on what to do for small hedgehogs. Unless they are injured, my advice is to put out some meat-based cat or dog food and a supply of drinking water, but NEVER milk as this is too rich and gives them the runs and dehydrates them. As long as they are old enough to eat solids, nature is better able to look after them than any human can, and, hard as it may seem, the best thing, after providing a helping hand with food, is to leave well alone.

BARRIE MORTIMER

Should you find an animal in need of our services, or if you need any advice please phone HQ on (01289) 302882. We are happy to help. You can e-mail us via our website www.swan-trust.org.  We are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/swantrust. If you would like to donate to the Trust (cheques payable to BSWT) or to become a member please contact the treasurer, Derek Roughton, Yew Tree Cottage, Branton, Alnwick. NE66 4LW. Telephone (01665) 578365.