Plenty to do at swan shed in vet’s absence


It’s been all go since David Rollo was taken into hospital on October 3. You only realise how much anyone does when they stop doing it. The good news is that David was discharged from hospital last Friday and couldn’t wait to get back to his surgery.

I have had to help out the few fit volunteers who are capable of going out on rescues. This is where the Trust’s Facebook page comes in handy. Here’s a few snippets:

15 October. Collected a guillemot with a puncture wound in head from Beadnell. That was after collecting bread for our swans from the Co-op.

18 October. Called out to an injured swan at Haggerston Castle. Only thing about it was it was on its own. Called in at reception and reported swan okay. I’d rather have a wasted journey than find an injured swan. At least people cared about it.

21 October. I was just getting ready to go down to rescue a swan at Wooler when I got a call to a gannet on the road in Eyemouth. Gannet was a young bird, had been lifted onto footpath and was fast asleep when I got there! Dropped it off at the shed. Ended up with Dick and Ian rescuing two cygnets, bagging them up and reuniting them with parents and five siblings on nearby lake. It was heart-warming to see the greeting they got from them. Happy ending.

23 October. One of the Eyemouth cygnets made a crash landing this afternoon. I got a call to say it couldn’t walk properly and found three young lads guarding it by the new harbour. Talking quietly to it, I walked slowly up and picked it up off the ground to a round of applause from the lads. It is now swimming around in our pool.

26 October. Bad news first. The Eyemouth cygnet that I rescued on Sunday had an x-ray this morning that revealed a shattered hip bone, so it was quietly put to sleep. At least it wasn’t savaged to death by a fox or a dog. Now some good news. The gannet I rescued will be released tomorrow at St Abbs after having almost a week of rest and sardines.

27 October. Now confused about Eyemouth swan family. The two adults now have five cygnets around, but one seems to be keeping a bit of distance from the others at times. Is it a stranger or was the one I rescued on Sunday a stranger?

Released gannet rescued from road at Eyemouth last Friday. It stood flexing and flapping its wings on cliff top at St Abbs for about half an hour before eventually flying off. (That’s him thinking about it in my photograph).

30 October. People living near the Eye Water now think the fifth cygnet is adopted and not one of the original five. Constant daily observation has made them realise it is bigger and has different colouring to the other four.

Please be considerate with fireworks. All animals have sensitive hearing and domestic pets and wildlife can all get scared by sudden noises.


Should you find an animal in need of our services, or if you need advice please phone HQ on (01289) 302882. We are happy to help. You can also e-mail via our website We are also on Facebook at

If you would like to donate to the Trust (cheques payable to B.S.W.T.),or to become a member please contact treasurer, Derek Roughton. Yew Tree Cottage, Branton, Alnwick, NE66 4LW. Phone (01665) 578365. The Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust is registered charity No. 1064805.