CWWR Newsletter – March 2021
As winter draws to a close and spring is in the air, we are preparing for the baby season. This is everyone’s favourite time of year but it’s always a little sad because it means that we have orphaned babies that have been separated from their mothers. There is of course, no substitute for the mother’s care but we try very hard to look after them and get them back to the wild.
Many of the young we have to feed every 2 hours right through the day and night and while very tiring, it is very rewarding to see the babies grow and prosper.
We have also just completed three Zoom meetings with local schools to help the pupils stay in touch with nature. We are very keen to maintain good relationships with all the schools in our area to try to encourage our next David Attenborough or Steve Irwin.
The success and popularity of CWWR is down to a huge group of people, Harry as manager, the Board of Trustees, all the Committee members and our team of amazing volunteers.
The most incredible thing to me, is the fantastic generosity, love and support of the local communities. I am always surprised and grateful.
So as we look forward to the sun and warmer days, lets never forget that it’s the animals home too and let’s keep loving the wildlife.
Chris Wicks – Founder/CEO
What you can do to give nature a helping hand
This is the time of year when you need to prepare to help our wildlife get through the year. Spring is the start of the main breeding season for many of our wonderful creatures. Hedgehogs will be waking from their long hibernation and almost immediately they will search for a partner and begin to mate. Foxes will have cubs in their earths and badgers will have cubs in their setts. Birds will be preparing nests to lay their eggs. It’s a tough time for many of the animals so what can we do to help ?
Hedgehogs coming out of hibernation
Most of these spiky little mammals will be searching for water when they first come out of hibernation. Put out a bowl of fresh water for them NOT MILK! Milk is very dangerous and can eventually kill them. Dry cat biscuits are a favourite food and you can also buy hedgehog food online or from pet stores. Don’t feed mealworms as they can cause an imbalance in the calcium/phosphorus levels and can lead to a skeletal problem called metabolic bone disease. Leave a wild area in the garden where they can shelter and forage for food. Create some log piles and leave a few piles of vegetation to encourage insects.
Hedgehogs need about 3 gardens as a territory so why not cut a cd size hole in the bottom of the fence and try to encourage your neighbours to do the same and create a hedgehog highway? They are good swimmers but are not too good at getting out of garden ponds so put some bricks as a way out or put a ladder for them to climb on. Also put covers over the drains in your garden as they are a deadly trap for hogs.
Hedgehog release programme
We have been able to start releasing some of our hogs after taking care of our spiky friends over the winter season until the are big enough to survive in the wild and now the weather is warmer.
They have certainly put on the pounds and will have plenty of fat stores to last them until they find food in the wild! We will miss them but this is why we do it to give them another chance at life in their natural habitat.
Bird nesting season
The main breeding season for nesting birds is from March to August but this can be weather dependent and some birds may nest outside this period.
Here are some ways you can help birds during the nesting season :
The natural nesting sites which many of our beloved birds depend on are disappearing. You can provide much-needed alternatives by putting up bird nesting boxes. These are ideally positioned facing North-east and not too close to feeders.
2. Avoid cutting hedges and trees
One of the easiest ways we can help them during nesting season is to avoid cutting hedges, trees or dense vegetation during the nesting season as this easily disturb a hiding nest.
3. Don’t clear up fallen leaves
Birds will often collect leaves and debris found on the ground, so anything you choose to leave out will be extra help for them. Leaves, twigs and moss are all natural items which birds will use to build their nests.
4. Continue to feed high-protein foods
Energy-packed foods such as mealworms, peanuts and suet alongside seed mixes will attract all garden birds (and their young) to your feeders. These young birds will learn at an early age where your feeders are.
5. Provide water for bathing and drinking
Provide water all year long for your birds if you can—but make sure to keep it clean. Birds will appreciate shallow water for drinking and keeping their feathers clean. A bird bath will help them and provide you with some entertaining activity!
Mother’s Day giveaway
To celebrate Mother’s Day, we offered the chance for one lucky person to receive a lovely chocolate and fizz hedgehog hamper. To be in with a chance, you had to guess the combined weight of our cute twin hedgehogs and to make a small donation to our ambulance fund.
The lucky winner was Ophelia Kingham-Head who guessed 2500g combined weight. The actual weight was 2050g which was the closest and actually just had the numbers in the wrong order!
Rescue ambulance appeal
We have put out an appeal on Go Fund me to raise funds for our animal ambulance. The current van has become very unreliable and we are relying more on volunteers to assist with transport for rescues and collections. They are more than happy to do this, but their vehicles don’t have the equipment and space to rescue the larger animals in need. If you would like to donate to this fund, please go to : Go Fund me
We are always grateful for all the donations of towels, newspapers, food & supplies and of course the generous donations from our supporters. If you would like to make a regular donation to the rescue no matter how small, it will all help towards caring for the animals. Please go to CAF Donate to make a one off donation or set up a regular payment.
A special thank you to Smith’s Garden Centre in Denham for their generous ongoing support of the rescue! For all your gardening needs and bird care, visit https://www.smithsgardencentre.co.uk
Our supporter Jean Armstrong sold Easter cards to raise funds for the rescue. Some lovely designs featuring some of our guests at the rescue. Jean creates cards for all different occasions with stunning artwork of wildlife and is a generous supporter of the rescue. Jean has cards available throughout the year including general cards. For more info, email Jean at Jeanarmstrong@live.co.uk
Read the below article from the Ricky news!
Rescues and Releases
Here’s just some of our new arrivals, rescues and releases this month:
We were called to Rickmansworth Aquadrome to help a swan with a treble fishing hook right through his beak. The male swan (cob) was father to 3 fully grown cygnets and partner to a stunning female swan (pen).
One of our junior volunteers, Alex Bourne carried out his first rescue! He caught an adult swan from the weir at the Aquadrome which had a fishing hook in its neck assisted by a new volunteer at CWWR, Ollie. The hook was taken out and the swan was returned to canal. Well done to Alex & Ollie!
We rescue all mammals at CWWR – Richard rescued this one from the canal. It’s not often we see a dolphin in the local waterways!!
We work closely with Swan Lifeline in Windsor. The oldest registered charity devoted entirely to the care of sick and injured swans in the Thames Valley and surrounding area. They collected two cygnets from us that are now in their care. They will remain at the dedicated rescue centre until they are ready to be released back into their natural habitat. Thank you Swan Lifeline for supporting us and the great work you do. www.swanlifeline.org.uk
Photo competition – Garden birds
As part of the Big Garden Birdwatch run by the RSPB in January, we ran a photo competition to see what birds you saw in your garden during this time and the whole of February. We had some lovely entries and it was difficult to decide on just one. The lucky winner was Janvi Rajani who won a year’s subscription to the CW Wildlife e-magazine. Well done Janvi. We loved your picture of the two colourful parakeets.
Bird Feeder competition for CWWR Juniors
We ran a competition for our CWWR Juniors on Facebook to make a bird feeder and send in pictures of your creations. We had some brilliant entries and the winner with a very creative bird feeder made of lego was Zach. Well done Zach, we hope you like your Stocker hedgehog keyring!
Residents at CW Wildlife Rescue
Squabby living her best life!
She was in a loving mood after her time in the aviary.
Beautiful Willow on her walk with Harry
To sponsor one of our permanent residents and help towards the cost of their ongoing care or any of our other enclosures, go to Sponsor an animal
Your Sponsorship pack will contain a Certificate of Sponsorship for sponsor or gift recipient, CWWR hedgehog keyring, Fact sheet about your chosen animal, a photo and a subscription to the bi-monthly e-magazine for a year.
Volunteer of the month
Alex Bourne has been chosen as the first CWWR Junior Volunteer 2021. He also found Peanut who is our resident disabled hedgehog. She had been missing for 2 days in the barn after her enclosure wasn’t closed properly! Well done Alex 🙂
CWWR Juniors – Junior Live Rescue tour
Our CWWR Juniors following on Facebook and Instagram is growing. We have just announced our Virtual live tour for CWWR Juniors on Thursday 15 April at 6pm. Come and join us at our Facebook live event. This is a chance for our young nature enthusiasts to see behind the scenes and virtually meet some of our guests. Also you will get the chance to ask Chris any questions you may have about the animals in our care.
The new Spring edition of the e-magazine is out this week produced by our talented volunteer and trustee Deanna Hawkins and Photography by our volunteer and committee member Shannon Jarman. Read about the latest antics at the rescue centre, the wonders of Spring and of course lots of articles and activities for our young readers.
Subscribe to our bi-monthly magazine for £12 a year. Go to the CWWR Store to set up your subscription.
We hope you enjoyed reading our latest update from CWWR and thanks again to all of our loyal supporters.
Chris & the CW Wildlife Rescue team