Please be responsible when detering Herons

In the last few weeks volunteer rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) have been called out to two herons caught in string and netting erected across fish ponds as heron deterrents. Luckily both heron have been cut free safely.

"Every year we get a few cases of herons becoming entangled in netting, string or wire on ponds. On one occasion a couple of years ago a heron drowned as it became so exhausted trying to get free" said Trevor Weeks Rescue Co-ordinator for WRAS.

Two herons in the past couple of weeks have been rescued by WRAS volunteers. "During the winter herons have problems find food as fish disappear to deeper water to keep warm. They are naturally thinner and more hungry too at the moment as a result. As soon as warmer weather comes and fish start coming back to the surface herons are desperate for food and will take risks hence the recent case we have had to deal with" explained Trevor.

A couple of weeks ago WRAS rescuers Kathy Martyn and Trevor Weeks were called out in the dark to rescue a heron caught in strands of nylon stretched across a pond in Willingdon. The bird was luckily ok and after 24 hours rest in WRAS's casualty Care Centre was released out on the nearby marshes.

Today WRAS rescuer Tony Neads attended another heron which was caught up in netting erected across a pond in Windmill Hill near Hailsham. This heron seems ok and is currently being checked over for potential leg problems.

"The people who have called us out have been very concerned and upset at the incidents and have not intentionally wanted to cause suffering to herons, but want a humane way of detering herons from taking their fish" added Trevor.

WRAS is appealing to anyone who using netting or any other deterrence which are suppose to stop bird landing on ponds or building to do some spring cleaning and check whether they need any maintenance and too replace any netting or string which is loose or dangerous to wildlife before any gets injured.

"Every year we get numerous calls about birds caught in netting on roof tops, plus hedgehogs, foxes, deer and other animals caught in netting in gardens too" said Trevor," Now spring is here why not do some spring cleaning and help our environment by removing any unnecessary netting or string and replacing it with proper secure deterrence which will not pose any danger to our wildlife."

WRAS has found numerous items which can be used safely on ponds to help stop herons landing and fishing on garden ponds. These can be found on the garden birds advice section.

Those who have netting on their rooftops should look at asking the company which erected it to come in and check it is secure and safe and does not need any maintenance too.

"We should be able to live happily with the wildlife around us. It would be sad if we lived in an empty world without wildlife which so many of us enjoy watching in our gardens. However, problems do occur occasionally and there are answers which can be found to so that we can live in harmony together." said Trevor.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958

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