SOUTH Essex Wildlife Trust is bracing itself ahead of a busy spring season.

The charity, a wildlife rescue rehabilitation and public advice charity which cares for sick and injured wildlife and aims to release them back into the wild, said the winter period had gone well, but they were expecting to be busy when spring arrives.

Sue Schwar, who founded the charity in 1995, said: “Once the weather is nice, people start coming out of their own hibernation and start cutting their trees down, setting fire to bonfires and other things.

“It is unlawful to cut down trees at this time as it is when birds are nesting. We also get a lot of hedgehogs brought in which have either been burn in bonfires or strimmered.

“Cats are also more active so we get more birds brought in too. The winter is quiet, it is when people start being more active our work correspondingly increases.”

Among those recently brought in to the rescue centre, based in Thurrock, are 12 young fox cubs and baby badgers.

One such baby badger is little Eva, who is so young she is still blind. She and another fox cub have recently been introduced and are often seen snuggling up together.

Miss Schwar added that during the spring season when birds were nesting, it was important that people were aware of the difference between fledgling birds and proper baby birds.

She said that the old saying that birds shouldn’t be picked up was incorrect, as proper baby birds should not leave the nest and should be picked up.

However, fledgling birds should be left, as long as the parents were nearby.

She advised people to call the charity if they came across birds they are concerned about to make sure they get the correct, professional advice for free.

Miss Schwar said: “A lot of people say they didn’t call us for advice because they didn’t want to bother us, but that is what we are here for.”

The charity relies on donations to continue and has a wishlist of items it needs.

Call 01375 893893 or visit