Freed from the debris - a Hartlepool project is rescuing growing numbers of geese, ducks and pigeons from abandoned wire

Growing numbers of trapped animals are being tangled in abandoned wire in Hartlepool, a town charity has warned.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 4:45 am

Two geese, three pigeons, a duck and three gulls have all been freed by members of the Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue group – and that was just in July this year.

The group has rescued 1,700 animals since the group began at the start of 2021.

Now officials have urged people to safely dispose of wire and also get in touch if they see a trapped animal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue has reported growing numbers of birds being snared by wire.

Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue is headed up by two "seniors”, Antony Baker and Justine Glazebrook, who have support from a team which includes 29 transport drivers as well as others who come in and clean out each day.

Antony said: “We are seeing a big increase in birds tangled in wire across our town’s parks, from pigeons to gulls to ducks and geese.”

He said the trend was ‘having a negative impact on our local wildlife and town image. A big part is fishing wire but not all’.

Antony Baker at Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue.

We told in July how it had rescued a family of hedgehogs (a mother and its babies) which had been tied up in a carrier bag and left in an alley. Thankfully, they are making a good recovery.

A pigeon with a crossbow through it was found on the Headland. The cost of saving the bird, including pain relief and antibiotics, was £590.

A seagull was found with fishing hooks in it. Sadly it had to be put asleep.

Another find was of ducks which had been tangled up in fishing wire.

A gull which had to be freed from fishing wire and a hook.

The project’s latest work includes helping a gull which was caught up in both fishing wire and the hook.

Antony said: “We have now removed the hook and the gull is doing well in our care.”

But he added: “With nearly 2000 animals seen this year, we really do need help on our volunteers transport network.”

They also supported a young Canadian goose whose feet were tangled up.

The hook which had to be removed from a gull in Hartlepool.

Antony said: “We assessed the goose at the side of the pond with two of our senior rescues on-site.”

It’s leg was swollen and the goose was brought in to have the string removed. It was also placed on a course of antibiotics.

Antony added: “We also noticed another goose in the pond with one leg. We must dispose of our waste in a responsible way, the effects are clearly showing.”

Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue is based at the homes of the two seniors as well as an allotment site.

It had previously been a part of other wildlife groups until Justine and Antony decided to branch out at the start of this year.

Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue relies on funds from sources including football cards and bonus balls.

String was tangled round the leg of a Canadian goose which had to be helped by members of the Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue team.

Most people already properly clear up after themselves but Antony urged all people to safely dispose of their waste.

He also asked anyone who has spotted a trapped bird, or who wants to join the group, to contact Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue on their Facebook page at

Read More

Read More
Meet some of the organisations doing incredible work in Hartlepool and the North...

Support your Mail and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Hartlepool Mail has been in town since 1877, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.

A Canadian goose which had to be helped by Hartlepool Wildlife Rescue.
A goose which was found with fishing wire around its leg.
The fishing wire which was found tightly wrapped around the leg of a goose in Hartlepool.