Our intrepid chimney sweep!

Squirrel Rescue Squad

Squirrel Rescue Squad

This week, a customer in Worthing contacted Mark Frost. He reported that mother squirrel (assumed) was regularly on their stack and they had heard scratching from behind their blanked off fireplace. Could he attend to and sort it out? They had tried to remove the old gas fire blanking plate and had seen 2 squirrels behind it, who then scurried back up the flue. A small amount of debris was in the fireplace, which they had cleared away.

Mark told us, “I duly turned up and first removed their existing ceramic hood and then set about removing a nest (which was very small) thinking that the squirrel would exit at the pot level. The customer kept watch and I completed the sweep apparently without any critters emerging. On peering up the flue, however, one was sitting on a ledge looking at me – this year’s brood, about two thirds full size. I opened a window with the customer retreating outside to watch. I then managed to grab it after a bit of faffing around and carry it to the window and let it go outside, for which I was rewarded with a slight nip. (Not whisky!)

As we weren’t able to watch the pot the whole time we assumed the other one went out of the top. I then fitted a ‘cap’ to the chimney pot and we thought that was the end of it.

That evening the customer called again to report that scratching was still coming from behind the metal plate…and so I returned the next morning. When I arrived the parent squirrel was on the stack, presumably communicating with her offspring still in the flue. Once the metal plate was again removed it zoomed into the room, so I chased it about for a few minutes before catching and releasing him outside. Two very dark grey (!) squirrels saved! I am being a bit soppy here as we know they are vermin, with a price on their tails (sixpence from the Police Station!) until recently.”

Mark reported that neither of the bites was serious and went on to tell us “When I was a small boy my parents used to take me to Greenwich Park on Sundays. The squirrels there were so tame they used to crawl up your legs for nuts (jokes are available!) and I was bitten accidentally on a few occasions and lived to tell the tale!”

There we are – all in a day’s work for one of the ‘intrepid’ WILKINS team!

Squirrel

 

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