CRT volunteers rushed to help a buzzard that had its leg caught in baler twine high up in a tree near Bere Marsh Farm in Dorset.

On Friday 14 April, volunteers Jenny Ashdown, Alison Chopping and Peter Darley were fencing off a newly planted hedge on Bere Marsh when a dogwalker passing through on the North Dorset Trailway alerted them to the situation.

They hurried to the trapped buzzard, but it was obvious that specialist equipment was needed for the rescue. They called several animal welfare organisations and were advised to dial 999.

A crew from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s station in Sturminster Newton attended. The firefighters named the bird Leighton, after one of their crew members.

CRT Volunteer Peter Darley said: “The buzzard was caught by its leg in a tangle of baler twine in the top of a tall, spiny blackthorn. The fire crew sent up a long extending ladder and one of them ascended to cut away the overhanging branches. She cut Leighton free, with the twine and the branch still attached, and once back on the ground they wrapped it in a coat and survival blanket.

“The twine could then be carefully cut away from Leighton’s leg. Whilst carrying the buzzard back along the trailway, with the intention of taking it to the vet, they loosened the blanket to check on it. It was showing signs of distress but appeared uninjured, so it was lifted from the blanket, carefully held on the ground until it had settled, and then released.

“Leighton flew off strongly, perched in a nearby tree and then flew away, circling higher and higher and enjoying its freedom.”

On Twitter that day,  Sturminster Newton Fire Station (@DWFRSSNewton) tweeted: “#NotJustFires – call out for us this afternoon after a member of the public had raised the alarm about Leighton the Buzzard trapped in some twine in a tree.”

Peter added: “Our thanks to the local fire service for turning up so promptly, treating the situation with appropriate seriousness and acting in a fully professional manner. A service to be proud of.”