Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Daytrippers, part the second

On Wednesday we decided to go to St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital which we have always wanted to do but was just too far away from Hitchin to get there. It was still a helluva long way from Edelsbourough, but we were closer than we had ever been so it was worth trying to get there. It was a bit like a triathlon to get there (if 2 bus rides and a walk in a ditch down the side of a busy road count as 3 separate athletic activities) but we managed it.

 St Tiggywinkles is a wildlife hospital that cares for sick and injured hedgehogs, badgers, wild birds, foxes, even reptiles and amphibians.
Every year in Britain over five million wild animals and birds are injured as a direct result of their encounters with man's world. We are a specialist hospital, dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating all species of British wildlife using all available veterinary expertise.

 You can totally see why we wanted to go right? Not to mention that it is named after Mrs Tiggy-Winkle the beloved hedgehog created by Beatrix Potter.

 First an hour bus ride to Aylesbury then a layover whilst we waited for another bus to Haddenham (20 more minutes) then the actual bus ride (another 20 minutes) and then the 30 minute perilous walk in a ditch by the side of the road as mentioned previously. Luckily I had toonage on my q-pod (my very cheap but well loved mp3 player that Spiderman bought for me when I was in hospital 2 years ago. We call it q-pod as it is perfect for a Quaker who needs few material possessions –have you seen the price of an i-pod??? They run like £200. We got this was for about £15. Hey—it works.) I had music on the q-pod and so was able to chill out on the long bus rides.

When we arrived we were greeted with this adorable sweetheart.

 A very friendly lady was giving a talk and we learned all sorts of interesting facts about our favourite hedgies.  

Take note gardeners or tennis players: if you have netting at ground level please, for the love of God (or the love of hedgehogs) lift it off the ground at night or poor little critters like hedgehogs and badgers can get all tangled in when they blunder into them as they ramble about at night. And whilst we’re at it, if you have badminton nets up in your garden, please take them down at night or owls can blunder into them.

Tiggywinkles does an excellent job at rehabilitating animals who have been injured (often due to motorcars, sadly) or abandoned and then fixes them up and sends them back into the wild unless there is something really wrong with them and they would not survive in the wild. In that case, they are allowed to live out their days in comfort at St Tiggys.  Like this case:

Here is a bird who appeared to have both wings amputated. Poor thing was a bit off balance but it still managed to get around.

Here’s a fox (well the back end of a fox) that was healing from an injury and would be reintroduced to the wild shortly.

They also had a wee nursery for abandoned baby animals (you couldn’t take pictures) but it was just like going to a people  hospital and being the proud parents peering through the windows at all the babies who were all just a bit of fluff cuddling a soft toy.

There was also a hedgehog museum with lots of hedgie figurines (several of which we had) as well as this which I insisted on having my photo made with—I am a sucker for seeing my name in print. You'll need to click on it to make it bigger to see my name.
the sign I'm pointing to says Heather hedgehog
Then it was reverse the polarity and walk in the ditch, take the bus, wait an hour and then take the bus again and then walk from the village centre through a field to get back to the lovely windmill and collapse in a heap.

 But it was well worth it knowing that the money we paid to go in (plus the money we spent on a St Tiggywinkles tea towel) would go to saving the lives of animals. Cheers.


  1. how delightful! I'm sharing with some of my animal loving friends.

  2. Heather and Becky
    I just love your blog, Heather, and am so appreciative of your mom for keeping me reminded to read it.

  3. Sounds like a perfect day! But I gotta ask, what does Neelix have to do with animals???