Why St. Tiggywinkles?
I was chatting with my Nan recently and as I was avidly describing a squirrel running up someone's leg in the park (yes, really!) she mentioned spotting a hedgehog near her home one evening and giving him some bread and butter (my Nan always gets cross with people who are stingy with butter). She was quite concerned about the hedgehog's welfare and I told her about an old episode of Blue Peter I watched when I was little, showing us how to make a hibernation box for a hedgehog. I then started to wonder when exactly hedgehogs hibernated and for how long and I knew the perfect place to go to find out more... St Tiggywinkles!
What do they do?
St. Tiggywinkles (named after the Beatrix Potter story The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle) is a specialist hospital dedicating to rescuing and rehabilitating all species of British wildlife. As well as caring and rehabilitating hedgehogs, St. Tiggywinkles also care for badgers, foxes, wild birds, reptiles and amphibians. They treat over 10,000 animals each year and are open 24/7 to treat all casualties free of charge. Read more about what St. Tiggywinkles does and how the charity was first started.
More about Hedgehogs
Back in 1984 St. Tiggywinkles launched a nationwide awareness campaign about hedgehogs, the campaign informed the general public that the traditional snack of bread and milk is actually harmful to hedgehogs and advised that this could be exchanged for a snack of dog food and water. (Don't worry, I've passed this on to my
Nan and told her not to give her local hedgehog any more bread). There are some very interesting fact sheets on the St. Tiggywinkles website and this one explains why bread and milk is not suitable for hedgehogs. Other fact sheets include: general information, hibernation, over wintering, garden hazards and how to build a hedgehog a home (this is a lot different from the example on Blue Peter!).
How to help
St. Tiggywinkles is doing a remarkable job and providing much needed assistance to British wild animals. To help them continue to provide this care check out what they need us to do here.
They are currently running a campaign asking members of the public to follow the Country Code and to remember wild animals when out in the countryside. Always ensure you take rubbish home with you and if you see any rubbish lying around, for example bottles in hedgerows, then please remove them. This poignant poster was created by the founder of St. Tiggywinkles, Les Stocker, who took a photograph of the bones of 13 voles and shrews who tragically died in an old milk bottle dumped in a hedgerow.