We left Sutton (in South London) at around 8:35 hrs and arrived at St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital at 10:06 hrs (a journey door-to-door of around 60 miles). My mother – Diane Wyles – gave us the idea and kindly funded the trip after our two daughters pictured above – Mei-An (Left) and Kai-Lin (right) – enquired as to whether ‘hedgehogs’ were ‘real’! In my time living Sutton (nearly thirty-years), I have only ever seen ‘one’ (1) solitary hedgehog in the garden and that was around 2007-2008! When I lived in Devon as a child in the 1970s, nearly every garden possessed a resident hedgehog! When Gee worked at Beddington Wildlife Rescue in (near Wallington – but now closed-down), she saw wild hedgehogs regularly brought-in for treatment of illnesses, wounds and injuries.
Although specialising in foxes – on open days we often got to ‘socialise with the animals! St Tiggywinkles Wild Hospital reminds us a lot of the above place, but, of course, St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital is unique in many ways and is an animal hospital that provides free at the point of us medical care for ALL injured or ill British wildlife animals and birds! However, there was not only deer and sheep (the latter in the field directly adjacent to the zip-line play-area) – but there was magpies, owls, falcons and even tortoise! I suspect that te general air of decency and compassion means that no animal is turned away regardless of its type and origin!
Indeed, St Tiggywinkles is premised upon the origin foundation of the British ‘National Health Service’ (founded in 1948), which has provided free at the point of us medical care for the human population. Although paid for through collective taxation – since 1979 (a year after St Tiggywinles was Founded) the NHS has been steadily ‘privatised’ step by step – and has become a third-rate and shambolic ‘ghost’ of what it once was! At least St Tiggywinkles has stayed true to the founding principles of its excellent hospital!