Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Tiggywinkles Story - Part 2

Hello Everyone, once again - from my temporary base away from my flat.

Allow me to introduce one of the residents at Tiggywinkles on the day daughter Philippa and I were visiting St Tiggywinkles Hedgehog Hospital in December 2015.  How come the "St .Tiggywinkles" I hear folks mutter!  Well apparently, in the early days of the Hospital, some journalists decided that as many human hospitals in the UK (in the  Greater London Area for example, we have a St. George's, a St Helier, and St Mary's), it was felt to be only right that a Hospital for Hedgehogs, performing such good work for wildlife in general and the Hedgehogs in particular, deserved to be similarly designated! Thus it came to be.... and continues to be.

 An unimpressed Hedgehog, who had been rudely awakened so that it could be displayed to us visiting humans - on a cold, very blustery December morning:  when it had been warmly tucked up in a wooden house stuffed with dry straw.  The staff member performing the introduction was unsure if it was one called "Lavender" or another one:  it didn't stay around long enough for the introductions to be completed - once replaced on the ground!

Last week, I wrote about my visit to this centrepiece of the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Trust located at Haddenham, in the Vale of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire based not too far from - and within easy reach of  - London.  (Rail and road communications are good and once Haddenham Station is reached by train, there are taxis available to take one to the site.)  Philippa's home is just 30 minutes drive, so although it was cold, and very windy, that day, it was not difficult for us to access by car.

This is the extensive play area available for visitors' use in the Gardens surrounding the Visitor Centre.
The building on the right is the newly opened Red Kite Centre about which I wrote briefly last week.  The Wildlife Hospital is pretty central to the area designated by the Government when the Red Kite was officially reintroduced to the UK in the 1990's, after having been extinct for many decades.  From the initial introductions, Red Kites have now become a familiar sight when one drives into London along the M40 Motorway and it's great fun watching the smaller birds testing their flying abilities and coasting along on the thermals - especially during windy conditions.  In the picture you can see the specially built aviaries for these beautiful bird patients (in the background between the fencing and the back of the Centre, which also houses a Coffee Shop for visitors to use).

Next door to the Red Kite Centre, along the designated Visitors path way, and opposite the Pond

(another view of the Pond can be seen in last week's bulletin, by the way), is a series of aviaries reserved for avian patients who arrive for treatment, where they can recover (or live, as in the case of the two ravens we saw during our visit) from their injuries.  There were two in situ when Philippa and I visited, but only one who was not camera shy!

Further along the trail around the Tiggywinkle's Gardens, we came across this notice - and since we have several Foxes present in the Coldham Cuddlies Family of Toys (a visit to this section of our Shop illustrates this -  - I thought I'd include the following Fox-related shots I managed to take during our visit.

Just behind this notice, you can see the roof of a wooden shelter, which we subsequently learned is where the Foxes come to get their daily rations.  It's located in a fairly large area, dedicated to the Fox Patients who are either permanent residents at Tiggywinkles, or are currently waiting to be returned to the wild.

The rear of a male fox, who had eyed our arrival with deep suspicion for some time, but eventually decided to go about his daily business.
There are several buildings around a fairly substantial ground area where we assumed other Foxes were at rest or sheltering from the nasty conditions at the time.

A general view of the Fox Den, with buildings in what appeared to be an area reserved for injured Deer in the background on the left of the photograph. 
 I've still some more photographs I took during my Christmastime visit in 2015 - which will be located throughout elsewhere in this blog. However, visitors to my Toy Shop on, and those of you who follow the Coldham Cuddlies  on Facebook and elsewhere, will also be aware, we are also supporting another Hedgehog Hospital in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom.   I intend to write something about West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue next week, and am hoping to be able to use some photographs provided by the Proprietor of the establishment too.

As our journey around the Gardens at Tiggywinkles drew to a close, it was obvious that not all of the residents at Tiggywinkles can be described as "wild" or "patients":  a view we came to when we saw this very healthy lop-eared Rabbit, who was sharing a space with several Hedgehog houses (with hibernating residents inside,presumably).

Rabbit's Hutch can be seen in the background of this particular pen, together with a substantial pipe - for shelter during the day and play, one would assume.

I'll end this episode of the Tiggywinkles Story and the Coldham Cuddlies connection here.

In the interim, although away from home, I am still managing to keep abreast of Shop related administration and such like.  Finally, I managed this week to re-tag and re-label all the 87 currently listed Cuddlies available for sale (that's taken some doing, I can tell you!).  Really find it quite a task, especially as I'm still not really sure what I am doing (or even supposed to do!!).  To correct the latter deficiency, I'm this week starting a 4 week course offered by one of the Teams I've recently joined -   - and hope, by the end of the course, to have a better idea of what is supposed to be going on.  Partnered by Team Captain, who is kindly taking me under her wing, by the end of the course, I hope to have a better idea of how to proceed!  After recently celebrating 5 years on Etsy, it's time I really got down to it and worked at increasing sales of the Cuddlies, methinks!

When I'm not working on the SEO Course, I shall be continuing with my Baby Rabbit replacement programme.  Four new Yellow and White Baby Rabbits -  are about to be renewed and I'm set to do four more Pink and White versions next (  One is already promised to a little Girl, who was adopted at the same time as my young Grandson.  Like my youngster - she is about to conclude the long-winded adoption process early in April.  The day that their names are changed by deed poll to become part of their new family - the Celebration Day - has been set for dates, one after the other,  in the first week of April. As the two youngster live close to each other, we're hoping to keep up the friendships already begun.

See you next week.  Hope everyone has a good one!


(Thanks are expressed to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Trust for permission to use these photographs to illustrate this post - and the subsequent follow-ups.)