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Entrance to the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital

Tiggywinkles is a British animal welfare charity and veterinary hospital, also known as St Tiggywinkles and The Wildlife Hospital Trust. Tiggywinkles, which specialises in the rescue and treatment of wild animals, was founded in 1983 as the Wildlife Hospital Trust by Les Stocker as the United Kingdom's first wildlife hospital.[1] The name derives from the hedgehog character in Beatrix Potter's story The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.

It is based at Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, where it operates an animal hospital and visitor centre, and teaches wild animal practice to veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.


It was formally constituted in February 1983 by Les Stocker MBE HonAssocRCVS. It is a charity registered in England & Wales as The Wildlife Hospital Trust, and in 2006–7 had an annual expenditure of £1,005,614.[2]

Stocker was the recipient of a Rolex Award for Enterprise in 1990 for his work at the hospital.[3] In 1991 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to wildlife.

Les Stocker died on 16 July 2016 after a short illness, aged 73.[4]

Cultural impact[edit]

Les Stocker has written a number of books based on the work of the hospital, including a veterinary manual (Practical Wildlife Care, WileyBlackwell, 2nd edition, 2005) and a popular account (Something in a Cardboard Box: Tales from a Wild Life Hospital, Chatto & Windus, 1989).

Beginning in July 2008, Tiggywinkles featured in Wild Animal ER, a 20-part, half-hour documentary TV series presented by Kate Gerbeau and produced by Two Hand Productions, and shown on Channel Five in the UK.[5]

It was also featured in the first episode of Come Outside called "Hedgehogs".

See also[edit]


External links[edit]