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Named afterMrs Tiggy-Winkle from The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
Formation1983;40 years ago (1983)
Founder Les Stocker, Sue Stocker, Colin Stocker
Registration no.286447
Legal status Charity
PurposeWildlife rehabilitation and education
Veterinary education
Website www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk

Tiggywinkles is a British animal welfare charity and wildlife 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 . [2]


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. [1]


The animal welfare hospital takes its name from the character in the children's story The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle , by English writer and illustrator Beatrix Potter.

In 1978, Les and Sue Stocker and their son Colin started caring for injured wild animals. In the following years, their activities began to attract attention and led to increasing numbers of animals being brought into their home. [3] The Stockers formally registered The Wildlife Hospital Trust as a charity in 1983. [4]

Les Stocker was the recipient of a Rolex Award for Enterprise in 1990 for his work at the hospital. [5] In 1991, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to wildlife. [6] Les Stocker died on 16 July 2016, after a short illness, aged 73. [7]

In 2018–9, Tiggywinkles had an annual expenditure of £1,618,673. [8]

Cultural impact

Les Stocker wrote a popular account of his work at the hospital, Something in a Cardboard Box: Tales from a Wildlife Hospital (1989) and a number of books based on the work of the hospital, including a veterinary manual, Practical Wildlife Care (2000). [5]

Beginning in July 2008, Tiggywinkles was the setting for Wild Animal ER, a 20-part, half-hour documentary TV series presented by Kate Gerbeau, and shown on Channel Five in the UK. [9]

It was also featured in the first episode of Come Outside called "Hedgehogs". [10]

See also

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Les Stocker was a British wildlife campaigner and expert who founded Tiggywinkles, the United Kingdom's first hospital for wild animals, in 1983. Stocker has been credited with revolutionizing the treatment of sick or injured wild animals in Britain through the practice of wildlife rehabilitation, which is now commonplace across the country. He received numerous honors for his work at Tiggywinkles, including the Rolex Awards for Enterprise in 1990, an appointment as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to wildlife in 1991, and recognition as an honorary associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2002.


  1. 1 2 Warwick, Hugh (26 July 2016). "Les Stocker obituary". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  2. Tracey, Liz (10 March 2020). "Biomimicry Comes for the Noble Hedgehog". JSTOR Daily. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  3. Matthews, Helen; Matthews, Neil (2019). Slow Travel: The Chilterns & the Thames Valley. Chalfont Saint Peter: Bradt Travel Guides. p. 224. ISBN   978-1-78477-613-8.
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  5. 1 2 "Les Stocker, St Tiggywinkles founder – obituary". The Telegraph. 19 July 2016. ISSN   0307-1235 . Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  6. "Family, friends and colleagues pay tribute to the founder of Haddenham's St Tiggwinkles Wildlife Hospital". The Bucks Herald. 20 July 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  7. "Shock as Tiggywinkles founder Les Stocker dies aged 73". The Bucks Herald. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  8. "The Wildlife Trust". Charity Commission. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  9. "Wild Animal ER - Episode 1". Channel 5. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  10. O'Brien, Jacqui. "St. Tiggywinkle's Wildlife Hospital, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire Review". eParenting. Retrieved 1 July 2020.