Please Note: our hospital is open 24/7 with covid-secure procedures in place. Where possible, please do try to bring animals in before 8pm to help our staff and volunteers. However, if you have a sick or injured animal that needs urgent help, do not hesitate to turn up any time. Thank you!




Our Hospital is open 24/7, 365 days to care for all sick, injured and orphaned British wildlife. We care for over 12,000 animals every year



Tiggywinkles is a free wildlife hospital, the busiest and most advanced in the World. Started 40 years ago by the Stocker family in their back garden, Tiggys has treated over 300,000 patients! Utilising the latest technologies, the best veterinary nurses, and Specialist veterinary surgeons, the hospital gives wildlife the best care, treatment, medicine and love available. Our aim is to get everything back to the wild.



Find out when a wild animal is in need of assistance and when it should be left alone.






The Visitor Centre is open to everyone to provide education & information on our specialist work.





Find out about all the different ways you can help us in our life-saving work.



Regular Donation

Enter your own amount

£3 monthly donation

£3 will feed a baby bird for a day

£5 monthly donation

£5 will buy a bottle to feed a baby mammal

£10 monthly donation

£10 will bandage a fox's leg

One Off Donation

Enter your own amount

£10 one-off donation

£10 will bandage a fox's leg

£25 one-off donation

£25 will feed a hedgehog for a month

£50 one-off donation

£50 will x-ray a badger

Quick Donate via PayPal

Want to donate quickly through Paypal? No problem! Please click on the link above to be taken to our Paypal portal. Thanks for your kind support.


Hedgehog Included on First Red List for British Mammals

We were disheartened to learn that the hedgehog has been included in the first red list for British mammals. It is important that we do what we can to help the declining population, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to share with you some ways we can all help hedgehogs, especially in our gardens. Gardens are a popular habitat for our native hedgehogs but sadly, many modern gardens are not very hedgehog friendly. It is so important to remove hazards that can cause harm to our prickly visitors. Pesticides like slug pellets, barbed wire, netting, bonfires, some wood preservers, and gardening tools like strimmers are all potentially fatal to hedgehogs. Take a walk around your garden and look out for any cosy, dry, sheltered places where a hedgehog might like to nest. Thick hedges, dense brambles, scrub patches and hedgehog houses are all popular spots. Consider planting hedges, as these make ideal shelter and provide food for lots of wildlife! As well as putting out a shallow dish of fresh water and some tinned dog or cat food every night, you can help hedgehogs find food by leaving some areas of wilderness with long grass, dead wood and leaves so hedgehogs can forage for bugs and grubs. Hedgehogs seek well-connected habitats so as well as making your gardens hedgehog friendly, it is important to make sure hedgehogs have access to neighbouring gardens. Try create gaps in your fences (around the size of a CD) and encourage your neighbours to do the same! With the recent hot weather we have been having, it is important to put out water for hedgehogs every evening and it will help all the other wild animals in your garden too! We urge you to share these tips with your friends and family! If you would like more information, please take a look at our hedgehog fact sheet:

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Found a baby bird on the ground?

PLEASE NOTE: Any bird with an injury or that has been caught by a cat MUST be taken to a wildlife rescue as soon as possible. Every spring and summer we take in hundreds of baby birds, some of which may not have needed to be picked up. When to Help A baby bird found on the ground that has little to no feather coverage (a nestling) is in trouble. If you know where the bird has fallen from, and it can be done safely, please carefully return the chick to its nest then leave the nest well alone. You can monitor from a safe distance but be very careful not to disturb the parent birds. If there is no way of getting the baby bird back to its parents it may then need to be taken to a wildlife rescue to be hand reared. When to Leave Alone  If you find a young bird that has most of its feathers and is able to hop or flutter around (a fledgling) please leave it well alone. Most young birds will leave the nest before they can fly properly, you may see these seemingly helpless birds in the garden for a few days. The parents will be around nearby looking after the baby birds and should not be disturbed. If the youngster is in immediate danger (in a road or near to cats) you can move it to a safe, sheltered spot nearby. If you are not sure whether to intervene please call us on 01844 292292 for help and advice.  

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Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19 we are doing all we can to ensure we can still be here for wildlife in need. We are still open 24 hours a day to take in animals, but are running on a much smaller on-site staff, to help keep our team safe. So, if you have an emergency enquiry, please call us on 01844 290494. For all non-urgent enquiries please either email or contact us via our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Please do bear with us during this time as responses may take a little longer than usual. You can still bring animals in to us, 24 hours, for veterinary treatment and rehabilitation – however we are asking everyone to wait at the front doors and ring the bell for attention. One of the veterinary team will then come to collect the animal to reduce the numbers of people coming into the Hospital and reduce contact. There is no need to call or email ahead, you can just turn up with the animal. For help with large animals please call 01844 290494. We have set up some donations bins at the front of the Hospital, so if you are passing you can still drop off newspapers, dog & cat food or other items without having to enter the building – your kind support is greatly appreciated. UPDATE: We have some exciting news! We will be opening our Visitor Centre on Fridays and Saturdays only from 3rd July! We are taking social distancing and the safety of our Visitors very seriously, as part of this time-slotted tickets will be available to purchase on our website from 19th June, this will enable us to keep visitor numbers to safe levels. In order to follow the guidelines and keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe things will be a bit different for a while, but we can’t wait to see you back! If you have any questions or concerns please email us at We wish you all the best during this time and thank you for your support and understanding.

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Grey Squirrels

Due to the recent changes in the law we are no longer legally allowed to release rehabilitated grey squirrel. For more information on this please click here. This awful ruling has of course put wildlife rehabilitators, vets and members of the public in an incredibly difficult situation – we all want to do the best we can to help wildlife in need. To ensure we can provide those squirrels who desperately need life-saving care with the help they need we are working under strict guidelines on what we can do to help. PLEASE NOTE: We can no longer take in any grey squirrel from outside of our area (please see the map below). If you are worried about a squirrel and are not from our area please see for local contacts to help. Juvenile Squirrels Every year lots of baby squirrels are picked up as suspected orphans. As these little squirrels will no longer be able to be released, it is far better for them to be left in the wild wherever possible, instead of being condemned to a life in captivity. Squirrel Nests: Before cutting down trees and carrying out gardening works in the Spring and Summer months please carefully check for the presence of nests and baby squirrels. If you suspect a nest, leave the area well alone to give the mother a chance to rear her babies safely. If a nest or tree is accidently destroyed and the babies are exposed or on the ground, carefully pick them up in as much of their nesting material as possible (andwhilst wearing gardening gloves!) and pop them as close to the nest site as possible. Please then come away from the area and monitor from a safe distance. This will give their very dedicated mothers a chance to come back for her young. Please keep cats and other animals inside during this time. If the mother does not return, they will need help. If you are in our area, please call us on 01844 292292. If you are not local, please see Sub-Adult Squirrels: Sometimes juvenile squirrels can be found alone when they are first finding their feet – they are not always scared of humans and can even sometimes approach people. They will look similar to the squirrel pictured here. At this age it is possible to support them in the wild and help them without picking them up – this is preferable to condemning them to a life in captivity. If you have a squirrel like this in your garden or local park you can provide food and even water to help them out. A shallow dish of water and a handful of mixed (unsalted) nuts, such as pecans, and some digestive biscuits or baby rusks will be gratefully received by most youngsters. Please do not attempt to handle the young squirrels or attempt to tame them. They must remain as wild as possible. Please continue to feed and monitor them, call us if you need any help or advice to make sure you are doing the right thing – 01844 292292. Very young babies, or any age squirrel with obvious injuries, may need help. If you are in our area please call 01844 292292 or see if you are not local. Adult Squirrels Squirrels are very hardy animals. If you find an adult with obvious injuries – they may need veterinary help. If it is in our area, please call us on 01844 292292 or if you have it safely contained in a box you can bring it in to us. If you are not local please see for the nearest centre who can help.

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Muntjac Deer

Due to the recent changes in the law we are no longer legally allowed to release rehabilitated muntjac deer. For more information on this please click here. This awful ruling has of course put wildlife rehabilitators, vets and members of the public in an incredibly difficult situation – we all want to do the best we can to help wildlife in need. To ensure we can provide those muntjac deer who desperately need life-saving care with the help they need we are working under strict guidelines on what we can do to help. PLEASE NOTE: We can no longer take in any muntjac deer from outside of our area (please see the map below). If you are worried about a muntjac and are not from our area please see for local contacts to help. Juvenile Muntjac Deer Every year lots of juvenile muntjac deer are wrongly picked up as suspected orphans. As these little deer will no longer be able to be released it is far better for them to be left in the wild where they belong, instead of being condemned to a life in captivity, or worse. So, if you find a baby deer, please do not pick it up or touch it – their mothers can leave them for up to 12 hours on end whilst they look for food. If you are concerned the baby may have been orphaned, then please keep an eye from a safe distance for a several hours (up to 12) or return to the spot later. In most cases the mother will have returned. As difficult as it feels to leave such a vulnerable looking animal alone, it really is in their best interest. If the baby deer is found with obvious injuries or is found with its dead mother it may need help – please call us on 01844 292292 for further help and advice. Adult Muntjac Deer As with young deer, if these muntjac are brought into a rescue they will not be able to return to the wild, so please only intervene when necessary. Any muntjac with obvious wounds may need veterinary intervention. Please call us on 01844 292292 immediately if within our area. Any muntjac deer stuck in fencing, either on any part of its body or by a limb may need intervention. Please call us on 01844 292292 if within our area. Adult muntjac deer can be dangerous please do not attempt to rescue or pick up by yourself, call us on 01844 292292 or your nearest rescue for assistance ( If you find yourself in the upsetting situation of finding a sick, injured or orphaned muntjac deer we would strongly advise you to write to your local MP and to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (currently, Theresa Villiers) to highlight your views and experiences with this law and situation. We have prepared a draft response, which you may find of use when contacting the relevant bodies, please click here to learn more. Thank you for your kindness and understanding during this difficult time.

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Invasive Alien Species Order 2019

We are incredibly disheartened that the Government have introduced the EU Regulation on ‘Invasive Alien Species’ which affects muntjac deer and grey squirrels. This regulation now makes it illegal to release any rehabilitated grey squirrel or muntjac deer. We are working hard to have the law changed to allow us to release these rehabilitated patients under licence, but in the meantime, we will be implementing strict guidelines on taking in these animals. We have been forced into this position by the UK Government and whilst they say that they are not instructing rescues to euthanise the patients, our space and resources will be quickly depleted. To allow us to continue to provide the best welfare for these animals, during their indefinite stay in our care, we will need the help and support of the public during this difficult and testing times. As part of this we have created some information on when to help and when to leave well alone for both muntjac deer and grey squirrels. Before bringing us either of these animals please read through the information provided – if you are unsure please call us on 01844 292292. We would also please urge you all to contact your local MP and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (currently, George Eustice). We believe that having many different people and organisations approaching them to highlight their views and distress will only help the cause. We have prepared a draft response, which you may find of use when contacting the relevant bodies, please click here to learn more.

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Your Legacy is our Lifeline

If it wasn’t for your legacies and leaving a little something in your will, we wouldn’t be here. “Doing a Will” is one of those things that most of us don’t want to think about!  So if you do ever want to get it out of the way, or change your existing legacy, you can call me – and I will talk you through it, personally. It’s surprisingly easy, and we even have a free legacy link to save you money!  From a desperately needed packet of antibiotics, to a whole Intensive Care Unit, people over the years have left things for us to help us keep going, growing and saving animals. We don’t receive government or lotto funding, so every legacy we receive has an immediate impact on our unique hospital.  Either quietly with a small tasteful plaque, or a huge display celebrating a loved ones life – we make sure that a legacy is something perfectly suited for YOU. We offer a second chance to all British wildlife. We are always here for them, 24 hours a day, and will never let them down. We do not waste money sending out constant appeals for funds or free pens or other bizarre marketing techniques. Our Newsletters simply update our experiences and challenges. We know that once you choose to leave us a legacy you will never want us to waste money that you have worked so hard all your lives for. That is our promise to you and I hope that you will continue to contact me and make that legacy pledge.  I want to thank you all so very much. It means everything to us and I love talking to you all.  The kettle is always on if you’d like to meet us! Melanie Kingham Legacies Officer

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New Tours for 2019!

If you’re not part of an organisation or group, don’t worry, you can still enjoy our tour programme by joining one of our general public visitor centre educational days! Dates: April-September (see below)Price: Adult £11.00. Concession: £8.00 Concession tickets apply to: Children (10-17yrs), Over 65’s, Students (with ID) and Tiggys Members. Please note: These tours are not suitable for children under 10 years. Each tour will have a maximum of 30 people. A complimentary hot drink will be offered during the break and you are welcome to bring a picnic or purchase sandwiches and snacks from our cafe for lunch during your free time. Agenda 10:00am – Arrival and book in10:15am – Welcome talk in the cafe area10:30am – Polecat feeding time (with any other visitors in the centre at that time)11:00am – Hedgehog Talk11:30am – Break with complimentary hot drink12:00pm – Tiggywinkles ‘behind the scenes’ slideshow12:45pm – Free time to visit the rest of the centre. One of our tour guides will regularly check in with you to answer any questions and talk to you about our residents.4:00pm – Visitor Centre closes For more information and to book please click here.  

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Swan & Cygnet Rescue

This beautiful mother swan and her cygnets had a bit of a tricky start. Very sadly her mate was found dead, whilst she was sitting on their eggs. Not too long after, the mother was attacked by other swans (likely a territory dispute) which caused her to flee the nest; she was then found quite exhausted and distressed. As the poor mother needed care, and we knew the eggs would not survive without her, the whole family were collected by one of our rescuers. We kept the 8 eggs incubated whilst mum had her treatment and as soon as she was well enough, we put them all in a nice private room on a new nest. It did not take long at all for the eggs to start to hatch under the female’s watchful eye. We gave her plenty of space and privacy to make sure she was comfortable and were so delighted when all 8 eggs hatched! Once they were all up and about, we carefully walked the family to a new pen (with their own private pool), which will be their residence whilst in our care. All are doing brilliantly; she is a doting mother and the youngsters are all swimming and feeding well. Once the babies are a bit older, we plan to find them a safe home, without an existing pair of swans, so she can bring her young up in the wild. (Please note, the swan family are not viewable to the public when coming to the Visitor Centre).  

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Duncombe School

The pupils at Duncombe School in Hertfordshire have very kindly been fundraising for us here at Tiggywinkles. The pupils all worked so hard and raisied an amazing donation of £917.17! This generous donation will be a huge help for the animals in our care, so thank you so much to everyone involved. As part of their tremendous fundraising activities they ran a competition to design plasters, the two winning desings can be seen below – don’t they look brilliant!

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There are a number of ways you can help and support our life-saving work.

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