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Notes from St Tiggywinkles: It’s like Wind in the Willows at Chequers

Tiggys rescuer with rabbit

Tiggys rescuer with rabbit

  • by Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham
 

Two stately homes in one day for Tiggys founder.

First to Waddesdon Manor where my two granddaughters, Amelia and Alexia, together with mum Verity were running the Race for Life raising money for cancer research.

Almost immediately after the run I had a call to Chequers where a rabbit had been spotted by a policewoman marooned in an empty, dry disused water tank high at the top of the Estate.

It had no access to water and would surely have perished in the hot weather we have been recently seeing.

Expecting to have to climb down into the water tank, Graham, Liz and I loaded our foldaway ladder together with three long-handled nets.

Our policewoman escorted us through security and field gates until we arrived at the highest point on Chequers Estate with breath-taking views over the whole Vale of Aylesbury.

All four of us climbed down into the dry tank, which was full of a few small trees and loads of nettles. Unbelievably we were not able to find the rabbit in such a small area until I lifted an old piece of wood.

The rabbit shot out, as did four toads that seemed to also be trapped.

Liz netted the rabbit while I rounded up the four toads. We only had one carrying box so for now the toads would have to share it with the rabbit.

So far so good. But then another two toads were found together with several newts.

The toads joined their brothers in with the rabbit while the newts had to be ignominiously carried in my empty sandwich packet.

None was the worse for wear. I think we just got there in the nick of time.

I decided to release all of them in suitable local habitats.

The toads and the newts seem to really relish their chance to swim away in a pond on the Estate.

We released the rabbit in glorious wild flower high in the Chilterns.

 

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