Notes from St Tiggywinkles: Why it is important to teach about wildlife

Les Stocker MBE, founder of Tiggywinkles and  Karen Mitchell, principal and chief executive of Aylesbury College

Les Stocker MBE, founder of Tiggywinkles and Karen Mitchell, principal and chief executive of Aylesbury College

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On opening the Wildlife Hospital in 1991 our official charity name was Wildlife Teaching Hospital.

It still is in a partnership with the more well-known ‘Tiggywinkles’. 
Even in my original thoughts there were classrooms ready to highlight the wealth of knowledge about wildlife care not to be experienced anywhere else.
We were pleased over many years to provide courses in animal welfare culminating in a qualification and a diploma. 
I believe the defiance of our wild animal patients not budging from their wild heritages gave many students the fortitude to reach their goals. 
Sadly, blindly, the Government removed its funding for animal welfare in the wilderness to start our education programme all over again. 
It was a pity because all of our students fulfilled their City and Guilds courses with most moving onto jobs in animal welfare.
In the years following the withdrawal of the Government funding we maintained our student programme with an expected slowing down because cost reared its ugly head.
Now there is excitement and expectation, on the cards, as recently we have forged a link to Aylesbury College. We have always had great feedback from our students and I know that the staff at Tiggywinkles so relishes their input that they are ready, with open arms, to welcome the new intake. 
That original plan to be a Wildlife Teaching Hospital is reinstated now with the first students already on campus.