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Notes from St Tiggywinkles: Why I’m praying for rain

Tiggys pool

Tiggys pool

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

I want it to rain. That does not mean that I am some kind of depressive.

It’s just that every year we have to arrange a makeover for the area around our main pool and rain is that secret to success.

Amazingly, through many makeovers our main pool has survived ever since it was laid down in 1991.

And therein lies its secret miracle: our main pool is two sheets of butyl liner sewn together and laid down when the hospital was built.

The first winter on the pool saw just an uninhabited bland stretch of water.

But over the years that 
pool has become the hubbub of the local waterbird community.

True there are some of our own resident ducks, geese and gulls but every day sees a cacophony of all species including; of course, the herons flying in for free grub and a wash and brush up.

However time, and this constant traffic of webbed feet takes its toll the pool and its surroundings.

Our island, held together by a single battered willow tree, regularly collapses into the ominous waters only to be resurrected with sand bags and a team of wet and weary volunteers.

It is magical to see all the shapes, colours and shenanigans of all the ducks but their constant hustle and bustle does turn the once grassy bank into a muddy desert.

That is when we have to lay new turf at least twice a year.

Once more the labour falls to volunteers to lay the dozens of green patches.

When it is complete then the constant watering has to start.

That is when I look for those tell-tale depressions coming in off the Atlantic.

Rain and more rain does keep me and my turf happy.

At least in the short term.

 

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