Notes from St Tiggywinkles: Spruce up to stop escape artists

Young moorhen
Young moorhen

It’s the end of a busy season at Tiggywinkles.

Most of this year’s patients have been released.

Even the badgers have had their TB vaccinations.

They are a mixed group, unrelated but built into a family to go to a new home built on badger-friendly farmland in the north of the county.

Back at Tiggys we are taking stock of the wear and tear our infrastructure always suffers during a busy year.

But even before we start our carpentry chores the new escape proof hedgehog overwintering pens need to be taken back to the drawing board.

Why?

I’ll tell you why – hedgehogs are climbing out of their pens to co-habit with their neighbours. We have set the camera traps to see how they do it.

Sue also wants a perimeter fence edged with tasteful timber to uphold our policy of trying to look smart.

The main aviaries built in 1991 are looking their age especially the one destroyed by a recuperating woodpecker.

After that, metal woodpecker aviaries are the order of the day.

I hope that, rather than having to rebuild the aviaries, our maintenance team can manage to strengthen the structures with added timber.

Our Visitor Centre is really showing its age.

Especially the water features are now exotic pools of mud.

The waterwheel had to be removed for replacement bearings.

Even its pool and stream, made out of butyl liner, are leaking away.

But the black-headed gulls of that garden are loving their access to much shallower streams.

Adjoining is “The Bog Garden” with its own butyl liner pool. Now particularly empty it does look very sad.

However an intrepid family of visiting moorhens have successfully reared a family of three babies on the remnants of the pool.

Their cute babies relishing the safety and freedom of a secluded area are as pretty as a picture.

Deep down though, we know that all these building projects will be ready for next years season.