Country park staff rescue stranded hedgehog

The hedgehog, nicknamed Miss Tiggy-winkles

The hedgehog, nicknamed Miss Tiggy-winkles

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Rufford Abbey country park staff had to the come to the rescue of a stranded hedgehog.

The hedgehog, nicknamed Miss Tiggy-winkles, had fallen into an ornamental fountain within the country park on Monday afternoon (August 1).

Ady Grieve, Country Parks Janitor, and John Clegg, Site Manager at Rufford, for Nottinghamshire County Council, were first on the scene after being alerted by eagle-eyed visitors with John bringing a pair of leather gauntlets to handle the potentially prickly situation.

John said: “This was not going to be your normal summer holiday rescue.

“In front of a growing crowd, lots where drawn and Ady donned the gauntlets and stepped into the water fountain pool in the gardens. There quivering against the wall was Mrs Tiggy-winkles all in a pickle.

“She had fallen into the pool by mistake and couldn’t get out until spotted by a member of the public. Fortunately the pool was fairly empty but the warm sun was beginning to take its toll on her.”

A few calming words and gentle coaxing from Ady and the day was saved. A slightly bemused hedgehog was passed into the safe hands of John who returned her to the depths of the gardens.

Councillor Pauline Allan, Vice-Chairman of the Culture Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Our country parks are always a popular destination for visitors of all ages with Rufford alone welcoming around 400,000 people every year.

“The summer holidays are no exception as a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and explore this historic site. This rescue story is a lovely example of just another exciting day in the life of a hedgehog and our staff team at Rufford.”

The Nemi fountain was installed in 1889 when Rufford’s 18th century bath house was converted into the Orangery. The owner of Rufford at that time was Sir John Savile, a keen archaeologist who had acquired a large collection of antique sculptures and artefacts from an excavation he financed at the Temple of Diana, at Nemi in Italy.

One of the artefacts was a small oil lamp, and the fountain was based on the design of this oil lamp and so became known as the Nemi Fountain. As water no longer runs through the Orangery, the restored fountain can be powered by an electrical pump in order to pump the water within it.

For more details about what is on this summer in Nottinghamshire County Council’s country parks at Rufford, Bestwood and Sherwood Forest visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/events.