Conservationist Carol Heap thought she had given up on night feeds and demanding babies a while back. But an orphaned fallow fawn that was found trapped in a fence has brought it all back.
Carol has been helping to look after the fawn, named Peach, at the Chestnut Centre in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, and in her nearby home. Peace arrived at the centre in July from the RSPCA at the age of only three to four weeks. She had been found trapped and alone in North Wales, with serious injury to her hind flank as well as many cuts and grazes.
Carol, who founded the Chestnut centre in her home village? 29 years ago after looking after otters and other wildlife in her back garden, has been helping the staff to give Peach several bottle feeds a day and until recently was taking her home to care for her at night. Carol, who has two grown up sons, Ed and Charlie, and three grandchildren, Will, aged 3 years, Ollie, 3 years, and Tom, eight months, said it is all part of the job.
?It?s a long time since I had to get up in the night for Ed and Charlie but I?ve got some recent experience of having babies around with my three grandsons. Because Peach is an orphan she is quite needy and requires lots of cuddles and reassurance. She was very timid and reluctant to feed at first but our keeper Becca Wood persevered with her, and I was doing the night and early morning feeds.
?She is at the centre now on three feeds throughout the day. She spends all day with the herd, then goes to the deer shed at night to keep her safe as she is still very small. All her wounds have nearly healed and she?s growing well.?
?It is lovely going up to see her at the centre in the mornings because when she hears me she ?peeps? hello. She is doing well but she came in with a very nasty wound on her hind flank and young abandoned animals can be quite vulnerable, so we have to be careful. Once her injuries heal completely, Peach will be able to join the fallow herd at the Chestnut Centre all the time and integrate with the others.?
About the Chestnut Centre
The Chestnut Centre is located in 50 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds in the Peak District National Park and is home to four species of otter, including the endangered giant otter. There are 17 species of owls as well as other indigenous wildlife, such as pine martens, polecats, foxes, Scottish wildcats and lovely free-roaming sika and fallow deer.?
Every day of the week there are meet the keeper sessions, animal feeding times and deer encounters.? There are also guided educational visits for schools and for adult interest groups wanting to find out more about wildlife and conservation. With lovely woodland trails, a cosy tearoom and well-stocked gift shop, the Chestnut Centre has everything for an enjoyable and informative day out for all the family.
The Chestnut Centre was founded in 1984 by Roger and Carol Heap, who have been involved in wildlife conservation for over 30 years. They also own and operate the New Forest Wildlife Park in Hampshire and Battersea Park Children?s Zoo in London.
The Chestnut Centre received a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence award 2013. The award honours hospitality excellence and is only given to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on Trip Advisor.? Only the top performing 10% of businesses listed on Trip Advisor receive this prestigious award.
For more information on the Chestnut Centre please see their main page here