Our lovely reindeer are from Andrew Cardy, a farmer based in Berkshire, who saved the reindeer from a cull in Norway. Andrew believes their health and welfare is of paramount importance, ‘We have a small herd, they have acres to roam in, have the highest quality specially formulated feed and are cared for by the country’s leading reindeer vet.’
The reindeer stay with Garsons was undertaken after a thorough understanding of what was involved and a commitment to providing care throughout their stay. Reindeer are protected and regulated by DEFRA (Department for Environment and Rural Affairs) who insist on high standards of care and attention.
A small team of Garsons’ staff cares for the reindeer – they are all animal lovers who put themselves forward. The team visited the reindeer at their farm first to learn how to look after them. A special enclosure was built, in consultation with the farmer. It is a large undercover area that is fenced and covered in hay. When the reindeer first arrived, they had a few days to settle in and become comfortable in their surroundings.
Visitors are not permitted inside the fenced area but the reindeer are free to come over and interact. They are not forced to interact with anyone and most of the enclosure is out of reach, so they can’t be petted if they don’t want to be. They are exercised daily and are left to rest overnight.
Ben Thompson from Garsons commented, ‘It’s a privilege to have these amazing creatures with us. Our reindeer handlers are keen to share their knowledge of the reindeer with visitors, and it’s wonderful to see the pleasure they give visitors of all ages, especially children. We’re pleased to play our part in educating children, some of whom have never seen reindeer before.’