Since Covid, I have unfortunately had three accidents. First I was actually knocked over by a van resulting in a cracked coccyx. Then I slipped on wet wood and damaged my rotary cuff on my left shoulder. On 31st January 2022 I slipped on ice whilst feeding the deer and that resulted in prolonging the problem on my left shoulder and damaged the rotary cuff on the right arm.

After Covid, I felt that at our age it was not practical to keep large dangerous animals any longer. So, we moved most of our “dangerous” animals to our friends and now Managing Trustees of Cornwall Nature Conservancy at the farm deeper in Cornwall.

We kept only a selection of smaller mammals and birds.

The animals we bred in the year were:

  • 4 Sri Lankan Rusty spotted cats (the smallest cat in the world).
  • 3 Wild cats
  • 4 Cape genets
  • 12 Meerkats
  • 5 Fallow deer

As we approach 78 yrs old, more and more of the Trusts work is being carried out by Gary and Rhiannon, our Managing Trustees and we are contemplating moving the rest of our animals over the next few months.

We have had some wonderful experiences, breeding and bringing up baby pumas, baby fishing cats, servals, leopard cats, jaguarundi and Cherry’s favourite European lynx, among many others.

We thank all who have contributed over the years to our cause and of course our various volunteers and staff.

I am sure it will have a new breath of air with Gary and Rhiannon who after all, are half our age. Gary has a lifetimes experience looking after animals and Rhiannon is a veterinary surgeon, the ideal couple to take over.

We will support them totally while on the nature reserve at Tredivett Mill.

Tony and Cherry
Founding Trustees

Antony Blackler


Tony Blackler has been a lifetime conservationist and amateur naturalist. Indeed he enjoyed his first pet at 18 months old, it was a big fat toad. Throughout his youth he rescued wild animals that were sick or injured from foxes to peregrine falcons and slow worms to barn owls. He enjoyed his training as a Chartered Accountant in Jersey mainly due to the fact that he was a volunteer in the inaugural years of Gerald Durrell’s Zoo, which is now known as a Worldwide Centre of Conservation importance.

Over the last 32 years, Tony and his wife Cherry have rescued various British mammals and birds and kept a number of those which could not be released and then extended this collection by attaining Rare and Endangered creatures in need of a helping hand in Worldwide Conservation. Everything from Harvest Mice to Mountain Lions are enjoyed in our current collection. We have returned many to the wild both in our own country, Scotland & India. We have just been asked to breed some quite unusual creatures called Jaguarundi, a small cat for an American conservation unit.

For Tony’s work in Conservation, Tony was awarded an MBE and was delighted that the award was presented by Prince Charles a lifetime Conservationist.

Winchester Hill 1960 - tagging butterfly population
Winchester Hill 1960 – Tony on the left, tagging butterfly population with Chris Rees

Cherry Blackler


Cherry is a retired special care baby nurse with some 25 years experience. She now continues the love of the young and small by particularly rearing any distressed or injured animal and any of our own collection which need special help. Over the last few years, she has reared Rothschild’s Mynas from the egg (these are now extinct in Bali, their only natural habitat. Cherry has also reared from birth, Foxes; Civets; Scottish Wildcats; Malaysian Fishing Cats as well as “mending” many injured wild birds and animals before release which is always her main ambition.

Cherry has an innate understanding of those creatures who need help. She has like Tony been a lifetime conservationist and animal lover.

Not all animals she has tried to help have reacted as though they appreciate her, indeed a Buzzard held her once for 2 hours with its talons meeting in the palm of her hand, when finally it released its grip. From then on it settled and once its wing was mended satisfactorily it was returned to the wild and visited the Conservancy on a regular basis, like many of the animals she has helped release.








The Cornwall Nature Conservancy

Tel: 01566 776899  |  Email: hello@cornwallnatureconservancy.org.uk | Registered Charity No: 1162986

pumacircle_webscottish wild catMember of BIAZA pine martenred squirrel

Share This