Founded in 1984 by Pam Mansfield and her late husband Mel, the Exotic Pet Refuge began life in the caring couple's home nine years earlier.
"Someone came to us one day with an injured bird - and it all snowballed from there, with more and more creatures being brought to us! By 1984, we became a registered charity and many years later on we needed to move to our current 4 acre premises." - Pam, Founder
A full-time housewife prior to this, Pam also held down many part-time jobs before the Refuge demanded every waking hour of her life. Pam and her Team now care for up to 300 animals that will live out the rest of their lives at the Refuge.
"Caring for this genre of animal is so demanding it requires total dedication from us all. This means that come rain or shine, sickness or tragedy, fear or love, we concentrate on our many residents first but we wouldn't change it for the world - the Refuge is our way of life."- Darren, Director
Costing over £75,000 a year to run, the Refuge is extremely grateful to all forms of help offered - be it donations, food, delayed payments or work as a volunteer. Around £25,000 of this money is raised from the six open days every year, where the public are invited to visit the animals at the Refuge in order to raise funds to care for them.
"This is a 24/7 job - you don't get time for holidays or any other time off, the Refuge is my entire life." - Pam Mansfield, Founder
It's not only the animals who benefit from the Exotic Pet Refuge, however, as many students and people with special learning needs also turn to the Refuge for work experience.
"We are extremely thankful to everyone who has donated their time, items or money for our animals. Any contribution however small can make a difference!" - Jane Syrova, former Manager
The EPR has also caught the attention of animal enthusiasts Mr Steve Backshall, a presenter of Deadly 60, who in 2006 agreed to be the Refuge's patron and Mr Warwick Davis, an accomplished actor, who became Refuge's Patron in 2013.