New Forest Wildlife was originally a Butterfly Farm and later became the Nature Quest Wildlife Centre.

Carol and Roger Heap and their son Ed Heap, who have been working in wildlife conservation for most of their lives, took over the park in 1997  and later re- named the centre the New Forest Wildlife Park.

Jason Palmer - Curator of Animals

Jason has overall responsibility for the welfare of all our wildlife, bringing new species to the park and dealing with the mountains of red tape required.

After working for us at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo and a couple of years abroad he returned to the New Forest Wildlife Park. Under his management many new species have been introduced to the park and he co-ordinates the studbooks for pine marten and Asian short-clawed otters. Jason has a huge network of colleagues in the zoo and natural world and can always find the answer to any problem.  

Jason has appeared on many local TV and radio stations, passing on his expertise about our animals, and also represented the park when CBBC Wild came to do a live broadcast in 2013.

Donna Liversedge - Animal Manager

After travelling and working in Texas and Canada with North American native species Donna is now working in the New Forest with European native species. She has experience with many types of zoo animals and thoroughly enjoys her work. Donna has had many sleepless nights caring for orphaned young animals needing extra TLC, but always enjoys seeing them return to the park fit and well.

Shanna Dymond - Head Keeper

Shanna was one of our first work-experience students from Sparsholt College in 1999 and after qualifying she came to work at the park as a trainee keeper.

Shanna enjoys sharing her knowledge about our wildlife and leads our birthday parties, Keeper Experience and Junior Keeper days. Like most of our keepers she has done her fair share of night feeds for orphaned animals, including taking them home to her family. As a result Shanna has many wildlife friends around the park.  Coffee time would not be the same without Shanna's cakes and biscuits.

Ali Morris - Animal Keeper 

Ali has been with us for 14 years and is one of our most experienced and knowledgeable keepers. She always has a smile and the ability to see the funny side of a situation. Not only is she a busy mum, but she also frequently helps out, when necessary, taking injured or orphaned wildlife home for specialist care and that bit of vital extra attention. Ali carries out our regular daily keeper talks and feed times also our Keeper Experiences.  Ali enjoys chatting to our visitors and  sharing her knowledge.


Sian James -Senior  Animal Keeper

Sian joined us in September 2016 from Drusillas' Zoo bringing a wealth of exotic species knowledge to New Forest Wildlife Park. Her calm confidence around the animals and the team in general is very effective.

Sian's fascination in creepy, crawly, slimy creatures  most likely means we will have some new residents shortly joining our collection.


Dave Tipping - Animal Keeper

Dave joined us in October 2016 and previously worked at Aldingbourne Farm Park where he looked after a wide range of domestic and farm animals. He now wishes to progress his career with our extensive collection of native and exotic animals. Dave has a multitude of useful skills including plasterer, forger and he is also a qualified blacksmith and farrier. He has quickly fitted into our team and his sense of humour makes a repetitive job more interesting.


Hayley Smith - Animal Keeper

Hayley worked with us as a volunteer before progressing to become a seasonal keeper during the summer of 2016.

She continues to work with us and is hoping to focus on a career in the zoological and conservation field. Her experience with us will stand her in good stead to achieve her laudable ambitions.

Tina Manser - Catering Manager

After a long and successful career in the army Tina decided  to pursue a career in catering.  She had gained all the necessary qualifications during her army years and we feel very fortunate that we were advertising for a Catering Manager at the time she was looking for a new career.  She frequently comes in early each day so she can wander round the New Forest Wildlife Park and enjoy our animals and birds. Tina has a great sense of humour and enjoys interacting with our visitors.

Doug Symonds

Doug was recruited by Tina as he is also ex-army catering. He thoroughly enjoys all aspects of his work and when not tied to the oven he can be found watching and learning about our animals.  Doug has been involved with the Scout movement for over 20 years and spends much of his free time with his local scout troop.



Katie joined the catering and retail team on the 15th July 2016 and was promoted to the role of  supervisor in March 2017.

Katie's willingness to help others is a perfected in her customer skills.  Her two young boys are frequent visitors the the New Forest Wildlife Park where they share her love of animals.


Karen Pringle - Retail Manager

Karen has worked at New Forest Wildlife Park since 2007 and is very much part of the furniture. She has a keen interest in all aspectsof the park but is happiest creating a warm welcome for our many visitors so they too can have a thoroughly enjoyable day and hopefully take home a little knowledge of our native wildlife. She always has a smile and will always be happy to assist.

Symon Monger - Sites Maintenance Manager

Symon joined us in 2012 and since then his professional skills have enabled us to refurbish enclosures, construct bison pens and build our unique adventure playgrounds. For 2015 he and Ed built the impressive new accommodation for our harvest mice in the glasshouse. Coffee breaks would not be the same without Symon’s sense of humour.

Ed Heap - General Manager

Ed is a wildlife expert and an all-round fixer, builder and handy man. Like his parents Carol and Roger he’s passionate about conservation and helps to ensure the smooth running of the park and the welfare of all our animals. He is currently working with many others on the conservation of Scottish Wildcats. Ed has been caring for wildlife since he was a young boy, when most of the casualties lived in the family home, and usually the bathroom.

Clare Heap BVSc MRCVS - Vet

Clare and Ed are married and form a formidable team in caring for our animals and wildlife rescues. Clare divides her time as a vet between small animal clinical work in Winchester and working at the wildlife park, at the same time as bringing up two young sons. She is married to the business and always on call for the park. Clare has postgraduate qualifications in exotic veterinary practice.