Reindeer at the Trevarno Estate, Helston

Cornwall Life meets Eleanor Pearce, reindeer handler at the Trevarno Estate

Cornwall Life meets Eleanor Pearce, reindeer handler at the Trevarno Estate

What is your name and job title/role?Eleanor Pearce, reindeer handler at the Trevarno Estate in Crowntown near Helston.


What does your work involve?I care for the herd of 13 reindeer at the Trevarno Estate. Ten of the reindeer have been here for two-and-a-half years now since they were imported from Sweden. They were originally intended to enhance our Christmas celebrations but have proved very popular all year around, especially this spring when our first three calves were born.I am in charge of daily care of the deer, including feeding and mucking out, plus routine healthcare such as vaccinations, foot trimming and medication. I train the reindeer for the situations they will encounter here, which ranges from teaching them to be led quietly around the gardens and meeting visitors, to training them to pull a sleigh. I’m also on hand to answer any questions visitors may have about them because finding reindeer in a Cornish country garden is quite unusual.


Describe a reindeer’s character and how easy they are to look after?Reindeer can be very timid animals but once they trust you they are wonderful characters. Each one is unique, but generally they are playful and curious but they can be contrary! Reindeer are hardy animals but they require specialist knowledge to keep them healthy in a domestic setting.

Most Read


Where and when can we see them over Christmas?The deer are on display around the grounds of Trevarno every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


What is your most favourite aspect of your job?I find it immensely rewarding when I’m making progress with a deer’s training, such as the first time they work in harness. I also feel very lucky to work in such a beautiful setting.  Taking a reindeer for a walk on a sunny morning through the beech woods is a real privilege.


What is your least favourite aspect of your job? Well, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked if I’m Father Christmas!


What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? In my spare time I enjoy riding, training and caring for my horses. I like exploring new areas of the county with my dogs, discovering the countryside and coast, and cosy country pubs!


What is your favourite part of the county?I love the area around Padstow; the cliffs are beautiful. One of my favourite walks is a circular route from Crugmeer along the cliffs and from Hawker’s Bay to Padstow.

Comments powered by Disqus