The owner of an ethical style boutique in Blackheath leads a double life.

Tracey Parsons, 35, owns the Blackbird Boutique in Blackheath Village.

But, outside of her working life she spends much of her free time rescuing and rehabilitating the wildlife in south east London.

“I’ve saved a few thousand animals at least,” Tracey said.

“It’s hard to keep tabs on how many, only yesterday I was in a local pet shop rescuing a fox.”

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Tracey began rescuing animals from being seven years old, when she first rescued a Song Thrush bird.

Since then, she has rescued many animals from new-born mice found trapped in a hoover bag to a Muntjac Deer.

She has cared for many animals including pigeons, foxes, crows, magpies, songbirds, small rodents, and waterfowl.

“It’s an instinct for me, rescuing animals comes naturally,” Tracey explained.

“I learned a lot through books and the internet and volunteering with rescue charities.”

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Tracey’s goal is to rescue and release animals, and also to provide care for the ones who are injured or sick.

The animals are either brought to her or she finds them when out and about.

Sometimes they have been injured by traffic accidents or domestic cats, or others are young orphaned animals in need of care.

Tracey said: “Rescue and release is the main objective but if I stumble across an animal I would know if it was ill. I’ll assess it for any signs of infection or injury and take it from there.”

Tracey is currently an active member of the Greenwich Wildlife Group which has helped in many of her rescues and rehabilitations.

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She works collaboratively with many other organisations such as London Wildlife Protection, Folly Wildlife, The Fox Project, and Whitby Animal Sanctuary to find care for animals that are in need.

Sometimes her rescue missions see her in compromising situations and on one occasion Tracey was up a ladder with a stranded pigeon that she had rescued from a net tucked into her sports bra.

She explained: “I was happy I’d saved it, I needed both hands free, so I stuck it in there.

“But someone had called the police and the fire brigade because they thought I was in trouble.

“They got me down and I went on my merry way.”

As a local business owner, she has become a well-known and much-admired figure in the community with people calling on her for advice on stranded or injured animals.

Lesley, who also lives in Blackheath, said: “I put many people onto Tracey.

“She’s had so many animals in her care.

“She is well-known far and wide.”

Tracey continues to rescue animals, usually daily, whilst managing her business.

She is also currently working on a philanthropic scheme to create her own merchandise using her wildlife artwork, with a percentage being donated to the Greenwich Wildlife Network.

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She is also working with the Greenwich Wildlife Network to help them purchase a premises.

“Everyone can have compassion for animals,” she said.

“If everyone played their part, just by not ignoring an animal if they see one in need and calling the relevant rescues for help.

“It’s a really rewarding thing to do.”

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