Blackbird Boutique Blackheath owner leads a double life

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

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

But, outside of her professional life, she spends much of her free time saving and rehabilitating wildlife in South East London.

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

“It’s hard to keep an eye on the numbers, just yesterday I was at a local pet store rescuing a fox.”

Tracey started saving animals when she was seven years old when she first rescued a song thrush bird.

Since then she has rescued many animals, from newborn mice found trapped in a vacuum cleaner bag to a Muntjac deer.

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

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

“I learned a lot from books and the internet and volunteering with lifesaving charities.”

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Tracey’s goal is to rescue and release animals, as well as provide care for those who are injured or sick.

Either the animals are brought to her or she finds them on her travels.

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

Tracey said: “Rescue and release is the main objective, but if I come across an animal I would know if it was sick. I will assess any signs of infection or injury and go from there.

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

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

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

She explained: “I was glad I saved her, I needed both hands free, so I stuck her in there.

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

“They took me down and I continued on my merry way.”

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

Lesley, who also lives in Blackheath, said: ‘I put a lot of people on Tracey.

“She had so many animals in her care.

“She is well known from afar.”

Tracey continues to save animals, usually on a daily basis, while running her business.

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

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She also plans to purchase a facility to house the rescued animals and to further facilitate rescue training for volunteers.

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

“If everyone played their part, simply by not ignoring an animal if they saw one in need and calling the relevant rescue services for help.

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

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