Deano’s Snake Shack in Ditchling

Many of us dream about giving up our busy office lives and living our days out on a farm, working off the land and taking in the odd egg or two; but how would you fare with enough hens to fill Court 1 at Wimbledon?


We caught up with Deano, who manages a free-range organic egg farm with an amazing 12,000 hens all roaming in acres of wild fields, as well as running a small reptile rescue centre (Deano’s Snake Shack), both based on The Macs Farm in Ditchling.


Deano spoke to us about how he discovered his passion for animals at a very young age, and some of the issues he faces running such a large farm, as well as a reptile rescue centre.


“I have had a passion for animals since a very young age,” explains Deano. “My holidays have always been based around visiting and viewing animals in their natural habitat.

“I was desperate to get a snake as a pet, as most 7-year-old boys are, but my parents always said that it wasn’t fair to keep these kinds of animals in captivity; and they were completely right!”


Deano explains that it wasn’t until around 20 years of age that he took in a corn snake that been rescued from a house locally. The snake had been abused and was covered in cigarette burns, and over the next three years, Deano carried out daily medical procedures rehabilitating the snake and 10 years later the snake is still with them, healthy and happy. Once Deano’s parents saw the difference he could make to these animals, the Snake Shack was given the green light.


Although Deano’s Snake Shack has gone from strength to strength, it doesn’t come without its own problems: “Day to day we find ourselves facing problems,” tells Deano. “The Snake Shack is not-for-profit meaning that I do not take a wage, all money raised goes in to the care of our animals. This has worked very well but with the recent increase in expenses it does worry me for the future of the rescue centre.

“Another problem is time, as I have a full-time job on The Macs Farm, I am very limited on when I can hold experiences with the animals, I raise funds by holding education experiences almost every weekend throughout the year.”


The best way to support Deano’s Snake Shack and all the animals that enter their care, is to take part in one of educational experiences, as well as donating to their GoFundMe page.


If you visit Deano’s Snake Shack you will find:


Giant African land snails, 2 x species of cockroach, 3 x species of millipede, sun beetles, 18 Florida bark scorpions, 1 flat rock scorpion, 1 Chilean rose tarantula, 1 Mexican white knee tarantula.


8 x Hermann’s tortoises, 2 x African hinge back tortoises, 1 Corn snake, 1 King Snake, 1 house Snake, 2 x Royal pythons, 1 Carpet python, 1 Boa constrictor, 2 x leopard geckos, 2x crested geckos, 1 European eyed lizard, 1 bosc monitor.


2 x Meerkats


Find out more about Deano’s Snake Shack on The Macs Farm website or by following @thesnakeshack on Facebook.

by Callum Knowles

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