New Maresfield veterinary practice proves popular with pet owners

Complimentary client events and puppy parties are two of the activities organised by The Forest Vet at Maresfield to help owners learn more about caring for their pets.

The practice was launched six months ago by vet Rachael Butler to provide high quality healthcare for small animals and, with the client base growing rapidly, a new vet, Nadia Tistu, has joined the team.


The team at The Forest Vet includes, from the left: head of patient care Chloe Goatcher, practice manager Annette Butler, vet Rachael Butler, dog trainer Fiona Stephens, vet Nadia Tistu, animal nursing assistant Harriet Shankster and animal nursing assistant Michele Dickinson.

The Forest Vet has received accreditation from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Rachael says that one of the joys of owning her own business is running it as a training practice and helping her team get more qualifications.


Owners can choose a soft toy for their pet if they have an overnight stay at The Forest Vet.

For example Chloe Goatcher, head of patient care, who worked with Rachael at a practice in Heathfield before The Forest Vet was launched, is on a course at Plumpton to be a registered veterinary nurse.

Animal nursing assistant Harriet Shankster has started the same course and animal nursing assistant Michele Dickinson is training to be a veterinary physiotherapist.


Meet Lady Fu Fu a cat belonging to vet Rachael. Fu Fu is staying at The Forest Vet while on a diet. The problem is that the cat is fed by neighbours as well as her owner and so can only lose weight away from home.

Rachael herself has begun studying for a certificate in small animal surgery.

The practice, which offers a 24-hour emergency service for registered clients, is based in Millers Yard, Straight Half Mile, Maresfield, on a site once occupied by a kitchen door workshop but since adapted for its new use.

Rachael says The Forest Vet believes in the importance of thorough consultations – which can take up to 30 minutes – and clients meet with a vet and nurse to go through the history of the animal before an examination is conducted and a diagnosis reached. At that point a variety of options for treatment are discussed before the most appropriate plan is chosen.


Thorough consultations are a hallmark of the service at The Forest Vet, Maresfield. Ready to meet a client and their pet are vet Rachael Butler and head of patient care Chloe Goatcher.

The practice has separate dog and cat wards, two surgical suites and digital x-ray and blood machines that give results in just seven minutes, enabling clients to enjoy a cup of tea while they wait and then discuss results with the vet immediately afterwards.


One of the surgical suites at The Forest Vet, Maresfield.

About 60 people attended a complimentary clients’ evening held at The Chequers, in Maresfield, when, following dinner, there was a talk on The Joys of Getting Old which looked at care for pets as they age.

A second clients’ evening is coming up in April when the talk topic will cover skin and ears.

Another popular event organised at the practice is a weekly puppy party when clients bring along their puppies and ask questions of vets and nurses while the puppies socialise.


There are separate dog and cat wards at The Forest Vet. This is where the cats stay. You might spot Lady Fu Fu sitting on top of the accommodation.

Vet Rachael said: “It’s quite stressful for people when they get a puppy because they are very much like having a new baby. The owners have lots of questions and lots of people in dog communities have different opinions so people get confused. Our puppy parties give the owners chance to come and see the veterinary team and have a chat while the puppies socialise.”

If you would like to learn more about The Forest Vet please call the practice on 01825 766006 or email

Contact details for The Forest Vet can be found 24/7 in their listing in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in the category for Vets.


An outside view of The Forest Vet, Maresfield, where there is plenty of parking.

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