A Magical Christmas with Le Chameau X Haughton Park Reindeer

Words by Le Chameau

December 07, 2022

A Magical Christmas with Le Chameau X Haughton Park Reindeer

You can’t have Christmas without reindeer. As the festive spirit grows, these iconic animals start to appear everywhere, from majestically pulling Santa’s Christmas sleigh on the front of Christmas cards to adorning the tree in the form of glittery Rudolf decor.

This Christmas, Le Chameau is working in collaboration with Haughton Park Reindeer, where the perfect festive experience with real reindeer awaits all animal enthusiasts and Christmas lovers.

What is Haughton Park Reindeer?

Located in the rural splendour of Nottinghamshire, Haughton Park House Farm is both a working beef farm and somewhere to be fully emersed in the spirit of Christmas. With a herd of eighteen reindeer, you get some stunning sights of these majestic creatures in a protected, natural preservation environment where they’re truly flourishing.

Haughton Park Reindeer hosts a number of Christmas farmland activities and events for all the family. They also tour schools and provide primary school children with fun, Christmas-themed trivia about how Father Christmas delivers presents and why, for reindeer, carrots are a must! For older students, they also provide an excellent wealth of knowledge about reindeer, such as their habitats, eating habits and how they adapt to changing seasons.

Check out their Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with what the farm is up to. You can also learn Christmas and reindeer trivia and see regular pictures of the herd.

Supporting British Farmers

At Le Chameau, we know the value of hard work and always love to give credit where it’s due. Aside from the beautiful reindeer, Haughton Park also is working to educate children and adults alike on the incredible contributions and hard work that British farmers do to make the Christmas we love possible all around the UK.

Haughton Park House Farm runs a Farm Detectives program, which offers educational, farm-based activities about life on the farm, how eggs and milk are produced in bulk, and how they make their way to the supermarket shelf so you can make that delicious pastry and Christmas pudding.

Haughton Reindeer and Their Festive Mission

We recently had a sit down with the founder of Haughton Reindeer, Jennie Woodcock, and discussed her mission, how the reindeer are cared for, as well as what life on the farm is like, especially on the run-up to Christmas.

Tell us a little bit about your business e.g. how and when did it start?

I diversified into reindeer in 2010 after having my daughter. My background has always been in education and I wanted to link both the farm and education. Reindeer fitted in well, taking them into schools, and spreading the Magic of Christmas from nursery to year 6 pupils. It then developed to attending private Christmas events in various settings; garden centres, pubs, restaurants, nursing homes, village fayres, etc.

Where do the reindeer come from?

My reindeer originate from the Finnish forest reindeer, which is a rare subspecies of the reindeer native to Finland and Northwestern Russia. We have Stella, our only full Finnish reindeer on the farm. She is now 13 years old. Over the years I have bred reindeer for others to enjoy on their farm, farm parks or private settings. I have 20 reindeer at present, 17 of which have been born on the farm over the years.

Do they have different personalities?

Oh yes, definitely. I would say they follow the names of Father Christmas reindeer perfectly. There is always a Dancer – agile, Prancer – lively, Vixen – fierce, Comet – speedy, Cupid – loving, Donner – thunder, Blitzen – lightning, and Rudolf – strong. All these characters work well in different settings we take them to. It doesn’t take long to find out the personalities of the individuals and what they are willing to do for you.

What does a typical day of looking after reindeer involve?

Every day has its own routine. Feeding at both ends of the day and checking the husbandry of each reindeer. Every season brings a different aspect of what happens. Autumn is all about training them, getting ready to go into schools, walking on leading ropes, going in and out of the trailer, etc. In winter, the reindeer will work for me, visiting and interacting with the public. Spring is when new calves are born on the farm. Summer, they go into the fields to eat, sleep and relax. The reindeer will “work” for approximately 5 weeks and rest for 47 weeks a year.

How can people interact with your reindeer?

People can interact with our reindeer at various private events during the festive period, plus we occasionally put on events throughout the year where people can come to see and learn about the reindeer. Our toddler group has the added bonus of their classroom backing onto the paddock. We never stop people from asking questions. We are more than happy to answer, plus feeding and petting is often an option at different events we attend.

What happens around Christmas on the farm?

We have private groups visit Father Christmas and his reindeer for 5 days running up to Christmas. These are fully booked within days of going live. We pride ourselves on staying as traditional as possible. Our Father Christmas is 3rd generation to hold the key to all the secrets relating to “things only Father Christmas knows!”

Why is it important to have high-quality footwear on the farm?

We are on our feet from 7am to sometimes 9pm, so footwear is very important to us. Some days are cold and other days wet, we never know if we are going to be standing on grass, concrete or even mud for the whole day. We are in and out of schools and our vehicles so we need boots that are easy to get on and off. We look for versatile boots that tick the following boxes:

  • Warmth
  • Quality
  • Non slip
  • Durable
  • Comfy
  • Keep dry
  • Strong

And stylish, but this is low on the list if the above is covered in the boot. However, we’ve found the perfect boots in the form of our Le Chameau Chasseur and Vierzonord!