At the end of 2004, Luke launched Pilgrims Veterinary Practice and ran it from his home, Pilgrims Cottage, in Martin. Originally, it was an ambulatory farm practice and whilst dogs, cats and horses were occasional customers, they were very much the pets of farmers or commoners who added them to the end of visits or rounds.
The practice grew and for a couple of years managed the veterinary routine work for some of the largest organic dairies in the South, one of the biggest organic pig producers in the UK and many local dairies and beef farms.
When the old village shop became available in Cranborne (2006), Luke took the plunge and together with his wife, Cordelia, they opened the surgery as a mixed practice. As the practice grew, so did the team and over the years it has evolved into a two site practice employing 5 full-time vets. None of this would have been possible without the dedication, compassion and commitment of the pilgrims team over the years and the practice strives to maintain a family feel for both staff and clients alike.
With the help of Richard and Valerie at Gorse Farm, Luke and Cordelia opened the Fordingbridge surgery in 2010 which was converted from one of Richard’s old cattle sheds. This was amazing fun and enabled the practice to develop a base in the Forest itself and strengthen our relationship with the fantastic community that resides in the North West corner of the New Forest.
James and Nikki joined the partnership in 2013 and the practice hasn’t looked back, going from strength to strength. Whilst our farm work has reduced (along with many of the dairy farms in the area), our equine work has flourished and the first opinion services we can offer for companion animal care are second to none in the county. It is our ethos to always treat any animal we see as if it was one of our own and pride ourselves on always being prepared to go the extra mile for the animals under our care.