When I first decided to add a blog to my webpage I thought what better way to begin my first ever blog post than by introducing myself.
Hiring an entertainer for your child's birthday party is always a leap of faith . As a parent myself I know that a birthday party is something that children long for all year and so choosing the right person to entertain your child and their friends at a party can be a daunting task.
So just who is Ranger Stu and how did I end up doing what I do?
I live in Hertford with my wife and our two sons and our non human child (our pet dog Ralph).
I have been carrying out my presentations as Ranger Stu since 2008 and have loved everyday since!
Growing up one of my earliest memories is of holding a guinea pig at a farm, looking into its big eyes and feeling its soft fur as it just sat in my arms. Its from that moment that my passion for animals started and I knew all I wanted to do was learn more and more about every creature I came across.
My grandad was always my biggest inspiration, he taught me a lot about the natural world and it was thanks to him that I began to study animal management for 3 years at Capel Manor College. During this time I started volunteering at Paradise Wildlife Park and this is also where met my future wife Kayleigh.
It was during this time that I also met Nick who is now the co-owner of our zoo Cedars Nature Centre and I began to assist him on his animal shows. He taught me how to manage crowds, how to engage children (and adults) in conversation, add in a few puns here and there and he really helped to turn my animal obsession into a career!
I've been very fortunate to work with some great people in the animal and entertainment world and some of my most memorable animal events over the years have been working along scientists at the Natural History Museum, being the "Animal Expert" on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch and starting my own zoo Cedars Nature Centre.
My favourite however was presenting a school talk to the children at Cranbourne School (my primary school when I was a child!).
I have a fond memory of when I was around 7 years old. I was sitting amongst my classmates in the school hall, we were watching an "animal man" and being in awe of the animals. To me it seemed that he had the best job in the world!
To then be the person in that position teaching children (sitting where I was 12 years previously!) about the natural world was a wonderful feeling!
Why you should host a Ranger Stu party?
Hosting a childrens birthday party is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I am always keen to discuss your needs on the telephone rather than just by email as I like to make the experience as personal as possible.
I want to make you child feel important on the day and will ensure they are the star of the show.
I am passionate about animals and nature and I hope to inspire a few budding David Attenborough's of the future.
Animal welfare and the children's safety are always at the fore front of what I do and I am fully licensed, insured and DBS checked.
I will aim to educate and entertain your children in a calm controlled manner (with a few bad jokes thrown in).
As a parent myself I understand just how important a birthday party is to you and your children and I will do everything in my power to ensure your child has an unforgettable experience and will be the talk of the classroom for the year to come.