“A Unique experience”






Launched in January 2013, the Secret Sanctuary is a haven for many reptiles and rare species.


Whether you want to wander around our unique venue to experience many rare (and not so rare) species first hand, or you want to meet Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillet (stars of SNAKE CITY on NAT GEO WILD), we are confident you will have a unique and memorable experience.


Our knowledge of reptiles and many other creatures is second to none and we are confident we can help- whatever your reptile needs.


We are also located in the home of Garden Care Services. Please click through for more details.


Our Ethos


The Secret Sanctuary prides itself on the wellbeing and comfort of many unwanted weird and wonderful creatures.


Your generosity and support allows us to continue our quest.


A safe haven for many animals, our main objective is to provide a comfortable and loving permanent home for these animals.


A visit to the Secret Sanctuary will be a memorable and unique experience.




Under the watchful eye of Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett, as featured on the TV series “SNAKE CITY” on “NAT GEO WILD”, our many rare species in the Secret Sanctuary are able to live happy lives in a natural environment.


Set within a beautiful area of the Chilterns, the Secret Sanctuary is a stunning landscaped garden boasting waterfalls, lakes, ponds, walks and vibrant planting.


This breathtaking venue is home to many exotic reptiles, snakes and other amazing creatures - some of which you have probably never seen before!

Some features in the Secret Sanctuary include:


The combination of our intriguing animals, the beautiful setting and our enthusiastic and knowledgeable team, makes a visit to the Secret Sanctuary both an enjoyable and an educational experience. We challenge you not to leave captivated!


The Secret Sanctuary offers a unique experience all year round. There is so much to see and learn, for visitors of all ages.



Home to a large selection of rare and captivating snakes, some of which we have already managed to breed successfully.


A large tropical house

Wander through, this intriguing building to experience a tropical environment in the heart of the Chilterns. As well as many magnificent iguanas you will see a selection of fascinating creatures, some of which often roam freely.


Our huge lake

Thriving with an abundance of koi and grass carp, along with many adventurous turtles, our lake appeals to visitors with all types of interests.


Please note more of these sections will follow and the text will change.



The Team


The team at the Secret Sanctuary is made up of a number of individuals who love reptiles and the many other creatures we provide a home for.


Some of the key members of the team are below.

       Siouxsie Gillett

    Simon Keys

    Kevin Claridge

    Shelly Claridge

Siouxsie Gillett grew up in urban England but her love and passion for animals drew her to a career working with dangerous and exotic wildlife. She did a stint as a zoo keeper, working closely with a pack of wolves, as well as looking after the reptile section. After that, she spent several years specializing in the care and handling of amphibians, deadly snakes and even crocodiles while managing an exotic pet shop. Her serendipitous role in the pet shop led to her meeting and falling in love with Simon Keys, professional snake-catcher.


Siouxsie followed Simon to the tropical city of Durban, South Africa where she works alongside him in the adrenaline filled and dangerous business of catching problem snakes, which they later release back into the wild. Not just his girlfriend, but his business partner, Siouxsie has a passion to rescue snakes from human conflict situations in the city of Durban, and also to educate the population to change their attitudes and phobia’s towards these misunderstood animals.



Simon Keys is a professional snake-catcher. His passion for reptiles started at an early age in the UK. As a child he spent his weekends hunting down and catching newts and lizards. Over the years his fascination grew, as did his collection of reptiles. By the age of 30, Simon ran one of the largest exotic and venomous snake businesses in England—from taipans and vipers to rattlesnakes, kraits and mambas.


With years of experience as a reptile behaviour and snake-handling expert, he turned his passion to saving snakes' lives.  He now spends every summer in the tropical coastal city of Durban, South Africa, where he runs a 'snake rescue service.'  He has adapted his unique skill set and passion for snakes into an adrenaline-filled and dangerous business. By catching problem snakes and releasing them back into the wild, he is saving reptilian lives, snake by snake.   Together with his snake-catcher girlfriend, Siouxsie Gillett, their job is to hunt down and remove some of the world’s most dangerous snakes from within the city and its surrounding areas.


Although each snake is a paycheck, no job is too big or too dangerous. The meagre call-out fees means they’ll never get rich from doing this, but it's a career of passion. Their mission is to not only save and protect the snakes they love, but to also educate the city's inhabitants and help them understand and respect this hugely persecuted predator.



Kevin’s passion for nature does not stop at plants, as his quirky personality draws him to the weird and wonderful!  After so many years, he achieved his childhood dream of owning his first ever snake.  Like most things in Kevin’s life it did not stop there and his exotics began to grow!


His collection now includes snakes, lizards, iguanas, rabbits, cats, fish, turtles and many creepy crawlies!  Before too long people in the local area along with the hardworking RSPCA were donating re-homes and abandoned animals, who were gratefully received and loved.   Due to the size of this new family, many renovations have been made on the land which is aptly called ‘The Secret Sanctuary’.

Shelly had always been an avid cat lover and still works hard fostering for Cats Protection.  Despite her love for cute and cuddly, she found herself bonding with Iggy, the first ever neglected Iguana taken to the Sanctuary.  He continues to thrive, along with all the other creatures she has grown to love.  “In a world where everything is going at 100MPH, it is sometimes wonderful to stop and admire all the creatures around us”.


This could not be achieved without the hard work and devotion of the dedicated team who run the Sanctuary.



As well as being a great venue, the team at the Secret Sanctuary also offer a wide range of services, some of which are highlighted below.




Private & Family Bookings

School Visits

Events – Private Hire

Photography Sessions

Themed Birthday Parties






Training & Education

Educational Workshops

Phobia Sessions

Professional Advice



Rehome Animals

RSPCA Work and Support

Sourcing Animals

A Safe Haven for Animals

Advice and expertise


Contact Us



If you would like to speak to the team at the Secret Sanctuary or arrange a visit, please contact us. Viewings are available by appointment only.



We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to the Secret Sanctuary.

Photos, souvenirs and autographs available.

We are fully licensed, insured and DBS checked.

Address:   Craigwen, 3 Whipsnade Road, Dunstable, Beds,   LU62NB.

Tel:  01582 603352    Email:  simon@secretsanctuarydunstable.co.uk or siouxsie@secretsanctuarydunstable.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thesecretsanctuarydunstable



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Garden Care Services and The Secret Sanctuary are trading names of GardenCare Services (Dunstable) Limited

Registered in England & Wales Company Number: 04307176

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