New veterinary practice thrives despite pandemic

Becky Piper and Amy Cockett.

A new veterinary practice which opened during the lockdown is already looking to expand.

Wensleydale Vets, based near Leyburn, is a mixed independent veterinary surgery which was launched by Amy Cockett and Becky Piper.

After graduation Becky worked as a mixed vet in Leyburn from 2013 to 2018, before leaving to start a small animal surgical certificate at a practice in Harrogate.

Amy started a career at Swale Vets in Richmond, and moved to Hawes after meeting her husband, Dan Cockett, who works at family butcher and bakery business JW Cockett and Son.

After having children she worked as a small animal vet at Forrest House Vets in Bedale, then moved closer to home working at Yoredale Vets in Leyburn.

Becky found the long drives to Harrogate difficult and missed being a community vet that allowed her to give a high standard of care to small and large animals.

Amy found the demands of the veterinary profession unsustainable around family life, and craved a more flexible working pattern.

After meeting by chance through a client, the pair discussed setting up their own business.

Amy said: “We did not think it would come about till Becky had finished her surgical certificate, and my kids were older.

“However, as time went on we could see there was a demand in the area for a mixed practice veterinary surgery and providing 24-hour care for pets, so we decided to take the leap.

“It was difficult finding a location as we craved good parking, but through a discussion in the pub we were soon introduced to the Metcalfes, which subsequently offered us a home at Washfold Farm, near Leyburn — we could not have asked for a more perfect location.”

In November, the practice is opening a small cabin at Hawes auction mart, which will offer small animal consultations and be open for farmers to order and collect medicines.

Amy said: “We have grown quickly and are proud of what our team have achieved in such a short time.

“At the beginning of September we took on a third vet, Amelia Briggs who has a huge passion for farm work and has dreams of completing a certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in sheep.”

Currently their workforce includes a part-time practice manager, Faye McComb,  as well as nurse Robyn Pike, trainee nurse Danielle Parsons, and receptionists, Heather Cameron and Val Robinson.

Amy added: “We offer a personal friendly service for all creatures great and small which includes, small animal consultations, diagnostics, surgery, budget-friendly preventative health care plans for dogs, cats and horses, farm animal routine work and TB testing, as well as ambulatory equine services , with an in-house 24-hour emergency service for small animal, farm, and equine.”


  1. Well done to all in the practice you have saved Ebony and she is thriving under your care. Thanks so much. Gordon

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