Places To Go


Raptors


Places I've Been To & Can Recommend

England

The Raptor Foundation
Twilight Flying

More chances to see some owls & hawks flying at twilight.
11th, 12th & 19th December, from 6pm to 8pm.
£18 per person admission includes full Christmas Meal after the display.

Life Care Hospital for Birds of Prey: at weekends, staffed mainly by a group of volunteers (including me when I can get there) who devote their spare time to looking after injured & unwanted birds of prey. The Raptor Foundation has over 250 birds & over 40 different species of raptor. Given good weather, around 40 birds are flown each day, on 3 flying displays (2 displays when it gets dark early). In the event of bad weather, there is an indoor flying area where many birds can be flown. Lots of audience participation at the end of each display. Open every day of the year, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Years day. The Raptor Foundation now runs experience days, hunting days & falconry courses.

Where To Find Them
The Raptor Foundation, The Heath, St Ives Rd, Woodhurst, Cambs, PE28 3BT
Tel : 01487 741140
Fax : 01487 841140


World Owl Trust

An excellent centre with one of the worlds largest & most varied selection of owls from the very small Pygmy Owls to Eagle Owls, it is one of the few places where Fish Owls may be seen. The World Owl Trust is the UK's only national owl organisation, providing advice to individuals, organisations & public authorities on all matters of owl conservation. The World Owl Trust is dedicated to the worldwide study & conservation of owls and carries out an extensive breeding program. The World Owl Trust is based in . From the end of March through to the end of October, there is a chance to "Meet The Birds" at 2.30pm and, weather permitting, see some of them fly.

Where To Find Them
World Owl Trust, The Owl Centre, Muncaster, Ravenglass, Cumbria, CA18 1RQ
Tel : 01229 717393
Fax : 01229 717107


Cotswold Falconry Centre

This is a smallish centre, with around 100 birds, next door to the Batsford Arboretum (joint entrance tickets are available). The flying displays are aimed educating the audience as much as entertaining them. The centre also puts on displays at weekends at the nearby during the summer months (at least this year, 2001).

Where To Find Them
Cotswold Falconry Centre, Batsford Park, Moreton In Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9QB
Tel : 01386 701043


The Hawk Conservancy Trust

Large centre with a good selection of birds. Actively involved with reintroduction of the common buzzard, kestrels, sparrowhawks, tawny & Little owls in the South of the country.

Where To Find Them
The Hawk Conservancy, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 8DY
Tel : 01264 773850
Fax : 01264 773772


Kielder Water Birds Of Prey Centre

Small centre, located at the edge of Keilder Water resevoir. As well as the expected selection of birds, the flying displays include a selection of new & old world vultures.

Open throughout the year, as well as being a visitor centre, they have a Captive Breeding Programme for birds of prey.

This centre was been recommended to me by Mieke, who contacted me via the comments page.

Where To Find Them
Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder, Northumberland. NE48 1AX
Tel : 01424 250400
Out Of Hours : 0191 413 9043


Gauntlet Birds of Prey, Eagle & Vulture Park

Previously known simply as "Gauntlet Birds of Prey", based near Nether Alderley in Cheshire. From March 6th 2004, this birds of prey centre is moving to larger premises in Knutsford. Runs falconry courses & visits to schools.

Daily events are : Vulture Restaurant at Midday, flying display at 12.20, Meet and Greet and another display at 3pm.

Where To Find Them
Gauntlet Birds of Prey, Eagle and Vulture Park, c/o Fryer's Rose Nurseries and Garden Centre, Manchester Road, Knutsford, Cheshire. WA16 0SX
Tel : 01565 754419
Mobile : 07721 580042


Yorkshire Dales Falconry & Conservation Centre

A small centre, situated in the Yorkshire Dales. The weatherings for many of the flying birds are built into the side of a small hill & lined with limestone rocks to resemble small caves. Open throughout the year (except Christmas Eve & Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve & Day), flying displays at 12, 1.30 & 3.00. Reduced admission rates in the event of bad weather. utside of the main season, it is advisable to phone in advance to check on times of opening & flying displays.

Where To Find Them
Yorkshire Dales Falconry & Conservation Centre, Crows Nest, Nr. Giggleswick, Settle, North Yorkshire, LA2 8AS
Tel : 01729 822832
Fax : 01729 825160
Information : 01729 825164


Eagle Heights

Birds of Prey Centre in Kent, with an emphasis on eagles. Situated at the top of a hill looking down into the Darent Valley, this gives an impressive view of the eagles flying below you. The flying demonstration includes Bald Eagles taking their food from a small pond. Be aware the the closest junction on the M25 is also the nearest junction to Brands Hatch (this comes from having the experience of going on the same day that 90000 people in around 24000 cars went to Brands Hatch on a boiling hot day & finding the thermostatic switch on the car radiator had failed.)

Where To Find Them
Eagle Heights, Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0BJ
Tel : 01322 866466
Fax : 01322 861024


Lakeland Birds Of Prey Centre

Situated in the walled gardens of Lowther Castle. Open from March through to September, with 3 flying displays each day.

Where To Find Them
Lakeland Birds Of Prey Centre, Lowther, Penrith, Cumbria. CA10 2HH.
Tel: 01931 712746


Scotland

Loch Lomond Birds Of Prey

A small centre close to Loch Lomond, recently moved & rebuilt (if you have been before, go to the same garden centre & instead of turning left you now go through the garden centre). They have around 38 birds comprising 26 different species in total, ranging in size from the Little Owl up to the Golden Eagle. Open throughout the year (times vary throughout the year & are on the website), except Christmas Day & New Years Day, but may be closed due to external events (website has details of these). This is a very friendly centre which, unlike most centres, aims to give you a very personal visit by having volunteers & staff take all visitors on a guided tour, with a lot of information about the background of their individual birds as well as the particular species. They also run introductory days, hawk walks & hunting days and are available for school visits & parties (children over 5 only).

Where To Find Them
Loch Lomond Birds Of Prey, Stirling Road, Ballagan, near Balloch, G83 8NB
Tel : 07751 862416


Wales

Mid Wales Falconry

This is primarily a school rather than a visitor centre, though on occassions throughout the year they have events open to the public (limited numbers, booked in advance) such as twilight owl flying & picnics with flying displays. They run experience days & courses of up to four days duration, hawk walks, hunting days, corporate days & are available for outdoor displays for shows, schools, etc.

As well as a smallish flying area at the centre, the proprietor owns several adjacent farms, which may be used for the experience days. The hill top flying area, where the picnics take place, looks an impressive site for all of the birds to fly.

Most importantly, Mid Wales Falconry runs an apprenticeship scheme, lasting 12 months, for those who are serious about owning & hunting with birds of prey.

Where To Find Them
Steve Smith
Mid Wales Falconry, Castle Caereinion, Montgomeryshire, SY21 9AS
Tel : 01938 850265


Gigrin Farm, Red Kite Feeding Station

A family run upland sheep farm of approximately 200 acres, with nature trail. It is the official Kite Country red kite feeding station.The Red Kites are fed at 2pm GMT each day (this means 3pm during BST). Closely associated with the Welsh Kite Trust.

Where To Find Them
Chris, Eithel or Lena Powell
Gigrin Farm, South Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5BL
Tel : 01597 810243
Fax : 01597 810357
Mobile : 07798702374


Places I Haven't Been To Yet But Intend To

The International Center for Birds of Prey

JPJ has now returned to the The National Bird of Prey Centre which is now renamed The International Center for Birds of Prey.

Check their website for up-to-date news on the future of the ICBP.

Where To Find Them
The International Center for Birds of Prey, Boulsdon House, Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1JJ
Tel : 01531 820286 or 01531 821581


The Barn Owl Centre Of Gloucestershire

A non-profit making education & conservation organisation also acting as a sanctuary for a small number of birds (unwanted pets). The centre house various species of owls, hawks & buzzards other than barn owls. It runs several courses for those interested in different aspects of keeping & flying raptors & is open to the public at weekends.

Where To Find Them
Netheridge Farm, Netheridge Close, Hempsted, Gloucester, GL2 5LE
Tel : 01452 383999


The Birds of Prey & Conservation Centre at Sion Hill Hall

I have had several good reports about this centre. The Centre is open 7 days a week from the 1st of March to the 31st of October, with over 70 birds from 30 species.

Where To Find Them
Falconry UK Ltd, Sion Hill Hall, Kirby Wiske, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 4EU
Tel : 01845 587522

Falconry Scotland

Falconry Scotland run two centres in the Lothian & Border regions of Scotland. They run a range of corporate & private falconry activities, including experience days, hunting days & training.

Dalhousie Falconry, near Edinburgh, provides the falconry services on an appointment only basis. It is based in the grounds of the 700 yr old and appointments can be made directly with the centre or through the hotel.

Where To Find Them
Dalhousie Falconry, Dalhousie Castle & Spa, Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH19 3JB
Tel : 01875 825728

Jedforest Falconry is based in the grounds of near Jedburgh. In addition to the services provided at Dalhousie, there are also daily flying displays & handling sessions at no extra cost to the entrance fee to the park. The centre is open from the beginning of May through to the end of October, but may be available by appointment at other times.

Where To Find Them
Jedforest Falconry, 4 Mervinslaw Farm Cottages, Jedburgh, TD8 6PL
Tel : 01835 840393
Jedforest Deer and Farm Park, Camptown, Jedburgh, TD8 6PL
Tel : 01835 840364


Auchingarrich Birds Of Prey Centre

Due to reopen under new management in June 2008. It was a small centre, with around 30 birds, sited in the Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre but totally independant & it was not necessary to pay admission to the Wildlife Centre itself. I have no information on how the centre will now be run, contact the Wildlife Centre for further info.

Where To Find Them
Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre, Comrie, Perthshire, PH6 2JS
Tel : 01764 679469
Fax: 01764 670486


World of Wings

This centre has moved from Chatelherault Country Park and was a small centre attached to a garden centre at a country park on the outskirts of Glasgow. They have now moved to Cumbernauld Outdoor Centre further outside Glasgow.

Where To Find Them
Blairlinn Cottages, Easter Blairlinn Road, Luggiebank, Cumbernauld, G67 4AA
Tel: 01236 722999
Fax: 01236 457952


Rescue Centres

Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre & Bird Of Prey Hospital
A Message From Gentleshaw

I would just like to mention that although flying displays are not guranteed every day at gentleshaw wildife centre, we do fly the birds every day, either during experience days or just to exersise them, so there is a very good chance that visitors would see the birds fly. we also do falconry courses for those considering taking on a bird of prey.
Jenny Smith

A rescue centre for animals & birds of prey. Open all year round, weather permitting there are flying displays, but this is at the discretion of the falconer.

Where To Find Them
Fletcher's County Garden Centre, Stone Road, Eccleshall, Staffordshire ST21 6JY
Tel : 01785 850379
Fax : 01785 850379


Other Animals

South Lakes Wild Animal Park

Zoo with special interest in conservation of tigers. It has an 'Australian' area, with free roaming animals from that continent which may be hand fed.

Where To Find Them
South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Crossgates, Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA15 8JR
Tel : 01229 466086


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