We believe the key to proactive conservation begins with education; as such we have an education room to welcome schools and groups for talks on different projects that we run ourselves and support worldwide.
The room will be open to all and have various displays showcasing our achievements and planned projects. We are already surveying the local area around the falconry centre, as well as in talks with other local land owners to find suitable nest box sites.
Many bird of prey species are booming in numbers in GB, others are struggling such as the kestrels and barn owls. Not only is offering a place where this information is available important but by setting out nest boxes and recording successes and failures we can share the information and help to build a better picture of how the changing world is affecting vulnerable species.
We would like to have live camera feeds set up in the class room allowing people to watch the development of young birds of prey. We engage with the public and conduct local surveys recording numbers and forward results to central databases such as tverc (Thames Valley Environmental Record Centre).
We also have a real passion for flying native species as such we are tailoring one of our daily displays as “The Best of British” where only British Birds of Prey are flown, we feel it is important not only to allow people to see native birds up close but also to learn about a bird that has a little more relevance. We feel Birds of Prey conservation in the Vale of the White Horse is low in comparison to other areas and we would like to be a hub of information that can improve people’s perceptions of Birds of Prey and encourage people to get involved, and at the same time help to ensure success of our local native species and aid in the survival of worldwide endangered species.
Having mentioned our passion for native species we do also have links with the International Owl Society and plan to develop a fund raising project based around the old world vultures, whether that is alongside the RSPB’s “save” campaign or another it is a little early to say.
We have a collection of 80 Birds of Prey in the centre with around 40 different species represented; all enclosures display information about the species including feeding habits, country of origin, situation in the wild and much more.