The owner of a newly-opened falconry is keen to push the educational value of his new enterprise.
Shane Pearson, owner of SP Falconry, based at Johnson’s Garden Centre and which opened earlier this month, wants to teach anyone who visits his new facility about the birds of prey he keeps there.
He told The Standard: “It’s an educational centre, hopefully we can get people involved in it.
“It’s not just an owl and falconry centre, we want to get the children here and involved, we want them to handle the owls, show them how they survive in the wild, learn about what they eat.
He said that since opening the centre has been ‘hectic’.
He said: “It’s been good but hectic. We’ve given all our customers so far a hands on service.”
The business is mainly a family affair with Shane and his wife Bev being helped by his daughters and their partners.
Shane is passionate about birds and has been since a young lad. He said his family has always been interested in animals and taking care of them.
He said he took an interest in birds of prey from a young age and has rescued a number from owners who underestimated how difficult they can be to handle.
He has about 40-50 birds on display, and says each is given the same level of care and attention.
He says they are let out on a daily basis for exercise and have good-sized homes.
Visitors to the centre are able to see the birds, handle them and ask any questions they like about their care.
There will also be plaques up on each of the cages describing what each bird is, where it comes from and other factfiles.
Shane is keen to promote visits to the Falconry Centre as an alternative to indoor activities such as video games and says his entry price of £3 with under 12s free.
All proceeds go straight back into running the falconry.
Shane and his family are planning to set up displays and flights at the centre in which visitors will be able to take part.
There is also a limited adoption system visitors can take part in.
For £40 a year people can sponsor one of 15 owl boxes, which will be fitted with cameras so that they can watch the bird from the comfort of their living room through PCs and iPads.
They will also be able to organise visits to the birds, help clean out the cages, prepare food among other things.
For more information on the centre visit www.spfalconry.co.uk check out its Facebook page and follow it on Twiter @spfalconry.