What are Experience Days?

The Centre offers you the choice of three different Experience Days, each designed to cater for your interest, be it owl, hawking or falconry.

The Days make a great present for anyone, including yourself. It allows you to get closer to the birds and gives you experience in handling and flying and improves your understanding of the birds. The courses available to anyone 16 years and upwards, although 12-16 year olds can attend but must be accompanied by a full paying adult.

What To Expect


You will receive an information pack which will contain a numbered voucher. This voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, no refund will be given after 30 days of purchase. You may, however, pass the voucher on to another person. If the voucher is returned within 30 days, the fee will be refunded less a £25.00 handling charge. All you need do is call during normal office hours and we can help. The information pack contains all the course dates, so once in possession of the voucher, you can book the day. The days run every month throughout the year on a Friday and Saturday, provided we get a minimum of three people booked that day. We tend to book three months in advance, so please call as soon as possible to book the day. We take your phone number and will call you 2-3 weeks in advance if your day has to be cancelled. We normally only take 6 people per day but in exceptional circumstances (usually someone with a partner) we take seven.

Timings

The day starts at 9:30 when a member of the bird staff will be at the main gate to greet you, remember to bring your voucher and sensible clothing. Friends or family may come along and observe and can have entry to the Centre at 10:30 as a normal paying visitor. Please note we do not allow non-participants in before 10:30 and they must pay the normal entrance fee. Depending on the type of Experience Day, they will be able to watch most of what you do and are able to take photographs. They are also able to wander through the Centre and watch the daily demonstrations. If the day choosen is a hawking day, the guests will not be able to spectate for the afternoon hawking session.

Remember, none of these days gives you enough information to enable you to own or keep a bird yourself. They are just a starter/taster of what is involved in keeping a bird and the chance to handle these beautiful birds.

Details about our three different experience days

Hawking Experience

Hawking Experience ~ What To Expect

Arriving at 9:30 am, the morning is taken up with bird handling and training, learning to pick up birds, tie the falconer’s knot, flying birds to the fist, handling hawks, eagles, falcons, kites and other birds that are available at the chosen time of year. If you have a special desire to handle a particular bird and we have a suitable one available at the time, we do our best to help with requests.

After the handling, training and flying sessions, lunch is provided, which is included with the voucher. You then have a little time to have a look round and see the other birds, perhaps take some photographs, or just relax.

The afternoon session consists of Hawking in the Countryside. You will be taken out of the Centre grounds and into some local farmland, with two of our trained Harris Hawks, and on some occasions, the ferrets will be taken. This is where you will experience hawking. You get to help flush out the quarry and watch the Hawks catch their prey, just like they would if they were living in the wild.

This will finish at about 4:00 pm, and then you will all make your way back to the Centre where the day will finish and you will receive your certificate and a little information pack on the Centre. The day will conclude with a photo session with an Eagle on your arm.

Weather

We have so far, never cancelled a day due to the weather. We have the advantage of having some indoor areas, where we can do much of the work with the birds, so unless the weather is very extreme, please don’t worry about it. But it is advisable to wear or bring suitable clothing.

Booking

When purchasing the voucher, you do not need to specify which day you think the recipient would enjoy – we understand that this would not be an easy decision, that is why we have chosen to keep the voucher open for the recipient to choose the day. We will only need to know which day is preferred on the time of booking, as we have set days for each experience. When booking the day please have your voucher number ready for us, this makes the booking easier for both the recipient and ourselves.

Due to the popularity of our Experience Days, we cannot guarantee that there will be spaces available on your chosen date. It is advisable to book as early as possible. Dates available are normally set three months in advance and we operate on a first come first served basis. There is always a high demand for dates on Saturdays and any day in June, July and August.

Cancellations

We understand that sometimes there will be reasons for having to cancel your day, however, there will be a £25.00 cancellation fee for ALL cancellations made.

Cost

£125.00 per person. Confirmation will be sent once payment has been received.

Accommodation

Recommended Bed & Breakfast telephone numbers:

Sandyway Nurseries, Newent

Tel: 01531 820 693

Three Choirs Vineyard, Newent

Tel: 01531 890 223

Lea House, Ross-on-Wye

Tel: 01989 750 652

Falcon Experience

Falcon Experience ~ What To Expect

Arriving at 9:30 am, the morning is taken up with bird handling and training, learning to pick up birds, tie the falconer’s knot, flying birds to the fist, handling hawks, eagles, falcons, kites and other birds that are available at the chosen time of year.

After the handling, training and flying sessions, lunch is provided, which is included with the voucher. You then have a little time to have a look round and see the other birds, perhaps take some photographs, or just relax.

The afternoon session will consist of our trained bird staff teaching you to swing the lure at moving and static targets. You will then move into the flying field to experience the thrill of a falcon flying towards you at speeds of up to 100 mph while the falconer swings the lure. The aim is to try and keep the falcon away from the lure, which is always challenging even for the very experienced bird handlers.

The day concludes with a photo session usually with a Bald Eagle on your fist and sometimes, where possible, a bird of your choice, provided that we have one on the flying team.

Weather

We have so far, never cancelled a day due to the weather. We have the advantage of having some indoor areas, where we can do much of the work with the birds, so unless the weather is very extreme, please don’t worry about it. But it is advisable to wear or bring suitable clothing.

Cost

£125.00 per person. Confirmation will be sent once payment has been received.

Booking

When purchasing the voucher, you do not need to specify which day you think the recipient would enjoy – we understand that this would not be an easy decision, that is why we have chosen to keep the voucher open for the recipient to choose the day. We will only need to know which day is preferred on the time of booking, as we have set days for each experience. When booking the day please have your voucher number ready for us, this makes the booking easier for both the recipient and ourselves.

Due to the popularity of our Experience Days and the fact that each course has a maximum of six people, we cannot guarantee that there will be spaces available on your chosen date. It is advisable to book as early as possible. Dates available are normally set three months in advance and we operate on a first come first served basis. There is always a high demand for dates on Saturdays and any day in June, July and August.

To avoid disappointment we can take a daytime telephone number and call you when we have the dates that you require in place.

Cancellations
We understand that sometimes there will be reasons for having to cancel your day, however, there will be a £25.00 cancellation fee for any cancellations made.

Accommodation
Good B&B’s are available in the area. See list under the Hawking Experience, or enquire with the office

Owl Experience

Owl Experience ~ What To Expect

Held on one Thursday per month.

This day starts at 9:30 am, the day is taken up with Owl handling and training, learning to pick up Owls, fly an owl to the fist, tie the falconer’s knot, and learn how to weigh them. For the Owl enthusiast, this is the day for you.

If your day is in the breeding season you will also have the chance to feed the baby owls.

After the handling, training and flying sessions, lunch is provided, which is included with the voucher. You then have a little time to have a look round and see the other birds, perhaps take some photographs, or just relax.

Should you have a desire to handle a Bird of Prey, then please ask a member of the training team and they will do their best to help with your request.

Weather

We have so far, never cancelled a day due to the weather. We have the advantage of having some indoor areas, where we can do much of the work with the birds, so unless the weather is very extreme, please don’t worry about it. But it is advisable to wear or bring suitable clothing.

Booking

When purchasing the voucher, you do not need to specify which day you think the recipient would enjoy – we understand that this would not be an easy decision, that is why we have chosen to keep the voucher open for the recipient to choose the day. We will only need to know which day is preferred at the time of booking, as we have set days for each experience. When booking the day please have your voucher number ready for us, this makes the booking easier for both the recipient and ourselves.

Due to the popularity of our Experience Days and the fact that each course has a maximum of six people, we cannot guarantee that there will be spaces available on your chosen date. It is advisable to book as early as possible. Dates available are normally set three months in advance and we operate on a first come first served basis. There is always a high demand for dates.

To avoid disappointment we can take a daytime telephone number and call you when we have the dates that you require in place.

Cancellations

We understand that sometimes there will be reasons for having to cancel your day, however, there will be a £25.00 cancellation fee for any cancellations made.

Cost

£125.00 per person. Confirmation will be sent once payment has been received.

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