15th January 2020
The new year is shaping up pretty nicely with more than 100 event days now on the books. We are effectively fully booked! We have some new venues to look forward to and some exciting commemorative themes. It looks like we will be spending VE Day at Windsor Castle which will no doubt be the highlight of our year; The Royal Collection Trust are putting together a special event to mark the 75th anniversary of that significant day. 2020 is also the anniversary of The Field of the Cloth of Gold, an iconic Tudor date which we will be celebrating with our colleagues Heathcliffe Heroics at Hever Castle in June. Easter is our first outdoor public event and we run right through to Christmas. Our festive event at Framlingham Castle was such a big success in 2019 that it has been moved to Boxing Day this year so we shall be working to the very end! We hope to publish our complete event diary soon.
Last month we fitted our whole premises with security cameras after a spate of raptor thefts across the country. Falconry birds carry very little value relative to other commodities in the modern day but obviously there are still ignorant and criminal types out there who perceive them to be of high value. Try selling a “second hand” captive bred bird and especially one without any documentation – impossible! So we now have 4 surveillance cameras installed which allow us to observe our premises 24 hours round the clock and from any location.
We have plans to re-build some of our bird accommodation in the spring to upgrade all our small falcons to larger and more easy to maintain accommodation. The excessive rain we have suffered over the last 2 months has forced us to re-think the design of our small mews and look at how to improve them so they will last better into the future. We’ve always used wood as our main construction material but we might try something new that’s rotproof and doesn’t need painting!
And finally a plethora of new costumes should be hitting the ground this year as the repairs and replacements of our stock clothing continues. The majority are of course made in house to keep costs down and ensure they are bespoke one-offs. Old garments are often cut up and the fabric recycled by being reversed or dyed a different colour which is an entirely authentic historical practice as it turns out!
More information will follow next month.
28th October 2019
We are very pleased to have picked up a new client; The National Royal Navy Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. They have booked us to feature as a new attraction at their 3 day Victorian Christmas Festival. We felt it necessary to conduct a site visit for this enquiry as an industrial port environment is a challenging place so we met with the Operations Manager and Event Manager and were guided around the entire site to see the nature of the venue and hear their plans. We decided straight away it was not a safe place to free fly any bird but we agreed that with our creativity (and a lot of planning) we could offer a series of carefully crafted show-and-tells. We have been given a prestigious location in the main courtyard opposite the Mary Rose and adjacent to the HMS Victory which is the most peaceful and cultured corner of the dockyard. Falconry has never featured at the NRNM Portsmouth before so we very much look forward to teaching visitors about the traditions of our art and how throughout history hawks were imported by ship!
4th July 2019
We have just posted 2 new participant events on our Encounters page. There may be more to come too. These are pre-book events for members of English Heritage (one of the perks of membership is exclusive access to special art and craft events). Full details will be made available soon.
4th February 2019
Last year we joined the International Register of Bird of Prey Professionals (IRBPP) which is a new organisation designed to raise standards within the commercial and professional falconry industry. The red and white logo can be seen displayed on our home page. Commercial falconers have long been woefully under-represented so it is hoped that we finally have a body who can look after our interests and encourage fellow operators to work to a common high standard. Emma has been invited to join the advisory panel after raising some concerns about eligibility and the membership process. It is hoped that a variety of opinions from a cross section of established commercial falconers can help shape the direction and value of this organisation. Everyone vetted and approved joins as an associate member for 2 years, the difficulty is how to progress people to full membership status if indeed they have earned that privilege. It will be interesting to see how this story develops!
30th December 2018
We are extremely proud to announce that we are one of the first commercial falconers in England to be awarded the new Animal Activities Licence. We made our application in October, had our inspection on 20th December and were awarded a 3 year license. Our operation was described as “outstanding” and we are elated that our hard work and investment to prepare for this new legislation has been thoroughly worthwhile. All our clients can rest assured that by employing us they are employing legally licensed animal practitioners and commercial falconers of the highest calibre. It will soon be emblazoned on our home page…..