When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Falconry centre is flying high
2:00pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
JAMES Channon is flying high. After eight years running Fallowfields Falconry from Fallowfields Hotel in Southmoor near Abingdon, he achieved his dream by opening his first public visitors’ centre at Millets Farm in nearby Frilford in May this year.
And in the first weekend alone he welcomed about 900 visitors.
Since then, the new centre has seen close to 4,000 falcon fans, young and old.
At The Millets Farm Falconry Centre, visitors can marvel at the acrobatic feats of more than 70 birds of prey, from burrowing owls to bald eagles, barn owls to kestrels and even an endangered African Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture.
Mr Channon, 29, who lives with wife Sharon in Longworth, near Abingdon, said: “We are very pleased. We have had fantastic feedback from people and that is what it is all about.”
For the couple, setting up the centre at Millets Farm was an opportunity to educate thousands of people about the life of many endangered birds.
Among the birds they look after is African Tawny Eagle Savannah, a species which is suffering from declining numbers in Africa because of poisoning and trapping.
Visitors walk around seeing the birds in aviaries and learn about each species from information boards, which also provide information about conservation.
But the main attraction is watching birds on the wing.
Throughout the summer, visitors were able to enjoy three flying displays every day.
Since the middle of September that has been reduced to two.
But over the school half-term, which runs from October 25 to November 4, there will be a special additional dusk display at 5pm.
The centre will continue to build more aviaries over the winter and landscape its corner of the farm.
For more information about the centre and its birds, see the website http://www.milletsfarmfalconry.co.uk/