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Falcon fan hopes plans will take off
6:00pm Monday 19th November 2012 in Abingdon
A NEW birds of prey centre could open at Millets Farm near Abingdon.
The centre would hold three displays a day in the summer showing owls, hawks and vultures, as well as welcoming schools and working on conservation in the area.
The plan, due to go before Vale of White Horse District Council, would also be a dream come true and the result of 10 years of planning for the man in charge – James Channon.
Mr Channon currently offers private, one-on-one experiences with birds of prey at his business, Fallowfields Falconry in Southmoor.
But now he has a chance to educate thousands of visitors to Millets about the birds. He said: “There is a lack of conservation work in Oxfordshire in general, and being at Millets will increase public awareness and gives us more clout. For example, kestrels have declined by about 50 per cent in the last 10 years.
“But it is not just about conserving native species, it is about awareness. It is a case of being somewhere where this information is available. That is how people’s perceptions of birds of prey can be improved.”
A large proportion of the company’s 65 birds would move to Millets, and they would also welcome an endangered African Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture.
As well as offering displays in the summer and winter, there would be a classroom, and a viewing room.
Tony Carter, who runs Millets Farm with his brother Nigel, said: “We feel it is something that would be quite popular.”
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