A FALCONRY centre is pleading for public donations to pay for daily essentials, take care of their animals and to fund veterinary care and utility costs.

Millets Farm Falconry Centre is in Frilford near Abingdon and the Covid-19 lockdown has caused the premises to close to the public.

The centre has been closed for almost seven weeks meaning there has been no income for food and bedding for the animals.

No staff are calling on the public to make donations to help them as they are an independent, family-run business who are tenants at Millets Farm and who rely on visitors for income.

Company director James Channon said: “Devastating would be the word; we are solely reliant on visitors to the centre.

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“We are a zoo and we are open to the public doing daily demonstrations - we also run experiences. Basically, there is nothing we can do until at least July 4, which does not sound like a long time but when you have already been closed for six or seven weeks it is.

“We had financial reserves but for any company three months without income is hard. The costs are essentially the same.”

The independent family business is usually supported by visitor entrance fees, school visits, events, and experiences.

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The spring and summer months would usually be the centre’s busiest times for visitor numbers and also local shows and events, but due to the pandemic all the events that the falconry centre were booked to attend have been forced to cancel.

Members of the public can help support the falconry centre and its animals by buying a day visit ticket, annual pass, or experience gift voucher for Millets Falconry Centre.

The public can sponsor or adopt one of the birds or animals, donate to their Crowdfunding page or purchase a treat or something useful from their Amazon Wishlist.

The wishlist is full of ideas for treats to buy for the birds to develop, stay entertained and continue training.

Mr Channon said: “The animals are missing the public too. We have been training the birds and providing them with enrichment products as well.

“It is not normal for them not to see people but we can still try and keep them entertained.”

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Mr Channon added: “The Amazon Wishlist has been really goo -d there have been lots of different things that we have been able to try, and in terms of the products that have been donated - they have all been really good.”

The public can even help the falconry centre by adopting a bird for just £45 or by purchasing a ticket to enjoy a day out learning about the birds and animals at the centre later in the year.

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The Millets Falconry Centre crowdfunding page has received more than £2,000 and has a target of raising £10,000. To donated visit crowdfunder.co.uk/help-support-our-animals-during-covid-19-closure.

To book tickets in advance, or to book a day experience visit: milletsfarmfalconry.digitickets.co.uk/tickets.

Millets Farm shop remains open.