Great Grey Owl

The Hawk Conservancy Trust in Hampshire has created a new Woodland Owl Flying Demonstration session for this year.

Visitors will be able to witness an array of owls swooping around a designated arena called the silver birch glade, which is a woodland space opening at Easter.

The owls will demonstrate their hunting and flying skills, giving guests a close-up view of how they survive in the wild. The species included are the great grey owl, the long-eared owl and the barn owl.

There will be chance for intrepid members of the audience to assist in highlighting the owl’s flying skills as well.

Additionally, the experience gives visitors the chance to learn more about the superstitions and folklore surrounding the creatures, and offers the opportunity to meet a falconer.

After the flying demonstration there will be the chance for some group members to hold a bird of prey.

More close-up experiences

The Hawk Conservancy Trust has a variety of birds on site, and visitors are able to watch feeding sessions and talks at different times throughout the day.

Highlights include a keeper's talk at the vulture aviary, raptors of the north flying demonstrations in the savannah arena, and heron feeding by the wildflower meadow.

Adults are also given the chance to fly a Harris's hawk at the hawk flying arena, to learn some basic handling skills and gain an insight into the work of the trust.

Large parties would need to split into smaller groups for the bird handling sessions.

Group booking

Groups arriving by coach can take advantage of free coach parking, free driver admission (plus a refreshment voucher) and a free group welcome talk by one of the falconry staff.

Discounted rates are available too; prebooked parties of between 15 and 39 people will receive a ten per cent discount on tickets, while 40 or more will get a discount of 15 per cent.

For further group travel information visit

(Photo credit: James Paterson and Hollie Latham).