The club will run after school on Tuesdays (for children aged 6-8) and Wednesdays (for children aged 9-12) and will allow the apprentices to get hands-on with bird handling, raptor diet and minibeast management.
Emily Langley, one of the falconers at Two Bird Experiences, said, “We are super excited to launch this club – this is something we have wanted to do from the very beginning and it has been postponed for three times now because of COVID.
“The club will be like the zookeepers experience that you get at the big zoos, so it is trying to give the kids an understanding of what our jobs are actually about.
“The children will get hands-on and get involved in everything that we do. There will be some poop cleaning involved, they are going to do our meat mathematics and the food preparation side of things, and they will get an understanding of how birds of prey fit into the bigger ecosystem so when the meadows burst back into life we will go out there and look at minibeasts, building bug houses, planting wildflowers and looking at the bigger picture as well,” explained Emily.
Based just outside of Salisbury city centre at the River Bourne Community Farm, the area is surrounded by 54 acres of water meadows which the children will have the chance to learn about and explore.
“We are in such a beautiful area so it gives us a chance to look at the whole ecosystem while giving them all of the falconry skills too. In term one we will focus on handling and learning the infamous falconer’s knot, which we use a million times a day.
“We will also teach the children how to behave around the birds because they are very skittish, you’ve got to really pick up on the subtle cues from them. As their confidence builds up we will be doing more of the flying of the birds in the meadows which will be really exciting for them.”
In the Autumn term, the class will run from 4-5pm on the 1st and 3rd week of every month. For the autumn/spring term the fee is £35, which includes 8 sessions, a fun day at the end of the term, and a Two Wise Owls Falconry School T-shirt.
The summer term will see classes run for an extra hour from 4-6pm, costing £65 for the term.
“We have always tried to make our experiences affordable for everyone. When I was growing up, if I wanted to buy a zoo experience for people I always thought they were really expensive, so we have always tried to make it available for everyone,” added Emily.
To find out more about Falconry School and book your place, click here.