At S.O.S. we spend a considerable amount of time and human resources on outreach work, engaging with the younger generation and hoping to inspire a life long interest in conservation in future naturalists.
Through a number of channels youngsters are educated about the role that owls and other birds of prey play in our eco-system and their necessity as indicators of the health of native habitat.
During school term time, falconers and avian ambassadors spread the conservation message in classrooms across the whole of Suffolk. Children can either enjoy hour long workshop sessions in the classroom in the company of the birds or free whole school “taster” assemblies.
During the long summer holiday, the sanctuary likes to keep in touch with its young supporters and offer a little extra holiday excitement in the form of its Young Falconers’ Course. This special half day event enables youngsters aged 10 to 14yrs. of age to spend some exclusive time with a falconer as they try their hand at some falconry orientated activities.
Only four youngsters are booked into each course in order that everyone receives optimum instruction and plenty of “hands on” flying time with the owls.
The morning runs from 9.30a.m. until approximately 12.15p.m. and the itinerary takes this form:
- Talk the Talk! - a brief tour of the aviaries to familiarise themselves with the Sanctuary's owls and other birds of prey.
- Equipped for the Job - learning about the equipment used in falconry, trying their hand at making jesses and take their masterpiece home.
- Walk the Walk! - flying owls and other birds of prey under a falconer’s instruction.
- A Lasting Memento - taking part in a group photo with your fellow falconers and one of your new avian acquaintances.
- Expert Tuition - taking a front row seat at the flying display and seeing how, with a few years of practice, their newfound skills can be developed into a spectacular performance!
The concentration required to produce a perfect jess was well worth the impressive results that went home with the young falconers and we hope that the insight gained into the life of owls on these unique half day courses may go some way to inspiring a life long passion for wildlife in general and owls and other birds of prey in particular.
For further details on our next courses please ‘phone 0345 680 7897 or see this page on our website.