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Falconry F.A.Q.

Falconry FAQ

Your visit

The entrance fees to the centre are £4.00 (adults) and £2.50 (children). A family ticket (for two adults and up to three children) is £12.00. The entrance fee entitles you to explore the centre and the nature gardens, visit the birds of prey and watch one of our daily outdoor flying displays.
Our cathedral falconry team will put the centre’s magnificent birds of prey through their paces in the spectacular surroundings of the cathedral gardens throughout the day. Contact us via email at info@cathedralfalconry.co.uk or by phone at 01244 699 053 for times of the displays.

It is important to note that the flying displays are weather dependent and may be cancelled at short notice due to adverse weather conditions. Please contact the centre on the day of your visit if you require further information.

The centre opening times are

April to October | 10am – 5pm

November to March | 10am – 4pm

You are more than welcome to visit the centre without booking a specific experience. You will be able to explore the centre and the nature gardens and watch one of our daily outdoor flying displays.
You can handle the birds if you book a specific experience with the centre. Members of the public may also be able to handle the birds if they turn up at the site on the day too – but this is subject to availability and capacity.
Unfortunately dogs, including service dogs, are not permitted in the centre or the nature gardens for health and safety reasons. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
You are welcome to bring a picnic on site and we have designated areas for you to sit and enjoy your food. The centre also has a refreshment kiosk – selling drinks and snacks – which you are welcome to use.
You are welcome to take photographs of the birds and the centre during your visit. We do, however, ask that you adopt a sensitive approach at all times. Photographers are requested to keep a safe distance from the birds, reduce the use of flash where possible and respect the experience and enjoyment of other visitors.

The centre and the gardens have paved pathways which are easy for wheelchairs to navigate.

The nearest Blue Badge Parking is located on St. Werbugh Street.

There are two disabled toilets with large cubicles on site.

If you are planning a visit to the centre and have specific access needs – please contact us. Our team will be more than happy to provide information and make special arrangements.

There are toilets on site and there are also baby changing facilities.

 

The centre

The centre will be open throughout the year. We will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
You can purchase gift vouchers for experiences, gifts of tickets or annual passes by ringing 01244 699 053 or alternatively 01244 699 052.
The centre is home to 12 different birds of prey, 11 different species – including falcons, eagles, vultures and owls.

The centre is managed by the cathedral falconry manager, Tommy McNally. He is supported by an expert falconry team. Tommy, a passionate falconer and conservation expert, has more than 30 years of experience in falconry.

Under Tommy’s leadership, the centre has a strong focus on conservation and education and the birds serve as ambassadors for wild birds regarding conservation and biodiversity.

The site includes a number of aviaries, purpose built to ensure the security and comfort of the birds.

 

The birds

The centre will be managed by the cathedral falconry manager, Tommy McNally. Tommy, a passionate falconer and conservation expert, has more than 30 years of experience in falconry. Under Tommy’s leadership, the centre will have a strong focus on conservation and education and the birds will serve as ambassadors for wild birds regarding conservation and biodiversity. Tommy will be supported by a fully-trained team of staff.
We do not keep the birds in cages at the centre. During the day the birds are tethered on weathering lawns, allowing them to weather, preen and bath. In bad weather we have a sheltered area for the birds to perch under and during the night they are free lofted in purpose built mews. These mews are built so the birds can be housed untethered overnight safe from predators and the elements. The owls and vulture are kept in secure aviaries as they cannot be tethered as the other birds can.
All of the birds of prey at the centre are display birds and have been bred in captivity. Under our falconry manager’s leadership, the centre will have a strong focus on conservation and education and the birds of the centre will serve as ambassadors for wild birds regarding conservation and biodiversity.
The birds are trained to return to the falconer for their food. They do not return as a dog might for affection or attention but simply for the reward of the food known as betchins. The birds are kept at what is known as a flight weight whereby they have an appetite to want to return for the food, by no means does this mean that the birds are starved or food is withheld from them it is just a happy medium between the bird being to overweight and ‘fed up’ or underweight with no energy to fly.
No. The birds will not be interested in members of the public when they are flying. They will only seek interaction with the falconer and their quarry.