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Icarus Falconry has been operating within the grounds of Holdenby House estate in Northamptonshire since 2002 and was set up by Mike Hewlett to be a falconry centre of excellence to promote raptor conservation and to enable members of public to come into close contact with birds of prey. Since opening over a decade ago, the centre has evolved to become exactly what it set out to be with the help of staff, volunteers and friends and is now home to more than 40 birds. Operating under the experienced eyes of Mike and now Head-Falconer Tom Morath, the centre is able to offer the best hands-on experiences in the country be it for parties, corparate entertainment or as a participant on a day course.
We aim to provide the very best in bird of prey experiences whilst maintaining excellent standards in animal welfare and care. In addition we will look to provide expert advice and teaching where appropriate to those wishing to participate in the training and flying of their own bird of prey. Wherever possible we will contribute to and promote the conservation of wildlife but specialising in raptors either by active conservation or through education.
Aims and Objectives
The centre will promote birds of prey and owls to the wider community as a positive influence on the wild ecosystem – highlighting the importance of species, particularly those which are under threat.
The centre will ensure the safety of animals and public whilst giving demonstrations, visiting the falconry centre or taking part in experiences.
The centre and its staff will maintain an up to date bank of knowledge for any printed material, interpretation boards and whilst giving commentaries for demonstration to the general public. We will not knowingly sensationalise or fabricate information whilst giving talks or demonstrations as is too often the case.
The centre will maintain a resource of voluntary staff wherever possible and will recognise the value of these. They will be taught according to progress and time spent working at the centre. The teaching of volunteers will reflect the level of work senior bird staff believe they are putting in.
Whilst we will promote falconry as a positive activity, we will not encourage take up. Any individual wishing to learn about falconry will be offered a course, throughout which, bird staff at IFC will explain all aspects of falconry. All new course students will be advised to join a club local to them.
The centre will aim to work with children and young people, through the Northamptonshire Young Falconers’ Club (est 2011), schools and colleges to promote and foster a respect for birds of prey