Millets Farm Falconry Centre is owned and run by James Channon.
James fell in love with birds of prey at a very young age, visiting centres, meeting falconers, reading books and watching shows across the country. After a lot of hard work and determination, 16-year-old James pooled his knowledge and skills and began his career working with birds of prey, basing his collection of birds at Fallowfields Hotel & Falconry.
Initially, James only offered displays and experiences to the guests of the hotel but, as time went on and a positive reputation was developed, the small collection of birds was able to spread its wings and begin attending outside events and shows. After securing a special weekend slot at Millets Farm Centre, discussions began over making James’ collection a permanent fixture and so, James spent months designing and building Millets Farm Falconry Centre as the brand-new permanent home for his birds and animals.
The Centre opened in May 2013 and has gone from strength to strength and is now home to one of the largest collections of birds of prey in the country. As a zoo, we have also given homes to Meerkats, Raccoons, Skunks and Reptiles - all of which were rescues.
We are so lucky to have a fantastic team of dedicated keepers, all with various qualifications and degrees in animal management, zoo biology and bird of prey management. To us it isn't a job, it's our passion, which makes the current situation even harder. The welfare of our animals and providing enrichment for them is our paramount concern.
Our mission is to further enhance the knowledge, understanding and respect for all animals, especially birds of prey, whilst providing a first class experience for all our visitors.
How we achieve these goals.....We believe the key to proactive conservation begins with education. As well as the centre being open to general visitors we welcome schools and groups for different talks on projects run both worldwide and by us, we also visit schools and other groups for educational talks and demonstrations. Many areas of the National Curriculum can be covered. For example: Migration (Geography) and Falconry (History). Art is also covered; some schools visit simply for students to study and draw/sketch the birds. We are happy to tailor our talks to any topics you may be working on including owls, flight, predators, prey, British species, conservation and medieval times.
We strive to keep our animals in modern, naturalistic enclosures in accordance with best practice, enabling our visitors to experience a stimulating and enjoyable day out that is both excellent value for time and money.
We care about the welfare of all animals, not just the ones under our care. We:
- support field conservation efforts in the wild through our fundraising events
- give priority to species that are threatened in the wild and increase public understanding of these species
- participate in coordinated breeding programmes and aim to increase understanding of the issues involved in the conservation of endangered species; and
- promote care for the environment through education and by leading by example.
The International Vulture Programme
We are proud to be active members of the International Vulture Programme, working in conjunction with many partners in the UK and around the worldwide to conserve some of the most endangered species on our planet.
Vultures as a group are the most threatened birds in the world. Of the 23 species of vultures in the world, over 70% of them have an unfavourable conservation status, meaning that they’re at risk of going extinct.
Poisoning is the biggest threat facing vulture populations in Africa, and in particular this threat has grown rapidly with the increasing slaughter of elephants by poachers. Poisoning associated with ivory poaching now accounts for one third of all vulture poisonings since 1970 and is currently the biggest cause of vulture mortality.
Closed due to Coronavirus.
We have now been closed for 6 weeks. Covid-19 has turned our world upside down and whilst most staffing costs can hopefully be covered by government schemes, we are not eligible for other government schemes. We still have to pay for daily essential costs for animal feed, maintenance, veterinary care and utility bills.
We had some money saved for ‘rainy days’ but having been closed for such a long time and with no end in site and with no income expected for the foreseeable future we are forced to find alternative ways to fund these essential costs which simply cannot be avoided and are usually covered by visitor entrance fees, school visits, events and experiences. The Spring and Summer months would usually be our busiest times, for visitor number and also local shows and events, but due to the pandemic all the events we were booked to attend have understandably been forced to cancel.
Every penny helps, your donation will provide vital support whilst we are closed.
We know this is a difficult time for so many people, but if you are in a position to help by donating to this crowdfunding appeal, buying an experience gift voucher from our website or purchasing something from our Amazon Wishlist, every little helps and we want to reassure you that ALL funds raised will go directly towards the food, heating, veterinary bills and other essential costs for our animals. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated and we cannot wait to be able to open our doors to welcome visitors again.
Whilst we are not a registered charity we still do a lot of charitable work and will continue to do so for as long as possible, this includes attending to wild injured birds, supporting conservation projects and local charities and causes.