Can I turn up to Mentmore Falconry without prior booking?
Mentmore Falconry is a private centre and all experiences must be pre-booked.
Will we be able to pet or stroke the birds?
Sadly not. Although all our birds are captive bred and used to being around people, they are still wild animals, rather than household pets like cats or dogs. Being touched can be a highly upsetting and stressful experience for them, and can damage the waterproof abilities of their plumage.
Just because you may have been offered the chance to do it elsewhere does not mean that it is okay to do. There are, however, plenty of chances to handle the birds on a glove, up close in a safe and stress-free way.
The welfare of our animals must always come first.
Can you guarantee how the birds will behave?
Although both our birds and falconer are well trained and used to working with guests, our birds are not machines, and they can sometimes behave unexpectedly. We cannot be held responsible for uncooperative birds, but we will always endeavor to ensure that you enjoy the experience as much as possible.
I have questions or concerns about the birds welfare...
All our birds are legally held, bred in captivity and are in great condition physically and mentally. Each bird is registered with the relevant authorities, and if required, holds the appropriate certificate for public display and commercial use.
All the equipment we use meets the best practice recognised throughout the international falconry community. Equipment is maintained daily and changed regularly to insure comfort and care to the birds.
The mental and physical well-being of our birds will always come first. They are flown free regularly, in a variety of locations. Where appropriate, some birds also have the chance to hunt as they would in the wild.
Do you have public liability insurance?
Yes we carry full public liability insurance, as well as risk assessments, a performing animals licence, and an animal transport licence.
All are available on request to give you complete piece of mind.
Can I bring my own dog on the experience?
Although some of our birds are used to working with specialist dogs, we do not allow guests to bring their own pet dogs. This is for the safety of both the dog and the birds.
What should I wear?
Our hunting days take place through Autumn and Winter so please dress appropriately for the weather and ground conditions. Please avoid bright coloured clothing. Think "smart countrywear" if possible.
Sensible, warm trousers and appropriate footwear will make the difference in having a comfortable day. Please avoid yard/mucking out boots and trainers as they do not give great support for your feet. Walking boots, wellies or similar is advised.
What can I expect from a hunting day?
A hunting day consists of us taking hawks or falcons out across the Estate in search of their "quarry" (prey). Our birds are allowed to hunt as they would in the wild, under guidance from a falconer. You will be handling and flying the birds, learning how to help them hunt successfully. All our hunting activities run within UK laws regarding falconry and game seasons.
I don't like the idea of a hunting with birds of prey!
We believe it is very important to allow our raptors to exhibit their natural behaviours as much as possible. Although some birds may be content to fly to guests for easy pieces of food, some of our birds have a natural prey drive which should be allowed to flourish for the benefit of their mental well-being.
If hunting with birds of prey is not for you, then why not come on one of our experience days instead.
What is Raptor Awards?
The Raptor Awards network is the only fully quality assured group of training providers working in the UK and beyond. By engaging with Raptor Award's specialist providers you can be assured of quality mentoring and training based on standards devised by some of the world's best expert keepers and veterinary specialists.
Programmes include basic training courses for those who wish to keep birds of prey, through to specialist professional courses for individuals who want to develop a full-time career or business. Raptor Awards maintains a strict quality control process incorporating the principles of ISO 9001 - your assurance of good service from the scheme and provider network.
How long will it take me to complete the Award?
Not everyone learns at the same speed. You will complete the course once you are deemed competant. Those taking a five day course will be offered further time if they are not ready to complete it within the time span of teaching. We do not sign anyone off until they are ready.
Do you take on volunteers?
Yes. You can read more about what it involves here
and then drop us a message if you are still interested.