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Plans for birds of prey centre take next step forward
Monday 9th September, 2013

EXCITING plans to open a birds of prey centre at Haigh Country Park have taken another step forward.

Leisure and culture provider WLCT will now be applying for a zoo licence, with a view to the Haigh Birds of Prey Centre opening this winter.

Graham Workman, Biodiversity Development Manager at WLCT, said: “We’re really looking forward to bringing birds of prey to Haigh Country Park. The centre will focus on education and conservation of native species of birds of prey as well as other owls, falcons and hawks from around the world.

“We do need to secure a zoo licence before we can get the project off the ground. I’d like to assure people that this licence will only be used in relation to birds of prey which have been captive bred, and that we are not developing a zoo at Haigh!”

The centre will incorporate a conservation classroom, which will allow schoolchildren to learn how owls, hawks and falcons fit into our local and global biodiversity and how everyone can help in their conservation.

All the aviaries will be themed and reflect each species’ natural habitat, while interpretation boards will explain in detail where the birds would be found in the wild.

The birds of prey centre, working in partnership with Natural England and DEFRA, will also be developing a Barn Owl captive breeding and release program to re-establish a local breeding population in Haigh.

Vicki Jolley, owner of the birds of prey, said: “Haigh Birds Of Prey will bring people and nature together through education and conservation. Our unique bird of prey centre will offer a variety of educational and interactive packages and a more traditional range of experiences such as hawk walks, owl encounters and flying displays.”

Cllr Ready, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “This will be a great addition to the attractions at Haigh Country Park and I look forward to seeing it up and running for the benefit of all visitors.”

A notice regarding the intention to apply for a zoo licence will be published later this week. Interested parties will be able to view this notice on site at Haigh Country Park, at Wigan Town Hall in Library Street between 9am-5pm, and in selected local and national media.


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