Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre was opened in 1997 by Ray Lowden. I have worked at the centre since 2021 and took over in February 2022. I’ve known Ray since I did a Bird Of Prey course when I was 11 and we have been firm friends ever since. Our main aim was and still is conservation so we wanted to introduce the principal of conservation through education.
We started off with 40 birds and that has now grown to 65 birds including Owls, Hawks, Falcons, Eagles, Vultures and one or two other interesting species.
The aim of the centre is to allow the general public (particularly children) close access to Birds of Prey to hopefully learn to appreciate the need for the species to be protected in their natural habitat for future generations.
We often get injured Birds of Prey handed in at the Centre by members of the public, local vets, the R.S.P.C.A. and other organisations. On these occasions we aim to reintroduce these birds back into the wild as soon as possible. We also work very closely with the Wildlife Trust.
The Centre is not a charity and the upkeep of the centre is very expensive. Visitors often ask how they could help and that is why we introduced the Adoption Scheme which allows people to adopt their favorite bird knowing all the money goes towards the upkeep of the birds and the Centre.
Some of our birds have appeared on television in such programs as Badger, Byker Grove, Blue Peter, Elizabeth the Virgin Queen and Spring Watch. Over the past few years a few of our birds have been involved in films and theatre. One of our White Tailed Sea Eagle has been filmed for the new promotional 3D film for Hadrians Wall.
We often visit schools, parties and fetes with our birds. Recently we have also started to attend weddings, where one of the birds will deliver the wedding rings during the ceremony. Please give us a call if you would like any further information.
I am incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic team of staff and volunteers about me. They all play a very important role inside and out of the centre. Not only are they very competent with the birds and animals here but I could not wish for better people to look after our visitors and of course me!
I hope to see you soon