Raptor Foundation: A Must-See To Learn More About Birds Of Prey | Kidadl


Raptor Foundation: A Must-See To Learn More About Birds Of Prey

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A visit to this conservation animal sanctuary which provides medical care to birds of prey is a great way to make a positive impact on British wildlife.

They rehabilitate wildlife and release them back into the wild. They also provide a safe sanctuary for any raptor who cannot ever return to the wild.

The Raptor Foundation research into environmental and conservation issues to help rebuild raptor populations across Europe. Roughly 150 birds are housed here, some are from rescue projects, others discovered by members of the public and brought in. Located in the picturesque St Ives market town, there is plenty else to do after seeing all the amazing birds of prey Cambridgeshire has to offer.

What Is There To Do At The Raptor Foundation?

A snowy owl in flight

Image © Raptor Foundation Facebook

The raptor sanctuary is highly focused on education so every experience they offer puts the focus on educating people about the wildlife they show children.

Specific days are available to book in advance for novice falconers and photographers who wish to appreciate and learn even more about the birds.

General admission costs £7.50 per adult and £4.25 per child. The Raptor Foundation states that their prices reflect the constant guidance and attention required to provide an in-depth education experience whilst keeping visitors safe.

Junior Keeper Days: These can be beginner or advanced level, to do the advanced level the beginner course must be completed first. This gets the kids directly involved and informed about how the Foundation operates to help the wildlife there. Young people who take part in this have to be between 7 and 15 years old. It Costs: £24 per person.

Meerkat Experience: A very exciting opportunity to get up close to meerkats and even hand feed some. This experience lasts 30 minutes. It Costs: £50 per person or £80 for two people.

Some activities are wheelchair accessible - we recommend calling in advance for more information.

What Birds Do They Have At The Raptor Centre?

A raptor keeper giving a talk with a bird

Image © Raptor Foundation Facebook

Some of the species you can take a look at ion your visit to the Raptor Foundation include Buzzards, Hawks, Harriers, Kites, Falcons, Hybrid falcons, Caracaras, Eagles and Owls.

They also have some birds which are not on display because they will be rehabilitated. These include a Sparrowhawk, Hobby, Peregrine, Merlin and Osprey.

You can even adopt a bird from their selection. This is recommended as a great gift that directly helps and supports wildlife in the UK. It costs £60 to adopt a bird.

The Playground And Pond

The foundation has a great playground and a pond containing plenty of Koi Carp and Goldfish. You can purchase fish food to throw into the pond and watch the fish splash around.

The Raptor Hospital

A man with three owls on his arm

Image © Raptor Foundation Facebook

At the Raptor Foundation there is an on-site hospital where they treat roughly 130 birds each year. They treat a range of birds brought in by the public or other organisations. Their commitment to provide help to birds is very inspiring and will highlight the importance of helping and being kind to animals when you visit.

How To Get There

If You Are Travelling By Car: The address is, The Raptor Foundation, The Heath, St. Ives Rd, Woodhurst, Huntingdon, PE28 3BT

There is a car park available on site.

By Bus: The bus number 22 and bus service A stop at The Chapel bus stop, which is the closest stop to the sanctuary.

Continual Development

The foundation are committed to continual development and improvement to their services to both the wildlife and the public. 

Their main aims are to increase public knowledge about these amazing birds; improve the facilities for the birds in their care and improve and increase research into raptors.

At the moment, they are building more aviaries to mimic real environments and habitats for the birds. They want to keep the birds safe and create a stimulating habitat to represent the outside world.

Kidadl's Top Tips

The sanctuary is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, but some of the activities like the Hawk Walk are not suitable for people in a wheelchair. It is advised to ring ahead of your visit for more information.

There are disabled toilets and baby changing facilities on site.

On the Hawk Walk there may be brambles and mud so it is recommended to wear long sleeves, tough trousers and suitable shoes.

The Silent Wings Tearoom serves a wide range of refreshments including, hot and cold drinks, soup, homemade cakes and specials such as lasagne and scampi.

Written By
Katie Unnithan

Born in San Francisco, raised in Cheshire and currently studying in Birmingham. Katie loves spending time with her 10-year-old sister, exploring new places in the UK and training with her university athletics club. She is passionate about social justice and climate change. She wants to prevent inequalities that limit young people's success, so every young person can have fair access to opportunities on the path to the future they want.

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