Feathers and Flight

Feathers and Flight

Yesterday, Mum and I took my niece and nephew to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre for their Feathers and Flight event. My nephew loves birds, so this was an opportunity for him to get up-close with some wonderful feathered creatures.

A little owl.

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre can be found next to the A49 in Craven Arms. It has a car park, but, despite the weather, the event was really busy and there were no free spaces, so we had to park the car elsewhere in Craven Arms and walk back to the Discovery Centre.

The Feathers and Flight event was held to celebrate the RSPB Big Birdwatch. Alongside the RSPB were Chris Nealโ€™s Falconry Birds of Prey, British Dragonfly Society and Butterfly Conservation, with flight displays, treasure trails and crafts. We didnโ€™t get to see any of the flight displays, but the kids still had a great time.




We were able to stroke some of the birds and experts were on hand to tell us about them. Some of the birds seemed happier to be there than others. One fellow kept ruffling his feathers and staring at visitors!

Obviously, it would be better to see these birds in their natural habitat, but these events are a great way of learning more about them and being able to get up-close with them.

Bird of Prey

Bird of Prey Close-up


Owl close-up

Of course, we were unable to leave without a good look around the gift shop (my nephew spent his pocket money on a 3D dinosaur puzzle, though he was tempted by a bird book). Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre has a cafe, but we decided to head to quieter quarters and headed to Ludlow Food Centre a few miles up the road for a bite to eat.

Other places nearby include Stokesay Castle (just up the road!), Ludlow Castle and Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, not forgetting the spectacular snowdrops at Stanton Lacy Church at this time of year!


  1. Kelly says:

    Wonderful photos! I love owls and raptors/hawks. Your nephew obviously gets the connection between birds and dinosaurs ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would have really enjoyed this outing.

  2. Hi Nicky,

    Whilst if I am totally honest and say that I don’t like the idea of birds of prey being kept in captivity, as with many other zoo and wildlife park animals, this might be the closest that many people will ever get to seeing the real thing and with the accelerated rates of extinction among so many different species, this has to be some justification for showcasing these animals in captivity.

    Having so many people take pictures is also a very important way of preserving memories of these animals and your photographs are so very good!

    I’m very much an owl person, although when the screech owl kicks off in the tress right behind our property in the early hours of the morning, I could quite cheerfully strangle him!

    Your Discovery Centre looks like an amazing place, with all the birds being well cared for and loved.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that all is well with you ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Nikki says:

      The owls and other birds of prey were are from a nearby falconry. Usually, the Discovery Centre holds a mammoth and Shropshire hills exhibition (mammoth skeletons were found nearby years ago), children’s activities, adults courses etc. They also have 30 acres of meadows and walking paths. They’ve often got something going on there.

  3. CherryPie says:

    The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is on my list of places to visit this year.

    I love your photographs of the Birds of Prey (especially the owls), you have captured them so well.

  4. Jeanna says:

    Wow, Nikki, one shot more incredible than the other, really stunning photos. I didn’t know right off if they were stuffed or real. I know a lot of those birds in shops or zoos don’t have the best attitude, but who can blame them. Often they’ll put a little note next to them saying something like, “George doesn’t like people and bites.”

  5. Jayne says:

    Your photos are absolutely stunning.

    I guess most of us would far rather these beautiful creatures were out in the wild, but sometimes that is not the safest place for them.

    I occasionally see a Barn Owl over the hedge opposite our house. It doesn’t happen often and is heartbreakingly fabulous every single time ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Kely says:

    What beautiful birds! Me and the youngsters love birds of prey and have visited many such events and falconry centres close to us – but they never get any less wonderful to see!

  7. Tracy Terry says:

    As I have a fear of birds to seeing these here is close enough for me. A great place for bird lovers though, I can see why your nephew would have enjoyed it even if he didn’t get to see any birds in flight.

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