2020 has proven to be a very difficult year for absolutely everyone, and even through we have managed to survive and didn’t need to call for help like many many zoos and falconry centres across the country we are now facing the single biggest hurdle we have ever faced……
In September of this year, where where given the devastating news that the landlord has decided to step back from their roll and give the whole site to a new business and investment company called the Granary Group. Unfortunately the Granary groups future vision of a garden centre does not include any of the existing business on site, ourselves included and therefor in September we where all give notice to leave the site.
As you can hopefully imagine after investing 11 years into the site (it was our 11th birthday on the 14th of October), spending our savings trying to survive Covid and setting out plans for the future, this news is a devastating blow. ( I promptly had a panic attack in the middle of the meeting and then cried for 3 days !!)
After a phenomenal response to a call for help on our facebook page, asking for ideas of locations, I (Sadie ) set about visiting a number of different sites with a good idea of what we needed from a new site. I visited a number of places, and all would have worked but were’nt quite perfect, that was until we went to Moss End Garden Village, and here every single ‘need’ and ‘would like’ box was ticked. So i am very happy to tell you that we are officially moving to Moss End Garden Village and Bracknell.
But now the real heavy works starts. So firstly the cost!!! Our savings took a proper battering over covid, with no income and costs still going out. So we have had to start a Go Fund Me page. We are hoping to raise £30 000. Now this sounds like ALOT of money because it is, but to put it into perspective, the shed that we need for freezers, bird stuff and work space storage is £2400, the wood we have just had to order for 1 set of aviaries and the fencing was £8000 and we are not even on to looking at the printing for new papers, the gravel, the paint, the loss of earnings for 3 months whilst we are closed. The list is endless. But we are saving money where we can, so we are taking lots of the aviaries with us and those that we can’t we will save the good wood from, we can take some of the gravel, and we are able to do lots of the work ourselves.
One of the biggest parts i am both excited and very nervous about is whether we are able to hire a truck and crane to move our classroom!!!!
So what is the plan……… We are closing to the public on Monday the 30th of November 2020. Then we will work like bees to move, build, paint and hopefully open the new centre in February 2021. I am reluctant to put a date on it yet as the weather may stop us working along with local lock downs and covid worries. But thats the general out line. You can keep up to date with all the goings on via the facebook and Instagram page.
We have all been blown away by peoples generosity over the past few weeks, in either offers for physical labour or donations. But if you would like to help here are a few ideas…
- Donations through the ‘Go Fund Me‘ page. These are super easy to do and you can do as little or as much as you like.
- Buy a gift voucher the vouchers will all be valid from February 2021 and are valid for a whole year so make great gifts for christmas (cheeky tip, sign up to our news letter as there is a special Christmas offer going out at the beginning of November)
- Pop into the centre (until the 29th of November) and leave a cash donation in our owl (we are Covid-19 friendly with a 1 way system and hand gel on the door. No need to book to come and look around at the birds)
- Show some love on social media, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and like and comment on our posts. Commenting is super important as the little computer robots like interaction, so if you dont comment we won’t show up on your feed and you might miss so super cute videos and pictures like this one!!!!
- And finally spread the word, even after 11 years people still dont know there is a falconry centre in Berkshire and we cant do much more than we have….papers, tv, radio, social media, you tube you name it we have done it and people still dont know. So word of mouth is the key. Tell the local scout group and school that we do visits, mention it to a mum that wants something to do with the kids at the weekend, simply share the love of birds. All we are very very grateful for.
Ok so if you are still with me, and i haven’t board you with my ramblings, i shall sign off. Don’t forget we are still here every day and on the phone and computer so if you have any questions or would like to purchase a voucher just give us a shout. Take care everyone and stay safe xxx