Since childhood Sadie has had a passion for animals and the environment, and always knew she would work with them somehow. Studying for a National Diploma in Land and Countryside Studies at the Berkshire College of Agriculture and then to Devon for a Degree in Rural Resource Management. After graduation, she moved to Somerset and this lead to her first introduction to Falconry at a small centre in the middle of Exmoor. ‘My first lesson was patience! I sat for 4 hours with a Saker Falcon on a very hard bench, but was smitten instantly’ From the centre, Sadie’s passion grew to take her around the world volunteering in America, Iceland and Africa. In 2006 Sadie went to work for a falcon breeding centre in Derbyshire, this was a real eye-opener into the true falconry world of hunting.
Over the winter I looked to start my own business, returning to my passion for environmental education. Hawks on Walks was launched in 2007 and successfully relocated to Shropshire where the business really took off. From flying the Harris Hawks I realized that there is a real hole in our knowledge of British Birds of Prey and I started to really look at expanding to include these magnificent birds. In 2009 Sadie sold Hawks on Walks and has returned to Berkshire setting up Feathers and Fur Falconry Centre at Ladds Garden Village. ‘I aim to introduce people to the birds that we so often glimpse at on the side of the motorway or admire as they circle and soar above us, teaching how they fit into the environment and how we can help to protect them”.
Olivia’s passion for animals began very young and has only grown since; working with animals in some way was always in the life plan. Olivia studied for an FDA in Animal Behavior and Welfare at Berkshire College of Agriculture where she also worked on the animal unit for two years. ‘In 2016 I realized my main passion was for British wildlife conservation and I was lucky enough to undertake a Community Wildlife Traineeship for one year, followed by a 6 month Education Traineeship, both with the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust where I gained a wealth of invaluable practical conservation and educational experience as well as knowledge about our countries amazing wild animals’.
During this time Olivia started volunteering at Feathers and Fur Falconry Centre and after a year took on a part-time role at the centre. Finally, in 2017 Olivia is now a full-time member of staff. ‘ I am so excited to be starting my new full-time role at the centre getting involved in everything we do from handling sessions, teaching school groups, and taking part in conservation projects. I can’t wait to start learning all the tricks of the trade, spending more time with the incredible birds here and helping to spread our conservation message’.